Overview

The industry includes businesses engaged the creation, liquidation, or change in ownership of financial assets.

Business types included in this category:
  • Activities Related to Credit Intermediation

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in facilitating credit intermediation by performing activities, such as arranging loans by bringing borrowers and lenders together and clearing checks and credit card transactions.

  • Depository Credit Intermediation

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in accepting deposits (or share deposits) and in lending funds from these deposits. Within this group, industries are defined on the basis of differences in the types of deposit liabilities assumed and in the nature of the credit extended.

  • Monetary Authorities

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in performing central banking functions, such as issuing currency, managing the Nation’s money supply and international reserves, holding deposits that represent the reserves of other banks and other central banks, and acting as a fiscal agent for the central government.

  • Nondepository Credit Intermediation

    This industry group comprises establishments, both public (government-sponsored enterprises) and private, primarily engaged in extending credit or lending funds raised by credit market borrowing, such as issuing commercial paper or other debt instruments or by borrowing from other financial intermediaries. Within this group, industries are defined on the basis of the type of credit being extended.

  • Other Financial Investment Activities

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in one of the following: (1) acting as principals in buying or selling financial contracts (except investment bankers, securities dealers, and commodity contracts dealers); (2) acting as agents (i.e., brokers) (except securities brokerages and commodity contracts brokerages) in buying or selling financial contracts; or (3) providing other investment services (except securities and commodity exchanges), such as portfolio management; investment advice; and trust, fiduciary, and custody services.

  • Other Investment Pools and Funds

    This industry group comprises legal entities (i.e., investment pools and/or funds) organized to pool securities or other assets (except insurance and employee-benefit funds) on behalf of shareholders, unit holders, or beneficiaries.

  • Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in putting capital at risk in the process of underwriting securities issues or in making markets for securities and commodities; and those acting as agents and/or brokers between buyers and sellers of securities and commodities, usually charging a commission.

  • Securities and Commodity Exchanges

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in furnishing physical or electronic marketplaces for the purpose of facilitating the buying and selling of stocks, stock options, bonds, or commodity contracts.

General Considerations

Before starting a business, you probably will need to register with the Florida Department of State, the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue. For businesses located outside of the State of Florida, evidence of registration with their Division of Corporations or Corporate Registry may be required.

When you have completed those steps, you must apply for a business license from one of these Florida agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – pawnbrokers
  • Office of Financial Regulation – most financial institutions and brokers

Business owners in this category may also wish to explore assistance offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Get Started

The following represents your interactive licensing checklist for this business category. Select the expandable blue bars below for more information on the specific licenses, permits or registrations that may be required to open your business. We have also included a printable version of the following checklist available at the top of this page for your convenience.

Register your business with the Department of State

Department of State

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations serves as the state’s central depository for a number of commercial activities. These activities include a variety of business entity filings, trade and service mark registrations, federal lien recordings, judgment lien filings, uniform commercial code financing statements, fictitious name registrations, notary commissions, and cable and video service franchises.

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Agency Introduction

The Department of State (DOS) is where you register your business. You can search and access filed information for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, trademarks, fictitious name registrations and liens. Also, electronic filing and certification can be processed via the Department’s website.


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Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress.

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Agency Introduction

If you are required to report employment taxes or give tax statements to employees, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to send with all items you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Social Security Administration. If you do not intend to hire others, you may skip this step.


  • You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is located in the United States or U.S. Territories. The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN). You are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day.

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Register your business with the Department of Revenue

Department of Revenue

The Florida Department of Revenue administers three programs: general tax administration, property tax oversight and child support. The general tax administration program works with Florida businesses that are required to register for, collect, report and remit the taxes and fees administered by the Department.

The Department also manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. This information is used to assist the Department’s child support program with child support orders. The employment information reported through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment assistance fraud.

For additional information, please visit www.floridarevenue.com.

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Agency Introduction

A business owner or contractor may need to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the taxes, fees and licenses administered by the Florida Department of Revenue. This is dependent on the structure of a business, the activities of a business, and whether the business hires employees. In addition, businesses must report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees through the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting program managed by the Florida Department of Revenue.


Reporting Employment Information

The Department manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. The Department’s Child Support program utilizes employment information and employer cooperation to assist with child support order compliance. The reported employment information through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment fraud.

  • Register your business to report newly hired, re-hired or temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date.

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  • The Department of Revenue’s Child Support Program works with employers in a variety of ways to ensure compliance with child support orders when applicable. Employers must work with the Child Support Program to respond to income withholding requests and to enroll children in medical insurance plans. Once registered with the New Hire Reporting Center, businesses will be able to access the Child Support Employer Services website to report employee termination and bonus or lump sum payments, request replacement copies of income withholding notices currently in place for employees, and use the Program’s online calculator to get pro-rated child support amounts for employees that have more than one child support case.

