Overview

This industry includes businesses primarily engaged in underwriting (assuming the risk, assigning premiums, and so forth) annuities and insurance policies; facilitating such underwriting by selling insurance policies, and by providing other insurance and employee-benefit related services, and Funds, Trusts, and Other Financial Vehicles.

Business types included in this category:
  • Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in (1) acting as agents (i.e., brokers) in selling annuities and insurance policies or (2) providing other employee benefits and insurance related services, such as claims adjustment and third party administration.

  • Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds

    This industry group comprises legal entities (i.e., funds, plans, and/or programs) organized to provide insurance and employee benefits exclusively for the sponsor, firm, or its employees or members.

  • Insurance Carriers

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in underwriting (assuming the risk, assigning premiums, and so forth) annuities and insurance policies and investing premiums to build up a portfolio of financial assets to be used against future claims. Direct insurance carriers are establishments that are primarily engaged in initially underwriting and assuming the risk of annuities and insurance policies. Reinsurance carriers are establishments that are primarily engaged in assuming all or part of the risk associated with an existing insurance policy (or set of policies) originally underwritten by another insurance carrier.

    Industries are defined in terms of the type of risk being insured against, such as death, loss of employment because of age or disability, and/or property damage. Contributions and premiums are set on the basis of actuarial calculations of probable payouts based on risk factors from experience tables and expected investment returns on reserves.

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 will need to apply for a business license with the Office of Insurance Regulation or the Department of Financial Services.

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.

Steps to Opening

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.


Visit Website

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.

Steps to Opening

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.

Visit Website

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.

Steps to Opening

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.

    More info

  • 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

Visit Website

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).

    More info

  • 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).

    More info

  • 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).

    More info

  • 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.

    More info

Visit Website

Insurance Carriers

Businesses in this category may be subject to the following registrations, taxes and fees.

  • Every authorized domestic, foreign, and alien insurer engaged in the business of entering into contracts of insurance or annuity in Florida must register with the Office of Insurance Regulation (http://www.floir.com/) and file a Florida Insurance Premium Taxes and Fees Return (Form DR-908) with the Department of Revenue. Surplus Lines policies and coverage independently procured from an unauthorized insurance company are administered by the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (http://www.fslso.com/).

    More info

Visit Website

Apply for a license from the Department of Financial Services

Department of Financial Services

The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) is the agency responsible for providing services and regulating businesses in financial and insurance related professions, as well as serving as the state’s fire marshal and chief financial officer. Financial and insurance related professionals will need to coordinate with DFS to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

Steps to Opening


Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services

DFS’ Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services oversees the licensure and regulation of individuals and entities soliciting insurance in Florida.

Visit Website

Division of Workers' Compensation

DFS’ Division of Workers’ Compensation provides assistance with actively ensuring the self-execution of the state workers’ compensation system.

Visit Website

Apply for a license from the Office of Insurance Regulation

Office of Insurance Regulation

The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) serves Floridians through its responsibilities for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance, including the licensing of insurance carriers and other related insurance entities.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

The Company Admissions business unit is responsible for the receipt of all insurance carrier/other related insurance entities applications and the coordination of the OIR’s review of such applications prior to granting approval to a company to sell insurance in the state of Florida. Should you have any questions or can not locate an application package for licensure, please email appcoord@floir.com


  • Designation for an insurer who meets statutory standards to be accredited as a reinsurer in Florida.

    More info

  • “Advisory organization” means every group, association, or other organization of insurers, whether located within or outside this state, which prepares policy forms or makes underwriting rules incident to but not including the making of rates, rating plans, or rating systems or which collects and furnishes to authorized insurers or rating organizations loss or expense statistics or other statistical information and data and acts in an advisory, as distinguished from a ratemaking, capacity.

    More info

  • Captive insurance is an alternative to self-insurance in which a parent group or groups create a licensed insurance company to provide coverage for itself.

