Florida is one of the United States’ economic powerhouses. It’s the third biggest state in the country by population, and has the fourth biggest economy. In fact, its GDP is larger than all but 16 countries. Florida’s economy is extremely diverse, with tourism and agriculture among its top industries.
Florida is one of the best states to start a business, according to a recent study by WalletHub. The sunshine state recently ranked as the sixth best of all 50 states to start a business based on multiple factors including financing accessibility to availability of human capital to office-space affordability
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC.
A business name is often your first impression with customers. … Investors like to select businesses for their business potential, but some have more faith in qualitative factors such as marketing and the right business name. The right business name can also help differentiate you among potential investors. Here are some tips:
How to find a good domain name:
Its hard sometimes to find an available domain name that matches or goes with your business. You can search at http://godaddy.com or other domain name companies, try to find a short domain, two words or three maximum, and make sure its easy to spell.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
You can read more about corporate tax laws in Florida on the Florida Department of Revenue site..
Open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards will get you started with building your business credit rating. Typically, to open a business bank account you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website has information regarding business licensing in Florida. It also has a list of types of businesses that require special licensing.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: Florida LLCs are required to file an annual report, due May 1 every year, which has a filing fee of $139.
Corporation: Every year you’ll need to file the “Statement of Information” or Annual report which updates the state on your business address and other things. Florida corporations can efile. There is a $400 late fee for all for-profit corporations who do not make the May 1 deadline.
Franchise Taxes: Florida requires a franchise tax due on the last day of the month in April, June, and September, as well as on the last day of the tax year. This is calculated as a percentage of the company’s net income for that year.
Division of Corporations (for Corporation and LLC filings)
2661 Executive Center Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32301