This industry comprises businesses primarily engaged in acting as lessors of buildings used as residences or dwellings, such as single-family homes, apartment buildings, and town homes. Included in this industry are owner lessors and establishments renting real estate and then acting as lessors in subleasing it to others. The establishments in this industry may manage the property themselves or have another establishment manage it for them.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in acting as lessors of buildings used as residences or dwellings, such as single-family homes, apartment buildings, and town homes; ownerlessors and establishments renting real estate and then acting as lessors in subleasing it to others; acting as lessors of buildings (except miniwarehouses and self-storage units) that are not used as residences or dwellings; owner-lessors of nonresidential buildings; establishments renting real estate and then acting as lessors in subleasing it to others; establishments providing full service office space, whether on a lease or service contract basis; renting or leasing space for self-storage; provide secure space (i.e., rooms, compartments, lockers, containers, or outdoor space) where clients can store and retrieve their goods; acting as lessors of real estate such as manufactured home (i.e., mobile home) sites, vacant lots, and grazing land.
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 get a license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. If you wish to prepare food, or sell alcohol or tobacco, on the premises of your lodging establishment, you will need to obtain an additional license for that purpose.
Business owners in this category may also wish to explore assistance offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
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
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.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress.
Steps to Opening
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
A tax imposed on each sale of communications services in Florida, including cable and satellite television, video and music streaming, telephone service (e.g., landline, VoIP, charges made by a hotel or motel), and mobile communications.
Providers must register for communications services tax online or complete a Florida Business Tax Application (Form DR-1).
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).
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).
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.
These local option taxes apply to rentals, leases, and licenses to use living quarters or sleeping or housekeeping accommodations for a term of six (6) months or less. In addition to sales tax, businesses must collect the applicable tourist development tax from the purchaser at the time of sale.
If the tax is administered by the Department of Revenue, it must be reported and remitted with sales and use tax. No additional registration is required.
If the tax is administered locally by the county, it must be reported and remitted according to the county’s filing schedule. Registration with the county is required.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in Florida. A variety of businesses will need to coordinate with DBPR to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.
Steps to Opening
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
This division licenses, inspects and regulates public lodging and public food service establishments in Florida. Public lodging establishments include apartments, timeshare projects and vacation rentals. To operate a public lodging, you will need one of the licenses listed below. If you want to prepare and serve food at your facility, you may also need a public food service establishment license found at the same website.
Any apartment building or complex of buildings in which 75 percent or more of the units are available for rent to nontransient tenants or in which more than 25 percent of the units are advertised or held out to the public as available for transient occupancy.
One or more timeshare units subject to the same timeshare instrument that is also rented or leased to guests for transient (temporary) occupancy
Any unit or group of units in a condominium or cooperative that is not a timeshare project and rented or leased to guests for transient (temporary) occupancy
Any house or dwelling unit that is not a timeshare project and rented or leased to guests for transient (temporary) occupancy.
Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (optional)
This division licenses, inspects and regulates alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. If you are interested in obtaining a public lodging license, you may also want to consider adding an alcohol and/or tobacco license to expand your business.
A facility that wishes to sell beer for on premises consumption
A facility that wishes to sell both beer and wine for on premises consumption
This license category includes quota licenses and a number of specialty licenses such as Restaurants, Motels/Hotels, Bowling Alleys, Hospitals, Airport Lounges not owned by an airline, Pleasure Ships, Civic Centers, County Commissions, etc.
Permits any caterer licensed by Hotels and Restaurants, which derives at least 51% of its gross food and beverage revenue from the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages at each catered event, to sell or serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises of any catered event at which the licensee is also providing prepared food.
Permits the retail sale of tobacco to consumers
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
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.
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.