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. This category also includes bail bonding services.

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.

Businesses within this category may employ or require individuals holding professional licenses as requirement for a business license.  If you are only pursuing a professional license, you may not need to complete all of the additional steps listed on this checklist.

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.

  • Business Registration

Visit: http://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/forms/

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.

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.

  • New Hire Reporting Registration
  • Working with the Child Support Program

Visit: https://newhire.floridarevenue.com/SitePages/home.aspx

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.

  • Corporate Income Tax Liability
  • Reemployment Tax Registration
  • Sales and Use Tax Registration
  • Discretionary Sales Surtax (local option county taxes)

Visit: http://floridarevenue.com/dor/taxes/registration.html

Insurance Carriers

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

  • Insurance Premium Tax

Visit: http://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/Pages/ipt.aspx

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.

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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.

  • All-lines Adjuster License
  • Credit Insurance License
  • Home Warranty Sales Representative License
  • Insurance Agency License
  • Managing General Agent License
  • Mediator
  • Motor Vehicle Service Agreement Salesperson License
  • Neutral Evaluator
  • Portable Electronics Insurance License
  • Portable Electronics Insurance Agent License
  • Public Adjuster License
  • Reinsurance Intermediary Broker License
  • Reinsurance Intermediary Manager License
  • Resident Customer Representative License
  • Resident Limited Surety Agent (Bail Bond Agent License)
  • Resident Professional Bail Bond Agent License
  • Service Representative License
  • Service Warranty Sales Representative License
  • Temporary Resident Limited Surety Agent (Bail Bond Agent License)
  • Title Agency License
  • Title Agent
  • Travel Insurance Agent License
  • Warranty Agent License

Visit: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Agents/Licensure/default.htm

Division of Workers' Compensation

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

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier Registration
  • Workers’ Compensation Private Self-Insured Employers
  • Workers’ Compensation Qualified Servicing Entity Certification

Visit: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/WC/

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.

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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

  • Accredited Reinsurer Status
  • Advisory Organization Approval
  • Captive Insurer License
  • Certified Reinsurer
  • Church Benefit Organization
  • Commercial Self Insurance Trust Fund License
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community Certificate of Authority
  • Corporation Not-for-profit Self Insurance Funds License
  • Discount Medical Plan Organization License
  • Donor Annuity Notification
  • Electric Coop Self Insurance Fund
  • Employee Benefit Funds License
  • Financial Guaranty Insurance Corporation License
  • Fiscal Intermediary Service Organization Registration
  • Fraternal Benefit Society Certificate of Authority
  • Group Self Insurance Fund Certificate of Authority
  • Health Flex Plan Approval
  • Health Maintenance Organization Certificate of Authority
  • Home Warranty Association License
  • Independent Educational Institution Self Insurance Fund License
  • Industrial Insured Captive Insurer License
  • Local Government Self-Insurance Fund License
  • Local Government Unit Payee/Self-Insurer License
  • Life and Health Insurer Permit/Certificate of Authority
  • Life Expectancy Provider Registration
  • Medical Malpractice Self Insurance Fund License
  • Medicare Plus Choice Provider Sponsored Organization Certificate of Authority
  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturer License
  • Motor Vehicle Service Agreement Company License
  • Multiple-Employer Welfare Arrangements Certificate of Authority
  • Other Insurance Related Entity License
  • Offshore Insurer Registration
  • Premium Finance Company License
  • Prepaid Health Clinic Certificate of Authority
  • Prepaid Legal Expense Corporation Certificate of Authority
  • Property and Casualty Insurer License
  • Prepaid Limited Health Service Organization Certificate of Authority
  • Provider Service Network License
  • Public Housing Authority Self-Insurance Funds License
  • Purchasing Group Registration
  • Rating Organization License
  • Reciprocal Insurer License
  • Risk Retention Group Registration
  • Service Company License
  • Service Warranty Association License
  • Surplus Lines Insurer License
  • Surplus Lines (Aviation/Marine) Insurer License
  • Surplus Lines (Federally Authorized) Insurer License
  • Title Insurance Agency License
  • Trusteed Reinsurer Status
  • Viatical Settlement Provider License

Visit: http://www.floir.com/sections/AppCoord/is_ac_index.aspx

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.

  • Assistance Programs

Visit: http://www.floridajobs.org/

Additional Local Government Information

County Business Requirements

Steps to Opening

Federal & Local Government Requirements

This checklist provides state and local requirements. Remember to check federal requirements for your business. 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 – Throughout the Florida Chamber’s 100 year history, its number one goal has been to encourage a business friendly climate that allows job creators to do what they do best – create private-sector jobs and contribute to Florida’s economy.
  • 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.