What is the Florida Business Information Portal designed to do?

The portal is designed to help individuals seeking to start and operate a business in the Sunshine State. See our About page for more information. At the Home page, enter a business type or keyword for the industry you are interested in. The portal search will try to match your entry with appropriate business categories. Once you choose a category, the portal will create a checklist of steps you need to take to start your business.

What is a business type?

A business type is a specific industry, such as cosmetology, taxidermy, restaurant, construction company, etc.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a term or phrase that describes an activity or thing you are interested in, such as food, fitness, elevator, etc.

What is a step?

The term “step” is used in the portal to denote a license, registration or permit needed to start and operate your business.

What is a business category?

A business category includes a grouping of business types that are similar in nature and/or have similar steps.

What is the difference between a business and a professional license?

Businesses are generally a commercial operation or company. A profession is “a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.” This distinction becomes important when applying for a state license. Many businesses require a licensed professional employed by the company as a requirement for their business license. Applicants for a professional license most often do not need to complete registrations for fictitious names, business structure or employer information required for most businesses.

Why can’t I find the business I want in the search?

There are several reasons your search may not be successful:

  • You may be searching on a term the portal does not recognize.
  • Not all businesses or professions require a specific state license to operate.

If you are not successful, please try the search on a different term or browse the categories.

If I don’t find my business type in the search, am I done?

Probably not. Before starting a business, you will probably need to register with the Florida Department of State, the Internal Revenue Service and the Florida Department of Revenue to be ready to move forward.  The standard registration process for non-regulated businesses category will provide you with a checklist of the normal steps to open a business that does not require a specific business license. You also need to check with your local county and municipal governments to find out about their requirements.

Where can I find more information?

The portal contains a downloadable eGuide to provide you the basic tools to open your business in Florida, and provide supplementary resources to the business-specific checklists available on the portal. You should probably also check out our Resources page for additional information.