Rules and Regulations for Starting a Small Business in Florida

If you have the finances or the ideas for a new business opportunity and have finally decided to start your own business, you have a long but rewarding road ahead. Whether you enjoy being independent or look forward to becoming an entrepreneur with hundreds of employees, starting your own business can be a daunting task.

B4B say when starting a business in the state of Florida, you have to follow certain rules and regulations to ensure you launch a legally-compliant business. Before you officially get started, here’s what you should know:

Officially Forming a Business

The first step to officially forming your company is to choose your company or entity type. Depending on the business structure you choose, you’ll have to file a fictitious name or register with the Division of Corporations (DOC). The most common business structures include: 

  • For-profit corporations
  • Non-profit corporations
  • Limited liability companies(LLCs)
  • Partnerships
  • General partnerships 
  • Limited partnerships 
  • Sole proprietorships

You can find the form for registering your business online; it includes necessary permission filing information, and you will need to provide your business information and the names of owners. Additionally, you will have to pay a filing fee.

Typically, filing a new business costs $87.50 for corporations, $160.00 for LLCs, $50.00 for new partnership statements, and $1,061.25 for limited partnerships. Registering a fictitious name costs $50.00. 

Setting Up Federal, State, And County Taxes

Taxes may not be easy to file, but they are mandatory according to the law. Here are the types of taxes that most business pay:

  • Federal Business Tax– The IRS is in charge of all these taxes. When you file federal business taxes, such as income tax, excise tax, self-employment taxes, and estimated taxes, they collect and evaluate them. You can review the taxes required by your business on the official IRS website.
  • State Business Tax– Florida’s Department of Revenue collects and manages state business taxes, such as reemployment(unemployment) taxes, sales and use taxes, and corporate income taxes. 
  • Local Business Tax– Local county tax collectors collect local business taxes as a fee for rights to operate within the locality or county.

Securing Any Required Licenses

Depending on your industry, you may need certain business licenses to operate in Florida. You may have to obtain a license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) or Department of Agriculture and Consumer (DAC), so be sure to research your specific industry’s licensing requirements. 

Get the Mandatory Insurance Coverage

According to chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes, almost all Florida businesses legally need to have a workers’ comp policy for their employees. Workers comp insurance provides medical expenses and wage compensation if an employee sustains an injury or developers and illness through their work performance. 

The workers compensation laws in Florida are straightforward if you run a business outside of the construction or agricultural sectors; if you have four or more employees, you need to provide workers’ comp coverage. For construction companies, businesses with at least one employee require coverage, and for agricultural businesses, you must provide workers’ comp benefits if you have six or more employees. 

Other forms of small business insurance aren’t legally required but can help provide coverage for your business property or pay for legal expenses if someone sues you. Common forms of small business insurance include:

  • General liability insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Data breach insurance 

Research Before Proceeding 

Rather than rushing through the process, take your time to research your Florida’s laws and find out everything that you require to start up your business. Ensure that you have all the legal work done so that you’re free to get started on the road to success.