If you are interested in starting a new business in Florida, you are not alone. The Sunshine State has the second-highest density of start-up businesses in the country. With its favorable tax and business laws and temperate weather, it’s easy to understand why thousands of entrepreneurs choose to establish operations here each year. As with any venture, opening a new Florida entity will involve multiple steps. Here is more on how to start a Florida small business.
Choosing Your Location
When preparing to open a new Florida business, you will want to consider,
- the available markets for your product or services and
- potential locations.
In addition, you should think about how much commercial space you will require during this process. For instance, do you expect to require an office and retail location? Will most of your workforce work remotely or onsite? Do you need considerable parking for your customers? Considering these and other questions can help you clarify what you need in terms of a location.
Once you have a firm idea of your needs, you can begin looking into possible locations and potential sites. At this point, you may want to contemplate whether you wish to buy or lease commercial real estate. Additionally, if you plan on leasing, how long would you like to be in a particular location?
Regulatory and Licensing Issues
Florida, like every state, has its own regulatory and licensing requirements. Further, most Florida cities have codes and other rules business owners must observe. Therefore, it’s important to learn about the applicable laws and regulations for the Florida city, town, or village where you plan to open your business.
The best practice is to work with an experienced Florida business attorney when setting up your operations. Your lawyer can help you determine your chosen locale’s licensing and permitting requirements.
Selecting a Business Entity
As a Florida entrepreneur, you have a choice as to the type of business you select to form. If you are opening your own enterprise, you may prefer the simplicity of having a sole proprietorship. Those who intend to operate their business with others may prefer to form a limited liability partnership (LLP) or company (LLC). Limited liability formation allows the partners or members to have an ownership interest in a business without risking personal liability. You may also prefer the structure of a Florida corporation wherein there are officers, directors, bylaws, and regular meetings.
There are pros and cons to the different business formations, and it’s important to evaluate your choices carefully. Your Florida business attorney can help you assess any proposed business structures and determine the most suitable form for your purposes.
Registering your Florida Business
Once you know where you want to open your Florida business and the type of entity you intend to form, you can begin the process of registering your business with the state. This may involve completing one or more forms and paying a filing fee. The fees are relatively low, and the forms can be easily obtained online. You will also want to register your DBA (“doing business as”) name. Having a DBA gives your business its own official title and allows you to secure a unique name for your entity.
Knowing and Paying Your Taxes
Doing business in the state of Florida means paying some taxes to the state. You will also owe federal taxes. Further, your local county will also require your business to pay taxes. Additionally, your municipality may also impose commercial business-related taxes. As a Florida business owner, it’s crucial to know the applicable taxes for your business.
These are some of the main areas you need to know about when starting a Florida business. There may be other considerations depending on your industry and the unique details of your operation. If you plan on opening a Florida business, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Florida business attorney. Your business lawyer can help you evaluate your goals and make decisions that support your enterprise through every stage of its development.
Contact an Experienced Business Attorney
Attorney Richard Sierra at the Florida Small Business Center assists clients like you with commercial leasing, business, and litigation matters. As always, Our Goal Is to Help You Succeed™. For an appointment, you may call us at 1-866-842-5202 or use the contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the State of Florida, including Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Deerfield Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Orlando, Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, and surrounding communities.