Looking for someone to help you understand Florida’s licensing requirements? Do you need a little guidance with your business concept? Do you need help developing and finalizing your business plan? If you do, you have come to the right place. There are a wide variety of resources available to provide the answers you need, help you navigate through the licensing process and help you fulfill your dream of opening your own business!
- Portal eGuide
The “OpenMyFloridaBusiness Guide to Starting a Business in Florida” provides basic business start-up information and supplementary resources to the portal’s business-specific checklists. Available in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.
- State Library of Florida
Visit the Department of State’s comprehensive website with additional resources for starting a business in Florida.
- Florida Department of Revenue
File and pay state taxes with the state’s General Tax Administration Program.
- Florida Department of State
Search corporate records, and register your business structure or company’s fictitious name with this agency.
- U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
If you have employees or file certain types of tax returns, you may be required to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Florida City Websites
In addition to the state requirements addressed by this portal, 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.
- 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.
More State Resources
- Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO)
The 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.
- Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Hurricane Guide
DBPR has developed a Hurricane Guide which provides hurricane checklists and other resources.
- Disaster Preparedness and Recovery
Protect your investment by preparing a disaster plan for your business. This website is sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
- Enterprise Florida (EFI)
EFI is a public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders whose mission is to expand and diversify the state’s economy through job creation. EFI’s minority and small business partners provide small and minority owned businesses with training, development and financing options.
- Florida Association of Counties
Find out about public services and opportunities related to Florida counties and their governments.
- Florida Chamber of Commerce
The chamber is a Florida business organization whose goal is to further the interest of businesses in Florida.
- Florida League of Cities
Find your municipality to discover information about local events and government requirements.
- Florida Lottery
Enhance profits and client base by becoming a lottery retailer.
- Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR)
Explore the different insurance options available for businesses in Florida.
- 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 Women’s Business Center
Partnered with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership, the Florida Women’s Business Center (FLWBC) assists women in achieving their dreams by helping them start, run, and grow successful businesses, regardless of social or financial disadvantage, race, ethnicity, or business background.
- MyFloridaMarketplace (MFMP)
MFMP is the State of Florida’s online exchange for buyers and vendors. If you would like to do business with state agencies in Florida, you will have to register with MFMP.
- North Florida Economic Development Partnership
The North Florida Economic Development Partnership (NFEDP) is a public/private, 501c(6) entity dedicated to facilitating economic development activity and high quality job growth, and securing capital investment in the 15-county region comprising North Central Florida: Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Putnam, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union counties.
- Office of Supplier Diversity
This office is a specialized team in the Florida Department of Management Services that helps improve opportunities for Florida businesses owned by women, veterans and minorities.
- Opportunity Florida
Opportunity Florida is an economic development organization committed to growing the regional economy in Northwest Florida counties of Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington.
- Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance
The goal of Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance is to draw business development to the five counties comprising Southwest Florida, including Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades County.
- Visit Florida
Visit Florida is the state’s official sales and marketing organization that promotes Florida tourism through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs.
USA.gov’s small business page is designed to make it easier for America’s small businesses and importers/exporters to access government services to help them grow and hire. This group also provides resources for minorities and veterans.
Grants.gov is an E-Government initiative operating under the governance of the Office of Management and Budget. Grants.gov is an E-Government initiative operating under the governance of the Office of Management and Budget and was chartered to deliver a system that provides a centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities.
- Minority Business Development Agency
This agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides opportunities to minority-owned businesses, increasing their global competitive advantage and their capabilities to create jobs.
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides free business counseling and mentoring services to entrepreneurs and small business owners
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is a federal agency that counsels and assists small businesses in America with online training and comprehensive business plan tools.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership
The SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership’s mission is to enable and empower women entrepreneurs through advocacy, outreach, education and support. Through the management and technical assistance provided by the WBCs, entrepreneurs, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, are offered comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of topics in many languages to help them start and grow their own businesses.
- Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program
The SBIC program, which is regulated by the SBA, works with private investment funds to provide growth capital to small businesses in the U.S.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
This bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. It is a great resource for nationwide, regional and statewide statistical information affecting business.
- U.S. Department of Labor
This federal agency’s mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. Its website is a great resource for understanding federal requirements for employers and employees.
- New Employee Registration
Florida law requires employers to report new and re-hired employees to the Department of Revenue. Beginning October 1, 2021, Florida businesses will be required to report new hire information for independent contractors to the Florida Child Support Program. To learn more about the requirements, read section 409.2576, F.S.
- Employee Eligibility
Employers must verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by registering at the E-Verify website sponsored by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Posting of Required Notices
Employers are required to display certain posters in an easily-viewed area of the workplace to inform employees of their rights and employer responsibilities under federal and state labor laws.
- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
This is a division of the Florida Department of Education that helps people with disabilities find and maintain employment and enhance their independence. Visit their website to take advantage of the resources they offer and see the benefits available to employers.
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance
More information about worker’s compensation insurance can be found at the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation website.
- Better Business Bureau – Florida Business Resources
This toolkit is a valuable resource to help Florida entrepreneurs start, grow and build trust for their business, provided by the West Florida branch of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Explore their website to find out more about your local chapter and how accreditation can benefit your business.
- Business Network International (BNI) America
BNI’s mission is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional referral marketing program that enables them to develop long-term relationships with business professionals.
- National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) propels women entrepreneurs into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by: strengthening the wealth creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community; creating innovative and effective change in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers.
- National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
The NFIB represents 325,000 small businesses in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to leveling the playing field with Big Business, Big Government, and Big Labor in every key area – taxes, healthcare, regulations, and more.
- Small Business Nation
This is a project started by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce designed to help small business owners start and grow their business.
- The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions.