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How to File Florida Articles of Incorporation for Profit Corporation

Date: 01/10/2022 | Category: | Author: Martin Pouzar

How to File Florida Articles of Incorporation for Profit Corporations?

Some of the largest companies in the US and the world are corporations as they offer several advantages over other forms of entities. You can form a corporation in almost every state of the US including Florida. You will have to file Florida articles of incorporation to register your business in the state. This is a guide, which will show you how to incorporate in Florida and what the process entails: choosing a name, declaring the purpose of corporation, specifying stock structures, and annual maintenance requirements of the state are all covered in this article.

Florida Articles of Incorporation

In the state of Florida articles of incorporation are the first step towards forming a profit corporation. There are different types of corporations that you can form in the state. For example:

The new business registration process will be different for different types of corporations like filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation will be different from that of a Nonprofit Corporation or a foreign profit corporation.

What are Florida articles of incorporation?

The state of Florida articles of incorporation are documents, which are also known as the corporate charter. These documents establish the fact that a profit corporation exists in the state of Florida. These formal documents are considered to be documents for registration of a new business and have to be filed with the state department or Division of corporations.

The articles of incorporation ensure a Florida corporation is recognized legally and constitutes the following information:

  • Name of the profit corporation
  • Principal street address or mailing address of the corporation
  • Name and address of the registered agent hired by the said corporation
  • The purpose for which the corporation has been organized
  • Names and addresses of the initial officers or board of directors
  • The number and type of shares of stock
  • The name and address of the Incorporator

It is important to note that in order to incorporate in Florida, a foreign for profit corporation will not be required to file articles of incorporation and instead will file Profit Qualification also known as Application by Foreign Corporation for Authorization to Transact Business in Florida.

Filing Articles of Incorporation in Florida for Profit Corporation

There is a process for filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation in Florida and this requires you to provide information and also ensure certain other interconnected processes and documentation is complete prior to filing. There are several other aspects you need to consider like naming of the business without which the state of Florida articles of incorporation cannot be filed.

There are different types of corporations you can form in Florida and for-profit corporations are meant for those who want to start a business selling products or services. You can form a foreign or a domestic Florida for-profit corporation.

1. Choose corporation name

The process of forming a profit corporation is governed by the 2019 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVI – Business Organizations, Chapter 607 – Florida Business Corporation Act. You can proceed towards filing articles of incorporation for profit corporations only after you have reserved a business name. A corporate name is an integral aspect of the business as it helps in identifying the entity. You have to think of a business name and ensure it is compliant with the requirements of Florida Statutes, FL Stat § 607.0401 (2019) as this will help you to file Florida articles of incorporation with ease. The primary requirements are:

  • The name should contain words like “corporation,” “incorporated” or “company.” You can also use abbreviations like “Corp.,” “Co.,” or “Inc.” as these will indicate that the said entity is a corporation and not any other form of business like a partnership, or an LLC.
  • The business name should not contain any words or phrases that imply any form of connection with the state or any federal government agency in the United States.

Once you have created a business name in accordance with state requirements; the next step would be to check for name availability. If the chosen business name is available then you can reserve it for a period of 120 days pursuant to FL Stat § 607.04021.

2. Choose a principal business address

If you are planning to incorporate in Florida then you will need a principal business address also known as the principal place of business. The principal address is the primary location of your business from where you not only conduct operations but where the senior management of the company is also located. It is like the head office of a company. The principal business address can vary according to the type of business e.g., the principal place of business for a retailer would be the retail store from where he or she runs their operation. Similarly, if you have started a home-based business then the principal place of business will be your home address. When you file Florida articles of incorporation, you will be required to mention this address.

3. Declare the purpose of your corporation

A corporation is a type of legal entity, which is distinct as well as separate from the owners of the entity. So, if you are filing articles of incorporation for a Profit Corporation in Florida then they will be governed by the state statutes. According to Chapter 607 – Florida Business Corporation Act, FL Stat § 607.0301 (2019), if you form a corporation in this state then it needs to declare a purpose of corporation, which is also known as the statement of corporate purpose.

A purpose statement is basically a type of single statement, which defines the reason behind the existence of your company beyond the need for making profit. The purpose may vary from one state to another but the essence of it remains the same, which is to conduct an ethical, lawful, and sustainable business for ensuring long term success and growth in its value. The purpose needs to be declared along with the articles. So, when you are ready to file Florida articles of incorporation, you will need to also submit a Specific Purpose for a “Professional Corporation”.

4. Specify stock structure

When you file state of Florida articles of incorporation; information provided in the formation document becomes registered with the Florida government systems. One of the important aspects of the articles is to specify a stock structure. As a corporation, you have to describe the type of shares that has to be issued to the owners as well as the number of shares to be made available to the investors of the said company. The number of shares being issued is also known as authorized stock, authorized shares, or authorized capital stock. There is no requirement regarding how many shares can be authorized. There are no limits on the number of stock a corporation can issue.

