General Considerations Checklist
These are general considerations for anyone starting a business in Florida.
Register your business with the Department of State
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 – Sunbiz offers several methods in which information can be submitted to the DOS for filing.
Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
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.
EIN Online Registration – 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.
Register for your state taxes through the Department of Revenue
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) provides fair and efficient tax and child support administration. The department administers 32 taxes and fees, including sales and use tax, reemployment (formerly unemployment) tax, communications services tax, corporate income tax, and fuel tax.
Tax Registration – Information for Businesses and Employers.
Explore opportunities with the Department of Economic Opportunity
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 incentives.
Incentives and Other Programs – Your business may qualify for various state or federal incentives.
Check Local Regulations and Requirements
In addition to federal and state licensing requirements, your local county and municipal governments likely have their own business requirements and may require additional licenses. Please be sure to the check with them before opening. More information can be obtained from:
- Florida’s Small Business Development Center Network (FLSBDC),
- County Website Listing,
- The Florida Association of Counties,
- The Florida Chamber of Commerce,
- The Florida League of Cities, and
- City Website Listing.
Check Federal Regulations and Requirements
In addition to state and local licensing requirements, the federal government may have their own business requirements and may require additional licenses. More information can be obtained from:
Prepare a Disaster Recovery Plan
Preparing for a disaster in advance could make your business’s recovery easier in the event of a disaster. The Florida Division of Emergency Management provides an online tool that can assist you in creating your own disaster plan at http://flgetaplan.com/.