    More info

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Business Taxes, Fees and Surcharge

Businesses in this category may be required to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the following taxes and fees.

  • Most corporations and certain entities conducting business, or who are incorporated in Florida, including out-of-state corporations, must file a Florida corporate income tax return.

    Register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1), or by filing the Florida Corporate Income/Franchise Tax Return (Form F-1120).

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  • An excise tax is imposed on documents that transfer an interest in Florida real property, and on written obligations to pay money signed in Florida by a borrower or delivered to a lender in Florida. The tax is paid to the Clerk of Court when the document is recorded. When a taxable document is not recorded, the tax must be paid directly to the Department of Revenue.

    Businesses or individuals that average five (5) or more taxable transactions per month must register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).

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  • Reemployment Assistance gives partial, temporary income to workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and are able and available for work. If your business will employ workers in Florida, you may register online or submit a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).

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  • Before conducting business, anyone selling, renting, leasing or repairing goods, providing certain services, charging admissions, or renting or leasing short-term lodging, housekeeping accommodations, or commercial real property must register with the Department of Revenue.

    Additionally, use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase.

    Register online or by submitting a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).

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  • This surtax, imposed by most Florida counties, applies to most transactions subject to sales or use tax. Businesses must also collect the applicable discretionary sales surtax from the purchaser at the time of sale, then report and remit it to the Department of Revenue.

    No additional registration is required.

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Apply for a license from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) supports and promotes Florida agriculture, protects the environment, safeguards consumers, and ensures the safety and wholesomeness of food.  FDACS licenses and inspects various businesses and professions in Florida, such as bakeries, milk producers, weights and measurements, pesticide dealers, oyster harvesting, pre-packaged food sales, beekeepers and travel agents, among others. A variety of different businesses may need to coordinate with FDACS to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

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Apply for a license from the Office of Financial Regulation

Office of Financial Regulation

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation is dedicated to protecting the citizens of Florida, promoting a safe and sound financial marketplace, and contributing to the growth of Florida’s economy with smart, efficient and effective regulation of the financial services industry.

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  • Branch office means any location in this state of a dealer or investment adviser where one or more associated persons regularly conduct the business of rendering investment advice or effecting any transactions in, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any security, or any location that is held out as such.

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  • A dealer is any person, other than an associated person under Chapter 517, Florida Statutes (F.S.), who engages in the business of offering, buying, selling, or otherwise dealing or trading in securities issued by another person. Dealers registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) must obtain registration in the states where they conduct business. Dealers that are FINRA members must register with the OFR to do business in Florida.

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  • Capital stock and mutual savings banks fall under the Office of Financial Regulation jurisdiction.

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  • Commercial Banks are corporations that accept deposit, make loans, pay checks, and perform related services for the public. All Florida banks are required to have Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance.

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  • Commercial Collection Agencies collect or solicit collection for commercial claims, asserted to be owed or due to another person, including third party collectors (assignee) of debts made by commercial business.

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  • Consumer Collection Agencies collect or attempt to collect consumer debts, asserted to be owed or due to another person, including third party collectors (assignee) of debts made by individual consumers. A Consumer Collection Agency may also collect third party commercial debts as long as less than one-half of the collection revenue of such agency arises from the collection of commercial claims.

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  • Consumer Finance Companies solicit, make and collect loans to consumers in this state for an amount not exceeding $25,000 at an interest rate greater than 18%. The license is not required for banks and certain other financial institutions doing business under state or federal laws.

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  • Credit Unions are a not-for-profit financial cooperative that makes personal loans and offers other consumer banking services to persons sharing a common bond. Common bonds typically include employees of a company, a labor union, a religious group or geographic area. All Florida credit unions are required to have National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) insurance offered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

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  • An intermediary is a natural person residing in the state or a corporation, trust, partnership, association, or other legal entity registered with the Secretary of State to do business in the state, which facilitates the offer or sale of securities under 517.0611, Florida Statutes (F.S.). An intermediary of a crowdfunded securities offering under Florida’s Intrastate Crowdfunding Exemption (s. 517.0611, F.S.) must either be registered as a dealer, or file an application for registration as an intermediary with the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR).

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  • Deferred Presentment Provide engages in a deferred presentment transaction, which is to provide currency or a payment instrument in exchange for a person’s check and agreeing to hold the person’s check for a period of time prior to presentment, deposit, or redemption.

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  • Family trust companies are privately held corporations or limited liability companies that are exclusively owned by and provide fiduciary services to “family members,” as more specifically set forth in Chapter 662, Florida Statutes. A family trust company may also provide services to certain qualifying current or former employees of the family trust company, but may not provide services to the public or engage in commercial banking.