5. Directors and officers

One of the first steps prior to filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation is to name the board of directors. The common corporate structure is to have a management team often known as officers and a board of directors. The officers of a business corporation are normally hired by the board of directors while the board is elected by the shareholders. The board members of a profit corporation can be divided into three categories, which are:

  • Chair or the leader of the said corporation
  • Inside Directors comprise of shareholders or managers from within the corporation
  • Outside Directors are not a part of the management team

Once officers and board of directors have been selected, you need to file the state of Florida articles of incorporation along with their names and addresses.

6. Choose a registered agent

If you are planning to file the state of Florida articles of incorporation then one of the mandatory requirements is to designate and maintain a registered agent in the state pursuant to FL Stat § 607.0501 (2019). A registered agent’s primary responsibility is to accept service of process on behalf of a corporation.

IncParadise is one of the leading registered agents in Florida and we are compliant with all state requirements. We can not only accept Service of Process but also help you with filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation.

Choose our registered agent service today!

7. Incorporator

An incorporator is a person or individual who will help in the process to incorporate in Florida by filing an article of incorporation with the Division of Corporations on behalf of the said entity. A profit corporation can have one or more incorporators pursuant to Florida Statutes, FL Stat § 607.0201 (2019). It is not necessary for incorporators to be the owners of the company and can be an attorney or even a registered agent. An incorporator can be hired just to sign the formation documents required to file Florida articles of incorporation. Some of the other duties of an incorporator can be:

  • Selecting the members to form the board of directors
  • Organizing the initial meeting constituting the board of directors
  • Adopting the by-laws of the corporation

Planning to start a Florida Corporation?

8. Effective date

In the application to file Florida articles of incorporation, you will be required to provide an effective date. Although it is an optional requirement, an effective date is essentially any date in the near future. According to Florida statutes, if this date is not provided then the effective date of the corporation will be the date the state has approved your business formation application. So, if you were filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation on December 04, 2021 and have mentioned an effective date as January 04, 2022 then your corporation will be considered to exist from that date and if the effective date is not provided then December 04, 2021 will become the effective date.

Can I file the articles of incorporation online?

Yes. You can file Florida articles of incorporation online using the Sunbiz portal of the Division of Corporations. In order to file online, you will have to read through and follow the downloadable instructions for filing the Articles of Incorporation for Florida Profit Corporations from the same website. You will have to file the application along with a cover letter and all documents as required along with a filing fee of $35.

It is important to note that if the minimum statutory filing requirements are not met while filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation then the Division of Corporations may reject the filing and you will receive a rejection notice on the email provided. Alternatively, we at IncParadise can assist you with the process of filing online and ensure your application is not rejected. IncParadise has helped thousands of businesses to become operational by registering in Florida. We have incorporation experience, expertise, a professional team, and knowledge of state requirements for corporations and other forms of small businesses.

How long does the incorporation process take in Florida?

Once you file Florida articles of incorporation, the processing time will depend on how you submitted your articles. If you filed online along with the fee then the processing will take anywhere from 2-3 business days. If you have submitted documents and fee to incorporate in Florida through mail then the processing time is longer and can vary from 5-20 business days.

After filing articles of incorporation

There are certain processes and requirements that you have to meet after filing articles of incorporation for Profit Corporation. The documents are required in accordance with the 2019 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVI – Business Organizations, Chapter 607 – Florida Business Corporation Act. The documents required are:

  • Annual Reports – Once you file state of Florida articles of incorporation, you will need to ensure all annual requirements are met. Every corporation formed in the state of Florida pursuant to FL Stat § 607.1622 (2019) has to submit an annual report. The first annual report has to be submitted with the Division of Corporations through mail or online between January 1 and May 1 in the year following the year you incorporate in Florida.

    For example: If you register a Florida corporation online on July 05, 2021 then you will have to file your annual report the next year between January 1 and May 1, 2022. You will have to file subsequent annual reports by May 1 of each calendar year there onwards. Failure to file an annual report within the due date will lead to a late fee of $400.

