Are you thinking about starting a business in Florida? Whatever your motivation is, operating your business will be a complex job. Starting a business usually requests taking risks. Whether it is moving your family, expanding the business over the state line, or exposing your business to wider audiences. Don’t let risks scare you, opening a business can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. Especially if you are doing your best in the field that interests you the most. Setting up a company can be confusing. Knowing your responsibilities and how to do them takes time and effort. But that is not the biggest challenge. Not having the right information can hurt you. Because a lot of information is either false or partially correct, people tend to make a lot of mistakes.
The concept of starting a business in Florida is a very broad topic. Because of many different industries, setting up a company is not the same for each of them. Therefore, the goal of this article is to provide an outline of how to set up a business from a legal perspective. The outline is intended to give you an idea of what is involved in the process.
Steps for starting a business in Florida
This is a basic overview of the legal steps necessary to start a business in Florida. Starting a business in Florida is a process that requires serious undertaking. It will also challenge you to make several decisions that will impact the businesses future. Depending on the type of industry and the legal entity you choose, the process can get a bit complex and confusing. Keep in mind, some decisions can have serious legal and tax implications, while others can impact the distribution of profits and management of the company. For starters, it is best to work with a business formation lawyer that will advise you to make the best decisions for your business.
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Follow this outline on how to set up a business from a legal perspective
Create a business plan
Even though this is not a legal step, and the law doesn’t require it, creating a business plan is an important step. I can’t say that enough, but it is an essential part of starting a business. Especially if you are going to be looking for funding, or bringing in investors – a business plan will most certainly be required. It will also help you work through the other steps. A business plan is there to give you the answers to key questions regarding the success of your business.
When creating a business plan, include milestones by which you will measure success. This step is a core component of building a strong and successful organization.
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Make sure to include milestones in your business plan
Choose the type of business ownership
Before starting a business in Florida, you need to decide what type of business structure will define our company.
• Sole proprietorship – We will start with the most common form of ownership. This type is owned and operated by an individual. This is technically not a legal entity but a form of ownership. You are considered a sole proprietor if you take money for your service or product. However, even though if you are an individual, you must still be licensed and in some cases registered with the Florida Department of State.
• Partnership can be considered as similar to a sole proprietorship except there are more individuals involved in it. They are all equally responsible for the business, that is why they share the profits.
• LLC – The simplest legal entity to set up is Limited Liability Company. It is most popular amongst small businesses.
• S-Corporation –Having a more tax-advantageous set up makes it complex than an LLC.
Other types of entities:
- B- Corporation
- C- Corporation
- Professional Association
Name your company
Whatever type of legal entity you choose it will impact the company’s name, at least the official name. This name will be used on all official federal and state documents. Picking a name is really important because it has to be unique. Florida State has some rules for naming a company, do your research, and try to avoid using similar names other organizations have. Branding plays a big part in the success of your company.
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Try to avoid using similar names other organizations have
Set up the legal entity
Once you’ve picked your name and legal entity, you are ready to put it all together. To form a legal structure, get all the necessary paperwork. Some industries require special licensing and legal considerations. Some businesses only require licensing at the local level. On the other hand, we have industries that require local, state, and federal level.
Register your company
You can register an organization in Florida by filing official documents with the Secretary of State. Documents you need to fill in are:
•“Articles of Organization” for LLCs
•“Certificate of Incorporation” for corporations
You will also need to provide contact details and other information about the key people involved like managers, owners, etc. Registering a new company only fulfills the minimum requirements necessary to start a business legally. Next step is to find an office space, this will help you get your business on its feet. If you need assistance moving your offices, it is best for you to hire professional movers. You don’t want to waste your time on the move when you have other legal issues to deal with.
We can recommend a company Best Movers in Florida that has proven to have professionals who can make sure you have a comfortable and successful move.
Register for taxes and fees
This all depends on which city you are located in, what services or products you sell, and whether you have employees. For banks to allow you to open an account in the name of your company, you will need to file for a Federal Employer identification number.
Open a bank account
Starting a business in Florida also requires that your company has its own bank account. Company funding should be separate from your personal. Even though there is a way to intermingle funds, it has a lot of serious legal and tax implications. It will be more complicated to do that than to open a separate bank account for your company.
To read more on topics like this, check out the business category.