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  • Family trust companies are privately held corporations or limited liability companies that are exclusively owned by and provide fiduciary services to “family members,” as more specifically set forth in Chapter 662, Florida Statutes. A family trust company may also provide services to certain qualifying current or former employees of the family trust company, but may not provide services to the public or engage in commercial banking.

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  • In addition to the main location license, any subsequent location other than the main office must be filed as a Home Improvement Finance Seller Branch.

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  • Any and all businesses involved in financing home improvements secured by a mortgage or lien on real property require this type of license. This provision applies to a business that directly or indirectly enters into two or more home improvement contracts, each of which is for consideration of $500 or more, in any calendar year. The license is required for a contractor who repairs, remodels or adds improvements to a single family residence pursuant to a written agreement, and when a mortgage lien on the property is retained as security. A home improvement contractor may also need a Retail Installment Seller license for contracts on which there is no mortgage taken as security for the loan.

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  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

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  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

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  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

    More info

  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

    More info

  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

    More info

  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

    More info

  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

    More info

  • Offices of foreign (non-United States) banks operating in the United States. In Florida, the Office of Financial Regulation can authorize a foreign bank to operate an administrative office, representative office, agency office or branch office. Various levels of authorized powers/ activities are permitted for each type of office.

    More info

  • Branch office means any location in this state of a dealer or investment adviser where one or more associated persons regularly conduct the business of rendering investment advice or effecting any transactions in, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any security, or any location that is held out as such.

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  • An investment adviser is generally defined as any person who receives compensation in the business of advising others as to the value of securities or as to the advisability of investments in, purchasing of, or selling of securities. Investment advisers must obtain registration in the states where they conduct business. Federal covered advisers are defined as investment advisers with more than $100 million in assets under management. No federal covered adviser shall engage in business from offices in this state, or render investment advice to persons of this state, unless the federal covered adviser has made a notice filing with the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) pursuant to Section 517.1201, Florida Statutes. (F.S.)

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  • Any location in this state of a dealer or investment adviser where one or more associated persons regularly conduct the business of rendering investment advice or effecting any transactions in, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of any security, or any location that is held out as such.

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  • An issuer dealer is any issuer who, either through persons directly or indirectly compensated or controlled by the issuer, engages in the business of offering or selling securities which are issued or are proposed to be issued by said issuer.

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  • The license is required for an individual who, directly or indirectly, solicits or offers to solicit a mortgage loan , accepts or offers to accept an application for a mortgage loan, negotiates or offers to negotiate the terms or conditions of a new or existing mortgage loan on behalf of a borrower or lender, or negotiates or offers to negotiate the sale of an existing mortgage loan to a non-institutional investor for compensation or gain. The term includes an individual who is required to be licensed as a loan originator under the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008.

    This license does not include an employee of a mortgage broker or mortgage lender whose duties are limited to physically handling a completed application form or transmitting a completed application form to a lender on behalf of a prospective borrower.

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  • This license authorizes the holder to transmit currency, monetary value, or payment instruments, either by wire, facsimile, electronic transfer, courier, the Internet, or through bill payment services or other businesses that facilitate such transfer, within this country or to or from locations outside this country. A licensee under PART II may also engage in the activities authorized under PART III without the imposition of any additional licensing fees.

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  • Branch office means any location, other than the principal place of business, in this state where one or more associated persons regularly conduct the business of transmitting money or checks, drafts, warrants, money orders, traveler’s checks or other instruments are sold or issued, or to advertise such activity, for consideration, or any location that is held out as such.

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  • Money Transmitters are authorized to transmit currency, monetary value, or payment instruments, either by wire, facsimile, electronic transfer, courier, the Internet, or through bill payment services or other businesses that facilitate such transfer, within this country or to or from locations outside this country. A licensee under PART II may also engage in the activities authorized under PART III of this chapter without the imposition of any additional licensing fees.

    Payment Instrument Issuers are authorized to sell or issue checks, drafts, warrants, money orders, traveler’s checks or other instruments, or to advertise such activity, for consideration.

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  • Branch office means any location, other than the principal place of business, in this state where one or more associated persons regularly conduct the business of selling currency in exchange for payment instruments received, except for traveler’s checks and foreign-drawn payment instrumentation, or to exchange currency of the U.S. or a foreign government to currency of another government, for compensation, or any location that is held out as such.

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  • Check Cashers are authorized to sell currency in exchange for payment instruments received, except for traveler’s checks and foreign-drawn payment instrumentation. Foreign Currency Exchangers are authorized to exchange currency of the U.S. or a foreign government to currency of another government, for compensation.

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  • The license is required for an entity conducting loan originator activities through one or more licensed loan originators employed by the mortgage broker or as independent contractors to the mortgage broker.

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  • This license is required for mortgage broker licensees who conduct business at locations other than their principal place of business.