  • Corporate Bylaws – One of the important requirements post filing of state of Florida articles of incorporation is the corporate bylaws. In most states, maintaining of corporate bylaws is mandatory although they are not public and are not required to be filed with the Division of Corporations pursuant to FL Stat § 607.0206 (2019). The board of directors or incorporators of a profit corporation have to adopt initial corporate bylaws unless the articles of incorporation specify that the power to create it lies with the shareholders. The corporate bylaws are created after you incorporate in Florida and are considered to be the governing rules or guiding principles for the operation of the corporation. Once created, the corporate bylaws have to be approved by the board.
  • Organization Meeting – Once you file Florida articles of incorporation and have received the certificate stating your company is incorporated, the said corporation will have to hold an organization meeting. It is also known as a corporate organizational meeting and will be held by initial directors as named in the articles of incorporation. The primary responsibility of the initial directors is to appoint officers, adopt bylaws, issue shares, and carry on with any other business area that may have been brought into the meeting. If initial directors have not been named when filing articles of incorporation for profit corporation, then it will be the responsibility of the incorporators to hold an organizational meeting to elect directors pursuant to FL Stat § 607.0205 (2019).

Ready to Incorporate in Florida?

The filing of state of Florida articles of incorporation is a process, which requires you to submit different types of information and documentation. Sometimes, the incorporation documents may get rejected by the Division of Corporations if the information provided is missing or incorrect. IncParadise, one of the leading incorporation service providers in Florida can provide meaningful assistance towards ensuring you can incorporate in Florida with ease.

Our team of incorporation experts will not only help you to file the Florida articles of incorporation but also offer assistance with several other business related services. We also provide a host of additional services like foreign qualification, DBA, and obtaining an EIN.

Incorporate your new business in Florida with IncParadise!

How do I start a small business in Florida

Date: | Category: | Author: Martin Pouzar

How do I start a small business in Florida

If you have a startup idea and want to form a business then destination matters! The physical location of any business is a determining factor when it comes to having access to skilled labor, business laws, tax regulations, and other startup resources. Looking at all these factors, entrepreneurs more often than not prefer to start a small business in Florida. This guide has been created to provide information regarding how you can form a small business in Florida and the requirements: preparing a business plan, choosing a business name, the applicable taxes, and small business licenses in Florida among others, are all addressed in this article.

Small Businesses in Florida

Florida is home to 2.7 million small businesses and they are considered to be the backbone of the state’s strong, consistent, and growing economy. There are several top industries that are contributing to the trillion dollar Florida economy like tourism, the $135 billion international trade, the $8.8 billion agriculture industry, aerospace and aviation, and financial services, etc. Some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida are flourishing in industries like information and technology as the internet landscape is going through a massive paradigm shift. As an entrepreneur you can start a small business in Florida in any of these high-powered industries. The state offers plenty of advantages and opportunities irrespective of the industry you launch your business in.

Why start a small business in Florida?

Florida is the headquarters of several companies that have featured in the prestigious Fortune magazine’s 2020 list or the 2020 Fortune 500 list like the Publix Super Markets and World Fuel Services among others. The state is favored by entrepreneurs and startups and some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida include Jushi Holdings, Path Light Pro, AmeriLife, Healthmap Solutions, Activus Connect, Resilience Inc., US Global, and Motorsport Games, etc. The rise in the number of small businesses and startups is due to the numerous benefits and small business opportunities in Florida. Let us look at some of the top reasons for starting a new business in this state.

  • Good tax climate – Florida is preferred by many as it has a low tax burden as compared to some of the other economically strong states. The state does not have any personal income tax and the corporate tax is one of the lowest in the nation.
  • Availability of Capital – If you are planning to start a small business in Florida then you may require initial capital and the state has plenty of options for funding. For example you can apply for small business grants, loan programs, microfinance guarantee programs, and venture capital for seed stage businesses and startups.
  • Business Incentive Programs – One of the key factors that have been providing the necessary boost to some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida is the wide variety of incentive programs. These business incentive programs offer everything from corporate income tax incentive programs to high impact performance incentives (HIPI).

Small business opportunities in Florida

Florida is considered as the fourth largest economy in the nation and has been growing significantly due to the contribution of small businesses primarily. There are a wide variety of small business opportunities in Florida through infrastructure, incentive programs, a robust economy, pro-business laws, a favorable tax climate and many more. Some of the astounding small business facts and opportunities include:

  • Florida is responsible for almost 29% of total U.S. trade with the Caribbean’s and Latin American countries and this has been made possible because the state has a strong trade infrastructure and pro-business laws.
  • Some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida are based in Miami, which is considered as one of the leading centers for international banking in the nation.
  • Florida is situated at a point, which makes it a transportation hub that is well connected to the rest of the country, South American countries, and the rest of the world.
  • Due to the small business opportunities in Florida; it is home to more than 25,000 high-tech companies.
  • One of the much needed resources of every new business is a skilled workforce and the state has the 4th largest labor force in the United States.
  • Florida offers affordable cost of living as compared to some of the top economic hubs in the nation.

