How to start a home-based business in Florida?
Florida is home to a vibrant technology environment, which has opened a window of opportunities for both small business owners as well as those who want to start a home-based business in Florida. One of the most important advantages of starting a business from home is low startup costs vis-à-vis businesses that rent commercial spaces. So, if you are planning a home startup, where do you begin? This guide will provide you with the information on how to start a home business in Florida. It also entails business and state requirements including home business registration, licenses and permits, as well as zoning laws and regulations.
Home Based Businesses in Florida
A home-based business (HBB) is also known as a home business and it is basically a form of small business, which is operating from the business owner or entrepreneur’s home office. It is important to understand that if you start a home-based business in Florida then it will not be the same as working from home. A home-based business can start from anywhere including your garage or even a friend’s kitchen and once you obtain home business licenses in Florida; you can easily start selling your products or service to local, national, and even international customers.
Some of the top businesses in the world actually took shape in the home environment. Some examples are Hewlett-Packard, Google, and Apple Computers. Some of the best known home based entrepreneurs include the late Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, William Redington, Moses and Endel Phillips, and Steve Wozniak among others.
Why start a home-based business in Florida?
There is no dearth of home-based business ideas in Florida and the state has a vibrant and pro-active business ecosystem to support such ideas. Florida is a state that provides high access to the internet, a robust infrastructure, a strong economy, and a good transportation and logistics system. These are not the only reasons to start your home-based business in Florida; there are several other advantages and benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Variety of Industries – One of the salient aspects of the startup landscape of Florida is the diverse industries the state has. The top industries in the state include tourism, International Trade, Financial Services, Consulting, Entertainment, professional services, food services, and technology. Technology makes up almost 8 percent of the state’s economy and is considered as one of the best segments for home-based business ideas in Florida. Consulting and tourism are also multi-million dollar industries and if you want to start a company in any of these industries; all you need is registration of your startup and home business licenses in Florida.
- Low startup cost – One of the salient aspects of forming a home startup in Florida is the low cost of forming a new business. If you want to start a home-based business in Florida as a sole proprietorship then there are almost negligible startup costs but if you set up your business as an LLC or a corporation, even then the startup costs are lower than other states. This is more so because you are not renting an office or commercial space thus saving an important monthly expense.
- Networking events – Florida has a pro business environment which is quite the benefit for small businesses. One of the important elements of this environment is networking events. Florida hosts a wide variety of networking events, meet-ups, and seminars for small businesses as well as those who want to start a home-based business in Florida. Participation in such events includes everyone from entrepreneurs to industry professionals, top executives and even thought leaders. These events also focus on various aspects of a startup or small business like marketing and business strategy workshops to provide information on how to start a home business in Florida. You can even meet prospective clients!
Popular home-based business ideas in Florida
There are plenty of home-based business ideas in Florida that you can explore as the state offers several helpful resources, grants, and incentives to different types of businesses in varied industries. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular forms of home businesses:
- Virtual Assistant (VA) – If you want to know how to start a home business in Florida then you first need to identify the type of business you want to do. One of the trending home-based business ideas in Florida is that of a virtual assistant (VA). A VA is a type of independent contractor specializing in providing different types of administrative services to a company or an individual client. These services can vary from calendar management to handling bookkeeping, project management, customer service, team meetings, and task coordination among others.
- Meal Delivery Services – One of the top home-based business ideas in Florida today is that of fresh home-cooked meals and their delivery. This type of business can be conducted from your home kitchen and the objective is to provide convenient meal kits consisting of high nutritional value food and pre-portioned ingredients. Meal delivery services can cater to a wide variety of customers right from individuals to families, schools, events, and corporations.
- Coaching or Consulting – You may require certifications in special areas of study as well as home business licenses in Florida to conduct this type of business. There are several benefits and you can work over a wide area of subjects e.g., if your home-based business ideas in Florida revolve around coaching students from home then you can choose any subject area; from programming languages to management. The same applies to consulting as you have the opportunity to provide valuable insights to other businesses through consulting by using your skill sets.
- SEO Services – Search engine optimization (SEO) has existed for over a decade and is still as relevant as it was before. If you are new to this industry but have the required knowledge and certifications then this is one of the top home-based business ideas in Florida that you can explore. You will need to obtain home business licenses in Florida prior to making your business operational. You can focus on a single aspect of SEO like Google Analytics Management or offer your expertise in multiple areas like Google Adwords Services, Social Media Optimization, Google Analytics Support, Link Management, and Content Management among others.
