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Road Map For A New Businesses


To get a business up and running, you must first decide on its legal structure. The choice determines what kind of taxes the business must pay, who's liable and what forms to file. Out-of-state corporations are considered foreign corporations and need to file to do business in Florida. For information about corporations and partnerships, contact the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations at 850-245-6052 or visit www.sunbiz.org. Sole proprietorships do not need to make a corporate filing.


Business owners who do business under any name other than their legal name or under a properly registered corporate name, partnership, trademark or service mark must be registered with the state of Florida. For information contact the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations at 850-245-6058. Fictitious name packets are available at the County Tax Collector's Office and can be filed on line or downloaded from the Web site.


Florida requires state licenses or certificates of competency for many professions and occupations, ranging from constructions related businesses to accountants to day-care workers. Many require special training or prior examinations. The Florida Professional Regulation has jurisdiction over most occupations, but some fall under the jurisdiction of other state agencies. For information, contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395 or visit www.myfloridalicense.com


All businesses, with the exception of sole proprietorships, must submit Form SS-4 to the Internal Revenue Service and receive a Federal ID number that registers a business with the federal government. This registration is required even though a business may not have employees. Please contact your local IRS office or go on line and visit their web site at www.irs.gov/businesses/index.html or download Form SS-4 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf.


Taxes on your business and other federal or state reporting requirements will depend on the nature of the business, its form of legal structure, and whether there are employees. These are: Federal Corporate Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax, Florida Corporate Income Tax, Florida Intangible Personal Property Tax, Florida Sales and Use Tax, Florida Unemployment Tax, Florida New Hire Reporting, Workers' Compensation, and whatever county you are in Tangible Personal Property Tax.


Local occupational licenses are required for all businesses and are issued by both the cities and the county. If your business is physically located in a city, you must first get an occupational license from that municipality and then apply for your county occupational license. All businesses, no matter where they are located, must have zoning approval. Check with the cities or county zoning offices to determine appropriate business zoning and business uses for a particular business location (including residential locations).

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