    More info

  • Certification by OIR for reinsurance companies from outside the United States.

    More info

  • Generally, an organization affiliated with a church or association of churches that provide benefits for its ministers or employees.

    More info

  • Any group of persons may form a commercial self-insurance fund for the purpose of pooling and spreading liabilities of its group members in any commercial property or casualty risk or surety insurance.

    More info

  • Continued Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) include a variety of health care options for seniors and can be based on rental property or a real estate purchase, depending on the specific community.

    More info

  • Discount Medical Plan Organizations (DMPOs) include not-for-profit corporations that, in exchange for fees, dues, charges, or other consideration, provide access for plan members to providers of medical services and the right to receive medical services from those providers at a discount.

    More info

  • Discount Medical Plan Organizations (DMPOs) are corporations, limited liability companies, or limited partnerships that, in exchange for fees, dues, charges, or other consideration, provide access for plan members to providers of medical services and the right to receive medical services from those providers at a discount.

    More info

  • Notification to the OIR as to qualifying issuer of donor annuity agreements according to Florida law.

    More info

  • Any two or more electric cooperatives may operate a self-insurance fund for the purpose of pooling and spreading liabilities of its group members in securing the payment of benefits.

    More info

  • “Financial guaranty insurance” means a surety bond, insurance policy, an indemnity contract issued by an insurer, or any similar guaranty, under which loss is payable upon proof of occurrence of financial loss to an insured claimant, obligee, or indemnitee under certain circumstances.

    More info

  • A fiscal intermediary services organization is a person or entity that performs fiduciary or fiscal intermediary services to health care professionals who contract with certain health maintenance organizations. The term “fiduciary” or “fiscal intermediary services” means reimbursements received or collected on behalf of health care professionals for services rendered, patient and provider accounting, financial reporting and auditing, receipts and collections management, compensation and reimbursement disbursement services, or other related fiduciary services pursuant to health care professional contracts with health maintenance organizations

    More info

  • A fraternal benefit society is any incorporated society, order, or supreme lodge, without capital stock, whether incorporated or not, conducted solely for the benefit of its members and their beneficiaries and not for profit, operated on a lodge system with ritualistic form of work, having a representative form of government, and which makes provision for the payment of benefits in accordance with Florida law.

    More info

  • An agreement between two or more employers to pool their liabilities for the purpose of qualifying as a group self-insurer’s fund.

    More info

  • “Health flex plan” means a health plan approved by both OIR and the Agency for Health Care Administration, which guarantees payment for specified health care coverage provided to the enrollee who purchases coverage directly from the plan or through a small business purchasing arrangement sponsored by a local government.

    More info

  • Authorization to conduct business as a health maintenance organization in Florida.

    More info

  • License for any corporation or organization, other than an authorized insurer, to issue home warranties. Home warranty is any contract or agreement whereby a person undertakes to indemnify the warranty holder against the cost of repair or replacement, or actually furnishes repair or replacement, of any structural component or appliance of a home, necessitated by wear and tear or an inherent defect of any such structural component or appliance or necessitated by the failure of an inspection to detect the likelihood of any such loss.

    More info

  • Any two or more independent, nonprofit, accredited colleges or universities or independent, nonprofit, accredited secondary educational institutions, located in and chartered by the State of Florida, may form a self-insurance fund for the purpose of pooling and spreading liabilities of its group members in any property or casualty risk or surety insurance or securing the payment of benefits.

    More info

  • An Industrial Insured Captive Insurer is a domestic company that provides insurance only to the industrial insureds that are its stockholders or members, and affiliates thereof, or to the stockholders, and affiliates thereof, of its parent corporation.

    More info

  • Any two or more local governmental entities may enter into interlocal agreements for the purpose of securing the payment of benefits under chapter 440, or insuring or self-insuring real or personal property of every kind and every interest in such property against loss or damage from any hazard or cause and against any loss consequential to such loss or damage.

