This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in planning and designing residential, institutional, leisure, commercial, and industrial buildings and structures by applying knowledge of design, construction procedures, zoning regulations, building codes, building materials and interior design. This category also includes home inspectors and mold services.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in planning and designing residential, institutional, leisure, commercial, and industrial buildings and structures by applying knowledge of design, construction procedures, zoning regulations, building codes, and building materials.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in planning, designing, and administering projects in interior spaces to meet the physical and aesthetic needs of people using them, taking into consideration building codes, health and safety regulations, traffic patterns and floor planning, mechanical and electrical needs, and interior fittings and furniture. Interior designers and interior design consultants work in areas, such as hospitality design, health care design, institutional design, commercial and corporate design, and residential design. This industry also includes interior decorating consultants engaged exclusively in providing aesthetic services associated with interior spaces.
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 may need to apply for a business license from one of these Florida agencies:
- Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – surveyors and mappers
- Department of Business and Professional Regulation – architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, asbestos consulting, geology, mold assessment/remediation and home inspector businesses
- Department of Health – radon measurement and mitigation
Businesses within this category may employ or require individuals holding professional licenses as requirement for a business license or to legally operate. 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.
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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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.
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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.
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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).
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.
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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A “surveying and mapping business” means a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other form of business entity engaged in the practice or performance of surveying and mapping.
A “professional surveyor and mapper” means a person who is registered to engage in the practice of surveying and mapping. A person who determines and displays the facts of size, shape, topography, tidal datum planes, legal or geodetic location or relation and orientation of improved or unimproved real property through direct measurement or from certifiable measurement through accepted photogrammetric procedures.
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.
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Division of Professions
This division is responsible for licensing many professional businesses and business professionals in Florida. These include Architectural and Interior Design firms; Landscaping architectural businesses; Geology businesses; and Home Inspection businesses.
Many of these licenses also have individual professional licensing requirements in order to qualify for a business license. There are no business licenses for home inspection or mold assessment/remediation businesses; however, a home inspection or mold assessment/remediation business must have a state licensed home inspector or mold assessor/remediator on staff in order to legally operate a home inspection or mold assessor/remediator business.
This application is used for businesses that offer architectural and interior design services through a business name/entity. The business is issued a license known as a certificate of authorization. To obtain the business license Architecture businesses must have an officer that is a Florida licensed architect and Interior Design businesses must have an officer that is a Florida licensed architect or interior designer.
This application is used for individuals or businesses who propose to engage in asbestos consulting or contracting. The business must be qualified by a Florida-licensed asbestos consultant or contractor.
License for a business that offers or performs geological services in Florida. The business entity must employ a licensed professional geologist that qualifies the business.
This application is used for businesses that offer landscape architectural services.
License for individuals that offer architectural services.
This application is used to apply for licensure for individuals who propose to engage in asbestos consulting or contracting.
“Certification is required to perform the duties of the building code administrator.
Certification can be obtained to perform commercial pool inspections.
Registration for individuals to take the fundamentals portion of the geology licensure examination and be registered as a Geologist In Training.
License for individuals to perform home inspections.
Certification is required to perform inspections in any or all of the following categories: building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, or one and two family dwelling.
License for individuals that offer interior design services.
License for individuals that offer landscape architectural services.
Certification may be obtained to perform modular inspections.
Certification may be obtained to perform modular plans examination.
License for individuals that offer mold assessment services.
License for individuals that offer mold remediation services.
“Certification can be obtained to perform one and two family dwelling plans examinations.
Certification is required to perform plan review in any or all of the following categories: building, electrical, mechanical, or plumbing.
License for any individual that offers or performs geological services in Florida.
Certification may be obtained to perform residential pool inspections.
Certification may be obtained to perform commercial and residential roofing inspections.
The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts. The department’s goal is to be the healthiest state in the nation through innovation, collaboration, accountability, responsiveness and excellence.
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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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.