What You Need to Know Before Starting a Business in the State of Florida
Congratulations on your decision to start a business in Florida. This article will review all the state/county agencies that should be contacted when starting (or expanding) a new business in Florida. These agencies are: The Florida Department of Revenue; The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations; The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and you local county tax collection agency.
The Florida Department of Revenue collects the major Florida taxes which are:
Gross Receipts Tax on Utility Services
Motor Vehicle Warranty Fee (“Lemon Law Fee”)
Sales and Use
Secondhand Dealers and Secondary Metals Recyclers
Solid Waste Taxes and Fees
If your business includes any of these activities, or you are unsure if your business activity qualifies under any of these categories, you can find detailed information about each tax here: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/taxes/.
The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations registers corporations, partnerships, trademarks, fictitious names and liens for the state of Florida. If these business forms and activities apply to the structure of your company then you are required to register. Visit www.sunbiz.org for detailed information regarding registrations and procedures.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues various required licenses. Business activities that require licensing are:
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
Asbestos Contractors and Consultants
Boxing, Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts
Building Code Administrators and Inspectors
Certified Public Accounting
Community Association Managers
Electrical and Alarm Contractors
Elevators and Other Conveyances, Technicians, Inspectors and Companies
Employee Leasing Companies
Hotels, Motels, Apartments and other lodging
Pari-Mutuel Wagering Facilities
Restaurants, Take-outs Delivery, Caterers and Mobile Food Vendors
Yacht and Ship Brokers and Salespersons
If your business activity includes any of the above then you will need to apply for a license. If you would like further details, you can research each category here: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/services.html.
County Tax Collection Agencies also may or may not require additional taxes or licensing for their county. There isn’t one general guideline for county requirements since each county has their own unique set of regulations and procedures. Some common taxes collected by the county are tourist development/bed tax, ad valorem taxes (property taxes), occupational license taxes and taxes instituted by special levying districts. For more information, visit this site to view a list of Florida’s tax collector centers and their contact information: http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/taxcollectors.html.