    More info

  • Any two or more local governmental entities may enter into interlocal agreements for the purpose of securing the payment of benefits under Florida law, or insuring or self-insuring real or personal property of every kind and every interest in such property against loss or damage from any hazard or cause and against any loss consequential to such loss or damage.

    More info

  • Permit or Certificate of Authority for domestic and foreign life and health insurers.

    More info

  • Life expectancy providers are required to register with OIR, and means persons who determine, or hold themselves out as determining, life expectancies or mortality ratings used to determine life expectancies for a viatical settlement providers or other persons according to Florida law.

    More info

  • A commercial self-insurance fund established by a group of 10 or more health care providers for purposes of providing medical malpractice coverage.

    More info

  • In order to qualify as a Medicare Plus Choice Provider Sponsored Organization, an entity must:
    A. Be a public or private entity;
    B. Be established, or organized and operated, by a health care provider or group of affiliated health care providers;
    C. Provide a substantial proportion of the health care items and services (pursuant to the Medicare Plus Choice program) directly through the provider or affiliated group of providers; and affiliated providers share, directly or indirectly, substantial financial risk for the provision of such items and services and have at least a majority financial interest in the entity.
    D. Be a participant in the Federal Medicare Plus Choice program.
    E. Only cover Medicare Plus Choice recipients.

    More info

  • Any person may, in exchange for fees, dues, charges, or other consideration, provide any of the following services related to the ownership, operation, use, or maintenance of a motor vehicle without being deemed an insurer and without being subject to the provisions of this code:
    (1) Towing service.
    (2) Procuring from an insurer group coverage for bail and arrest bonds or for accidental death and dismemberment.
    (3) Emergency service.
    (4) Procuring prepaid legal services, or providing reimbursement for legal services, except that this shall not be deemed to be an exemption from chapter 642, Florida Statutes.
    (5) Offering assistance in locating or recovering stolen or missing motor vehicles.
    (6) Paying emergency living and transportation expenses of the owner of a motor vehicle when the motor vehicle is damaged.

    More info

  • A multiple-employer welfare arrangement is an employee welfare benefit plan or any other arrangement which is established or maintained for the purpose of offering or providing health insurance benefits or other benefits (except life insurance benefits) to the employees of two or more employers, or to their beneficiaries.

    More info

  • An offshore insurer is one domiciled outside the United States covering only persons who, at the time of issuance or renewal, are nonresidents, and must register with OIR.

    More info

  • An “insurance premium finance company” is an industry engaged, in whole or in part, in the business of entering into premium finance agreements with insureds; or of acquiring premium finance agreements from other premium finance companies. “Premium finance agreement” means a promissory note or other written agreement by which an insured promises or agrees to pay to, or to the order of, a premium finance company the amount advanced or to be advanced under the agreement to an insurer or to an insurance agent, in payment of premiums on an insurance contract, together with a service charge as authorized and limited by law.

    More info

  • A prepaid health clinic is any organization authorized to provide, either directly or through arrangements with other persons, basic services to persons enrolled with such organization, on a prepaid per capita or prepaid aggregate fixed-sum basis, including those basic services which subscribers might reasonably require to maintain good health. However, no clinic that provides or contracts for, either directly or indirectly, inpatient hospital services, hospital inpatient physician services, or indemnity against the cost of such services shall be a prepaid health clinic.

    More info

  • Legal expense insurance is a contractual obligation to provide specific legal services, or to reimburse for specific legal expenses, in consideration of a specified payment for an interval of time, regardless of whether the payment is made by the beneficiaries individually or by a third person for them, but does not include the provision of, or reimbursement for, legal services incidental to other insurance coverages.

