Start a Business in Florida

Step 1. Define the Business:
For whom, doing what, how and where

Step 2. Choose a Business Name:
If you are planning on using a web site then you should consider registering your trade name and logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can do the basic research at but will ultimately have to do a formal filing. The last thing that you want to happen is to receive a letter from some lawyer telling you to stop using the name you have chosen as it is trademarked.

Step 3. Choose and Register Your Legal Structure:
The choices of legal structure for a business are:
The following are registered with the Secretary of State, who clears the name only in the state.

Sole Proprietorship (Optional)
Limited Partnership
Limited Liability Partnership
The following are registered with the Sunbiz, who clears the name only in the state.
Corporation (C-Corporation) S Corporation (Sub-Chapter S of the IRS Code) Limited Liability Company

Step 4. EIN:
Obtain your Federal Employers Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. The application forms, SS-4, are available at, by telephone, fax. the local IRS office or co ntact your closest SBDC for further assistance.

Step 5. Register:
Register with the State Taxation and Revenue for CRS tax number.

Step 6. License:
Obtain your Business License and Other Applicable Licenses.

Step 7. Employment:
Fill out state employment forms.

Step 8. Contact IRS:
If you have employees, contact the IRS and your State Taxation and Revenue Office or a tax accountant for the appropriate forms and rates for the following:
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Federal Income Tax (FIT), State Income Tax (SIT) if applicable. Social Security Withholding (FICA),
Medicare withholding, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification.

Step 9. Attorney:
Check with an Attorney Regarding Leasing Agreements, Contracts, Patents, Copyrights, Intellectual Property and Licensing Agreement Requirements.

Step 10. Guidelines:
Determine the Necessary Guidelines for Compliance with Title I and Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The latest information on this can be obtained on the following web site

Step 11. Establish a Business Bank Account:
If you plan to accept cred it cards it will be necessary to setup a Merchants Bank Account.

Step 12. Check your Insurance Coverage:
The following are some, but not all, insurance policies that you need to consider.

Property and Liability
Business Interruption
Product and professional liability
Comprehensive general liability (sometimes call an umbrella policy)
Motor vehicle
Special types such as bonds, completion bonds, credit, crop, cast, etc.
Life and Health: Basic and Major Medical
Disability Income and Key Person
Insure major equipment for replacement value
Worker’s Compensation: Required with 3 or more employees, contractors with no employees.