Legal Requirements for Starting a Business in Florida

Registering a business in Florida is one of the steps one must take to be able to operate fully without the government imposing heavy charges on your business or other legal complications that may come with doing your business in Florida.

So, I have carefully prepared the necessary requirements you will need to get your business registered in Florida and all you need to know.

Legal requirements for starting a business in Florida

After you have conceived a business idea and are ready to start, the following are the things you need to put in place to get the business register with the appropriate authority:

  • First thing to do is to submit your business idea with the County tax collector to be able to know if your business needs a license or permits to operate, to do this, head to and check if your business liable for permit
  • After you must have verified with the county tax collector, then you need to register your business with the Department of Revenue, to do this, head to to register.
  • If your business is not a sole proprietorship, then you need to register your cooperate organization with the Department of State via this link
  • If your business is registered with the Department of State under the DBA/Fictitious name, afterward, you’ll need to post a “Legal Notice” in a newspaper and register your business with the county. Most counties in Florida want either a business license/occupational license or a business tax receipt before a company can legally operate there.

How To Register A Corporation or LLC In Florida

Following are the steps to take to incorporate your business in Florida:

Choose A Unique Name:

The name you choose for your Florida corporation or limited liability company must not be used by any other company. Name your company something original and catchy to avoid confusion with existing businesses.

File For Incorporation:

The next step is to submit the necessary Articles to the Florida Secretary of State in order to formally establish the business. You will need to provide your business’s name, principal address (which must be a physical Florida address), and mailing address (which may be a PO Box).

Since the state demands it, you’ll also need the names and addresses of all the company’s owners. Submissions to the state require an email address as well.

File for EIN:

The next thing to do is apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service. This is your new company’s official tax identification number, and it must be used in all business dealings.

If there is only one member in the LLC, some opt not to file for an EIN. This necessitates that they replace all use of their bank account numbers with their SSNs in all commercial dealings. An EIN is a mandatory identifier that must be used by all organizations.

Set up Bank Account for the company:

A business bank account is a must for forming an LLC or corporation. The business checking account is to be used for all transactions involving firm funds.

How To Choose Business Structure for Your Florida Business

Your business needs to fall under the three categories of business structure for you to be able to know what to file for while registering your business with the local authorities and other legal entities you need to register your business with before you are allowed to run your business in Florida.

Sole Proprietorship

The legal status of a sole proprietorship is the clearest of any business setup. This type of organization is perfect for sole proprietors who don’t want to bother finding other investors. It does not necessitate a state filing, but it does not provide any protection for individual assets.

Your company will be known just by your given name if you choose to organize it as a sole proprietorship. Registering a DBA in Florida requires notice to be published at least once weekly in a publication with general circulation in the county where the business will be conducted.

It is not possible to register a DBA until after the notice has been made public. Registering a fake business name in Florida costs $50 and must be renewed every five years.


A general partnership, like a sole proprietorship, is a non-legal structure that allows business owners to form a partnership with another person or more.

The company can use its owners’ names, the names of its partners, or a DBA. Any gains or losses would be reported on your individual tax return (and those of your partners), and your individual belongings would not be safeguarded in any way.

All types of partnerships in Florida require formal paperwork and a filing fee to operate legally. This includes general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability limited partnerships.


A limited liability company (LLC) may be the appropriate business structure for you if you have no immediate plans to go public. Having this option gives you greater leeway and safeguards your possessions in the event of a legal dispute.

In Florida, limited liability companies (LLCs) are required to have a “registered agent” to receive official paperwork on their behalf. Any individual or firm acting as your registered agent must meet the requirements for residency in Florida. A registered agent service can be appointed for between $29 and $300 per year and is a popular choice for many new LLCs.

Florida also mandates that you submit the Articles of Organization, which lays out the foundation of your business.


Those that have (or want to have) shareholders should form a corporation as their business structure. You may want to consider this course of action if going public is in your near future.

Similar to limited liability companies, corporations must choose a “registered agent” to act as the business’s official point of contact for receiving legal processes, regulatory filings, and official government correspondence. Your registered agent, like the LLCs, can be an individual, a corporation, or another firm.

It is necessary to file the Articles of Incorporation with the state in addition to appointing a registered agent.

The State of Florida generally does not require formal registration of sole proprietorships. If you’re operating as a lone proprietor, you might need to register your business with the county or city.

There are additional exceptions to the need that all businesses to register and file for a Tax ID Number with the IRS. These include businesses that have no employees (such as sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs).

There are a number of legal and tax advantages to registering even if it is not required for your firm.

The advantages of forming an LLC are numerous, both legally and financially, even if it isn’t necessary for you to register your firm.

In the case of a single proprietorship or a partnership, business debts are added to the partners’ personal liabilities. This means that if you are ever sued, your possessions will be subject to seizure. With an LLC, you may shield your assets from creditors and keep your personal finances secure from business debts.

There are several advantages to forming a limited liability company besides the security it provides its members.

There are no limits on the number or kind of owners that can benefit from “pass-through” taxes, which permit the LLC’s revenue and expenses to be passed through to the owners’ individual tax returns.

Simplified yearly meeting and paperwork/record-keeping requirements

There are a lot of trustworthy LLC filing services that may assist you in establishing your new firm if you lack the time and/or expertise to do so on your own.

Read Also: Legal Requirements for Starting a Business in Ontario [Updated]


Choosing to begin a new company is both thrilling and terrifying. This choice is the first of many that lie ahead. It is recommended that you register your firm with all relevant state, local, and federal authorities, but this is not always required. If you want to start a company in Florida, you can use this manual as a helpful guide.

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