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  • This license is required for an entity making a mortgage loan for compensation or gain, directly or indirectly, or selling or offering to sell a mortgage loan to a noninstitutional investor. “Making a mortgage loan” means closing a mortgage loan in a person’s name, advancing funds, offering to advance funds, or making a commitment to advance funds to an applicant for a mortgage loan.

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  • This license is required for mortgage lender licensees who conduct business at locations other than their principal place of business.

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  • The mortgage lender servicing license is required for any mortgage lender licensee who services a mortgage loan.

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  • This license is required for mortgage lender servicer licensees who conduct business at locations other than their principal place of business.

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  • The license authorizes its holder to offer installment payments to its customers, for the sale of motor vehicles to retail buyers. This license is required by firms that sell and finance automobiles, trucks, trailers, RV’s, motorcycles, and mobile homes. In addition to the main location license, any subsequent location in another county other than the main office must be filed as a Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Branch Office.

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  • The license authorizes its holder to offer installment payments to its customers, for the sale of motor vehicles to retail buyers. This license is required by firms that sell and finance automobiles, trucks, trailers, RV’s, motorcycles, and mobile homes.

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  • Non-Deposit Trust Company: a corporation which is engaged as a trustee, fiduciary, or agent for individuals or businesses in the administration of trust funds, estates, custodial arrangements, stock transfer and registration, and other related services. Non-deposit trust companies may also engage in fiduciary investment management functions and estate planning.

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  • The license authorizes any retail business to offer installment payments to its customers, for goods or services other than motor vehicle and home improvement businesses. The license authorizes the holder to finance the goods or services sold by an installment contract or a revolving charge account to a retail buyer. The license is required if the goods or services are primarily for personal, family or household use. In addition to the main location license, any subsequent location other than the main office must be filed as a Retail Installment Seller Branch.

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  • The license authorizes any retail business to offer installment payments to its customers, for goods or services other than motor vehicle and home improvement businesses. The license authorizes the holder to finance the goods or services sold by an installment contract or a revolving charge account to a retail buyer. The license is required if the goods or services are primarily for personal, family or household use.

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  • The license authorizes any business to purchase retail installment contracts from entities licensed in Florida as motor vehicle installment sellers, retail installment sellers or home improvement finance sellers. In addition to the main location license, any subsequent location other than the main office must be filed as a Sales Finance Company Branch.

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  • The license authorizes any business to purchase retail installment contracts from entities licensed in Florida as motor vehicle installment sellers, retail installment sellers or home improvement finance sellers.

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  • Capital stock and mutual savings banks fall under the Office of Financial Regulation jurisdiction.

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  • The license authorizes the holder to engage in the business of making or servicing title loans by means of a loan of money to a consumer secured by bailment of a certificate of title to a motor vehicle, except such loan made by a person licensed under Chapter 516, Chapter 520, Chapter 655, Chapter 657, Chapter 658, Chapter 660, Chapter 663, Chapter 665, or Chapter 667, Florida Statutes or a person who complies with Chapter 687.03, Florida Statutes. Each location is treated as an independent license and there are no branches

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Explore assistance from the Department of Economic Opportunity (optional)

Department of Economic Opportunity

In collaboration with our partners, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) assists the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses, and communities.

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Agency Introduction

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) utilizes public and private sector expertise to attract, retain and grow businesses and create jobs in Florida. It also provides valuable resources for businesses and entrepreneurs; assistance with recruiting workers; and statistical information regarding Florida businesses and employment. Your business may qualify for various state or federal assistance.


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Federal & Local Government Requirements

This checklist provides state requirements only. Remember to check federal requirements and your local county and municipal agencies. The following organizations and websites can help:

  • Florida’s Small Business Development Center Network (FLSBDC) – State designated as Florida’s principal provider of small business assistance, the network provides no-cost, professional business consulting, in-person and on-demand training, and access to business research resources to help Florida businesses—no matter their stage of business—grow and succeed.
  • Florida Chamber of Commerce – The chamber is a Florida business organization whose goal is to further the interest of businesses in Florida.
  • County Websites – Florida’s county governments require various licenses, permits and filings above and beyond state requirements, depending on the type of business you wish to open. Find out about other public services and opportunities related to Florida counties and their governments by visiting the Florida Association of Counties website.
  • City Websites – Business owners should be aware of local government requirements, especially local business taxes (occupational licenses), building permits and inspections, planning and zoning, and community and economic development opportunities. The Florida League of Cities offers a comprehensive, alphabetical listing of municipality websites and additional information about local events and government requirements.

Disclaimer: The State of Florida operates OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov as a public service to Florida residents and visitors worldwide. While efforts were made to verify that the content of this website is accurate and comprehensive, it is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBDC, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business. OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov is not responsible for the content of external websites.