Steps to Start Home Based Business in Florida
You have a great business idea but are unsure of how to start a home business in Florida to launch that idea. It is important to understand that there are certain processes that you will need to consider for launching your business from home successfully. So, let’s take a look at the key areas that you need to focus on to launch your home-based business ideas in Florida.
1. Prepare your home based business plan
If you want to know how to start a home business in Florida then the first step would be to create a business plan. A strong business plan will let you focus on the market, industry, target audience, marketing plan, revenue, and even competition. In order to start a home-based business in Florida, there are specific components that should be included in your business plan and they are:
- Executive summary of your home-based business
- Research on your launch market
- Existing competition
- Future prediction of the market
- Revenue generation model
- Target audience
- Advertising, marketing and sales strategy
- Startup Expenses
- Operating plan
2. Check zoning laws and regulations for your home based business
You can start a home-based business in Florida in any industry but one of the key areas to focus on is zoning. Zoning laws and regulations will vary according to the city or county your business is operating from and lack of compliance with the same can often lead to penalties. In fact, you will be able to obtain home business licenses in Florida only if you are compliant with the zoning regulation in your jurisdiction. The importance of zoning lies in the fact that different districts have been divided into zones and each zoning district specifies where different activities can take place like industrial, commercial, and recreational among others.
For example: If you are planning to start a home-based business in Florida and are located in Miami-Dade County then you will need to check their zoning interactive map to locate your home. According to Miami – Dade County, Florida – Code of Ordinances, Chapter 33 – ZONING, Section 33-25, home occupation is allowed in the residential districts although you will be required to apply for and obtain an annual ‘certificate of use’ from the Zoning Permits Section. There is a list of Permitted and Prohibited Home Occupations though, which you need to check prior to applying for the permit.
3. Register your business with Florida Department of State
The first step towards transforming your home-based business ideas in Florida to a legal operational business entity is by registering the company. The registration documents, forms, and fees will be different based on the business structure. If you form a limited liability company then you will have to file “Articles of Organization” with the Division of Corporations along with a filing fee of $125. Similarly, if you form a general partnership then you will be required to file a “Partnership Registration Statement” along with a filing fee of $50. If you require help regarding how to start a home business in Florida then we at IncParadise can assist you with the process of registering your new business in the state.
Register your business to launch your home-based business idea in Florida!
4. Check if you need to obtain an EIN
Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required by businesses operating within the US or Florida. This is a unique 9-digit number also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and is assigned to businesses by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Your requirement for an EIN will depend on the form of business you operate. For example, a corporation will need to apply for a tax ID number although in a sole proprietorship; you can file taxes using your social security number (SSN). At any given point in time, as a sole proprietorship business, if you hire employees then you will have to apply for the Employer Identification Number.
5. Register for taxes
If you start a home-based business in Florida then you may be required to register for taxes. The type of taxes you have to file will depend entirely on:
- The business activity, ie. e-commerce or selling of services
- Type of business entity: corporation, LLC, partnership
Although Florida does not impose any state income taxes, it does have corporate tax and sales and use tax apart from other state and local taxes.
6. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits
Once you have applied for registration of your home-based startup, the next step is to apply for and obtain home business licenses in Florida. You will not be able to operate your business in the state without obtaining the required licenses or permits. Business licenses and permits in the state can be categorized under the following:
- General Business License – The general business license is known as the “Business Tax Receipt” and is issued by the county in which your home business is located. This type of license will be applicable if you start a home-based business in Florida that focuses on selling of services or products (goods) in the jurisdiction or county your business is based.
- Licenses for specific industries or profession – This type of home business licenses in Florida will be required if your industry or profession falls in the regulated categories. Such licenses will be issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Once you start a home-based business in Florida and become operational after obtaining the required licenses; they have to be renewed annually. You can also check our specialized Business License Research Report service as it will provide you information pertaining to Florida licensing requirements including license fees and documents to be filed.
Ready to Start Your Home Based Business in Florida?
If you are planning to start a home-based business in Florida, it is important to understand that it will be different from other commercial enterprises or companies in terms of business structure, taxes, revenue, and operation. Even as a home business, you will be able to leverage tax credits and other business incentives offered by the state. If you are wondering how to start a home business in Florida successfully then our experts can guide you with the process of starting your home-based business in Florida.
IncParadise is one of the top new business formation and registered agent service providers in Florida and we also offer additional services that will help you with any other requirements associated with a home-based business like obtaining an EIN, and filing of annual reports among others.