    More info

  • A prepaid limited health service organization is any person, corporation, partnership, or any other entity which, in return for a prepayment, undertakes to provide or arrange for, or provide access to, the provision of a limited health service to enrollees through an exclusive panel of providers. Prepaid limited health service organization does not include:
    (a) An entity otherwise authorized pursuant to the laws of this state to indemnify for any limited health service;
    (b) A provider or entity when providing limited health services pursuant to a contract with a prepaid limited health service organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurer, or a self-insurance plan; or
    (c) Any person who is licensed pursuant to part II as a discount medical plan organization.

    More info

  • Any two or more public housing authorities in the state may form a self-insurance fund for the purpose of pooling and spreading liabilities of its members as to any one or combination of casualty risk or real or personal property risk of every kind and every interest in such property against loss or damage from any hazard or cause and against any loss consequential to such loss or damage under specific circumstances.

    More info

  • “Purchasing group” means any group which:
    (a) Has as one of its purposes the purchase of liability insurance on a group basis.
    (b) Purchases such insurance only for its group members and only to cover their similar or related liability exposure, as described below.
    (c) Is composed of members whose businesses or activities are similar or related with respect to the liability to which members are exposed by virtue of any related, similar, or common business, trade, product, services, premises, or operations.
    (d) Is domiciled in any state.

    More info

  • An unincorporated group of individuals or organizations (subscribers) that agree to pool risks for the purpose of paying the cost of retained losses and purchasing reinsurance.

    More info

  • Generally, a risk retention group is any corporation or other limited liability association whose primary activity consists of assuming and spreading all or any portion of the liability exposure of its group members..

    More info

  • A service warranty association is any person, other than an authorized insurer, issuing service warranties.

    More info

  • Surplus lines insurance is a policy that protects against a financial risk that is too high for a regular insurance company to take on. Surplus lines insurance, unlike regular insurance, can be purchased from an insurer that is not licensed in the insured’s state, though the surplus lines insurer will still be licensed in the state where it is based, and an insurance agent must have a surplus lines license to sell a surplus lines policy. Also called excess lines insurance, surplus lines insurance makes it possible to get insurance for entities with unique risks that most insurers don’t cover or with a claims history that makes other insurers unwilling to cover them.

    More info

  • Surplus lines insurance is a policy that protects against a financial risk that is too high for a regular insurance company to take on. Surplus lines insurance, unlike regular insurance, can be purchased from an insurer that is not licensed in the insured’s state, though the surplus lines insurer will still be licensed in the state where it is based, and an insurance agent must have a surplus lines license to sell a surplus lines policy. Also called excess lines insurance, surplus lines insurance makes it possible to get insurance for entities with unique risks that most insurers don’t cover or with a claims history that makes other insurers unwilling to cover them.

    More info

  • Surplus lines insurance is a policy that protects against a financial risk that is too high for a regular insurance company to take on. Surplus lines insurance, unlike regular insurance, can be purchased from an insurer that is not licensed in the insured’s state, though the surplus lines insurer will still be licensed in the state where it is based, and an insurance agent must have a surplus lines license to sell a surplus lines policy. Also called excess lines insurance, surplus lines insurance makes it possible to get insurance for entities with unique risks that most insurers don’t cover or with a claims history that makes other insurers unwilling to cover them.

    More info

  • Authority to conduct third party driver license testing for commercial drivers.

    More info

  • Title insurance insures owners of real property, or lenders using real property as collateral, against loss arising out of defective or invalid titles and the existence of other liens or other legal claims against titles to real property. Title insurance can provide similar coverage regarding personal property.

    More info

  • The OIR must receive a letter from the reinsurer requesting Trusteed Reinsurer status in Florida and identifying the kinds or lines of business it plans to reinsure. Kinds of insurance in Florida are classified as: Life, Health, Property, Casualty, Surety, Marine,
    and Title.

    More info

  • A business that effectuates viatical settlement contracts, written agreements to transfer ownership or change the beneficiary designation of a life insurance policy at a later date, regardless of the date that compensation is paid to the policy owner.

    More info

Visit Website

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.

Steps to Opening

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.


Visit Website

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.