How To Start A Business In Florida

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How To Start A Business In Florida In 2021

2ND Best Place For Starting A Business

When it comes to starting a business in the United States, Florida is one of the best places for entrepreneurs to do it. In fact, just look at this jump! In the third quarter of 2019 there were 97,000 business applications. That number raised to a whopping 176,000 business applications in the third quarter of 2020. In this article we’ll show you exactly how to start a business in Florida, get your cut of the action, and become a successful Florida company owner!

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Table of Contents

Pros Of Starting A Business In Florida

It’s no shock why entrepreneurs everywhere are making their way to Florida. With streamlined regulations, no need for licenses (select industries), and the warm weather. Florida business owners have it made! Let’s not forget that Florida is also one of the few states with NO INCOME TAX! And it all gets better too when you realize the state has the 4th largest economy of the nation.

Choosing Your Business Entity

Here’s a few of the business formations you might be considering:

  • Florida Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Florida Professional Limited Liability Company
  • Florida Corporation
  • Florida Nonprofit Corporation

When you decide to form a business in Florida, you’ll be able to choose from the following business entities: LLC’s, LLP’s, LP’s, LLLP’s, Corporations, and GP’s. For some of the domestic entities, online filing has been made available. We highly recommend you check this option out because it will really speed up your registration process. If you choose the online option you will have to print out the PDF’s and mail them in to Department of State with the appropriate fee. Each formation has a different fee, but none of them will break your bank.

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Pick Your Business Name

One thing you don’t wanna do is pick a business name that is already taken. That can get you into all sorts of costly trouble. We recommend that new business owners use the Florida Business Name Search as they are in the filing process. Florida state law requires that all business names be unique. Plus, it would really suck if your business application got denied simply because you picked the wrong name…

How To Register In Florida

Step 1 – The very first thing you’ll need to do is form your business entity. One of the most common choices is when you form an LLC in Florida or Limited Liability Corporation. From there, all you need to do is pick your business name and make sure it is unique. Florida does not allow name reservations. They are first come first serve.

Step 2 – Next, you’ll need to determine what category of entity your business will be under. For example, if you have a company that is simply moving the HQ into Florida…then you’ll be considered foreign. However, if your business is literally brand new…it will be considered domestic.

Step 3 – After you fill out all the required forms domestic entities will be all set. However if your business is a foreign entity, then you will need to supply a certificate of good standing that has been approved by the secretary of state. This must be completed within 90 days to be considered eligible.

Step 4- After all your forms are completed and your fees are paid to the Florida Department of state (including registered agent fee), you are good to go! If you have opted to do the paper filing then all you will need to do is send everything in to the following address otherwise you can pay by credit card:

  • Mailing Address: Department of State: Division of Corporations, Corporate Filings, P.O. Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314
  • Courier Address: Department of State: Division of Corporations, Clifton Building, 2661 Executive Center Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Florida Filings And Associated Fees

Here are the fees associated with the different business entities (registered agent fee included):

  • All corporations-$70
  • All LLCs-$125
  • GP-$50
  • LP-$1000
  • LLP-$25
  • LLLP-$1000

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Florida Name Reservation Or Lack Thereof

Compared to other states that do have a name reservation…Florida does not, and this could be where one may find fault with Florida. Name reservations are usually for businesses that are wanting to lock down that name as they’re getting their formation altogether. However, Florida does not operate this way and everything is handed out on a first come first serve basis.

You’re also allowed to use different names for your business. Whereas you may have a primary company name, you are allowed to also get a DBA for marketing. A DBA simply means “doing business as”. So if your business operates by a name other than the one you originally registered, you can do it under this name. The only action required of you is that you file your DBA with the Florida Division of Corporations.

Certificate of Status for Florida

A certificate of status is simply just a document that says you’re in good standing with the state. This is downloadable and it only costs $8.75. What do you need it for? Usually this certificate is used for loans or to renew a business license as it proves your compliance with Florida Law. This certificate will also help streamline your process of moving into a new state if you ever so choose because it is likely that your new state will request it upon registration.

Agreements

No matter which entity you decide to operate as, you’ll have some sort of an operating agreement. This should be filed with the businesses management team. This will contain things like a provision to government management, clear representation of rights and responsibilities of each member. Check out the following agreement types below!

  • Florida Corporate Bylaw
  • Florida LLC Operating Agreement
  • Partnership Agreement

Employer Identification Number And IRS

After you complete all of your filing requirements you will need to get your EIN (Employer Identification Number). This is the number that is needed by the dreaded IRS for tax purposes. Without an EIN your business will not be able to complete any financial transactions or operate legally with employees. The gov always has to get their piece…

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Register Your Florida Business And Open Financial Accounts

How you register your business all depends on the type of industry and entity you want to be. For example, you might need to file your LLC with the state…but not need to file your Sole Proprietorship with them. Florida cities and counties will likely have their own rules and articles of incorporation so be sure to check with them first!

To figure out what all licenses you’ll need, feel free to check out the Florida law, registered agent, or even the states online wizard!

Figuring out taxpayer ID number will help make your job easier with everything from payroll taxes to opening a bank account. If you’re a Sole Proprietor your social security number will suffice. Other business types will need to register with the IRS however.

After getting all the licenses and permits you’ll need. Be sure to also start registering your name from everything like your website to Facebook page.

Be sure to open a business bank account as well. When you open a business bank account this will help you keep track of your business specific expenses and income. Starting out strong like this will help your companies financial health.

Market Your Florida Business

One of the best ways to get started marketing your business will be with a website. This is the first place most customers will go to find out information about your company and the services you provide. You can also try out business cards and brochures as well.

Word of mouth never goes out of style, but it is becoming more difficult now due to people social distancing and what not. However, google reviews are the next best thing! You can focus on getting positive reviews on your google my business account to get more people to call you!

Investing in some solid SEO wouldn’t be a bad idea either for a corporation. This is one of the best long term investments you can make for your business. A website that is at the top of page one will always get the lions share of the calls.

In the mean time it wouldn’t hurt to run some Facebook or Google ads either!

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Examples of Good Businesses to Start in Florida

Here are some new business ideas to consider when starting a business in Florida:

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Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.

Yup, Digital Real Estate!

Where the Manual Labor / Location dependent Businesses fall short are in profitability. 

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All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!

This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc. 

How do you get paid and how much?

Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.

A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.

Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 20 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!

That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $1000 a month!

See why they call it digital real estate now? That’s a rent payment. 

The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.

Remember Vending Machines and all the small profit margins? 

This one actually allows you to collect that without working in a brick and mortar business all day. Truly passive income!

The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.

You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.

Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group where you can ask questions and be in a community with others on the same journey as you.

Unlike A Manual Labor Business, where you have to keep trading your time for money over and over…. You can finally be a person on the financially free side of life. A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.

Unlike The Brick and Mortar Business structure, more people have been able to become financially free as well. 

Digital real estate allows you to have passive income with most of your day being spent OUT of the manual labor landscape.

Now, I know you probably have tons of questions about this business idea… So, check this out to learn more.

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