Steps to Start a Small Business in Florida

Entrepreneurs find Florida a favorable state for conducting their business due to the many advantages it has. There is an immense potential for small business opportunities in Florida especially foreign trade zones (FTZ) and opportunity zones. In order to leverage these advantages and opportunities, you will need to first apply for registration and small business licenses in Florida. The question is how do you establish your startup in the state? Here’s a walk through the important aspects of the new business formation process.

1. Prepare your business plan

If you are planning to start a small business in Florida then one of the important decisions to make is creating a business plan. The importance of a business plan lies in the fact that it will help you to recognize your market and target audience while identifying challenges and competition. It will answer your requirements pertaining to startup costs, the type of small business licenses in Florida, and also clarify small business objectives and strategy. A business plan varies according to the location of a business, the primary business activity, the target audience and the market. The important components of any small business startup plan are:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market and industry analysis
  • Product or Services Description
  • Marketing and sales
  • Management and organization
  • SWOT analysis
  • Financial projections

2. Choose a name for your business

It is important to think and create a business name as in the near future it will convey the position, values, and tone of your startup or brand. You need to consider certain aspects when thinking of a proper business name like:

  • What is the business offering – products or services
  • The industry
  • The type of audience being targeted
  • Offline or online business

Once you have thought of a name, you will need to reserve it with the Division of Corporations by paying a name reservation fee. You can start a small business in Florida only after you have reserved your name. The steps to follow when choosing a name include:

  • Choose a name
  • Ensure your chosen name is in compliance with Florida statutes
  • Check for business name availability
  • If it is available then reserve it for a 120-day period

3. Choose a location

There are several small business opportunities in Florida but the right location will ensure you are able to access these opportunities and use them for long-term benefits of the business. The location that you choose for your startup is extremely important as it drives all-round growth and performance. A location also plays an important role in attracting a skilled workforce. There are several reasons why choosing the right business location is important and they are:

  • Attracting and retention of talent
  • Initial Cost of starting a new business
  • Cost of commercial space
  • Proximity to local businesses
  • Proximity to competitors
  • Access to transportation and logistics
  • Accessibility to customers and employees
  • Demographics and target audience
  • Taxes and regulations

The top locations for fastest-growing small businesses in Florida include Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Florida City, Naples, Tallahassee, Sarasota, and Orange City.

4. Choose a business structure

A business structure is the key towards successful operations of any business. Each type of structure has its own pros and cons. For example, you don’t have to register a sole proprietorship with the state but you have to do so for an LLC. If you want to start a small business in Florida then you can choose a structure from any of the following:

Some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida have chosen their business structures on the basis of limited liability and tax advantages.

Do you want to start a small business in Florida?

5. Apply for an EIN

If you are planning to start a small business in Florida then one of the foremost requirements is to apply for and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a unique tax ID number that is also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and is issued to businesses by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The EIN is not applicable to all entities and helps in the filing of tax returns in the state of Florida.

6. Know about taxes

One of the primary reasons why entrepreneurs choose to start small businesses in Florida is because it is a tax-friendly state. The state does not impose any personal income taxes but small businesses will be subjected to some form of taxes depending on the type of business and business activity. The different types of taxes in Florida are:

  • Corporate Tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Sales and Use Tax
  • Insurance Taxes
  • Communications Services Tax
  • Discretionary Sales Surtax
  • Reemployment Tax
  • Documentary Stamp Tax
  • Gross Receipts Tax
  • Corporate Income and Emergency Excise Tax

Whether you are a new business or one of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida; the tax rate would be different for each category of taxes. For example, the corporate income tax is 3.535% while the sales tax is 6%.

7. Get the necessary business licenses/permits

Once you have registered your startup, the next step is to apply for a small business licenses in Florida as without the necessary licenses or permits; you will not be able to operate in the state. Licenses and permits in the state are categorized under the following:

  • General Business License: This type of license is also known as the business tax receipt and is primarily issued by the city or county your business is based in. It is issued for specific business activities and hence might not be applicable for all types of businesses. If you start a small business in Florida that is planning to sell goods or services then you will be required to obtain a business tax receipt. So, e.g., if your business is situated in Palm Beach County, Florida then you will have to file an Application for Local Business Tax Receipt with the office of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector.
  • License/permits for specific industries or professions: If you are in a profession or start a small business in Florida in an industry regulated by the state then you will be required to apply for licenses or permits with different state authorities or regulatory bodies. The state agencies or departments responsible for issuance of small business licenses in Florida are:

    • Department of Business and Professional Regulations
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Health
    • Florida Bar

Due to the different categories of small business licenses in Florida, it can become quite difficult to identify the types of licenses required for your business entity. This is where our business license report service can be beneficial as it not only helps in identifying the licenses specific to your business but also provides you with comprehensive information and details pertaining to corresponding licensing fees and documents required for acquiring such a license

8. Hire good talents

One of the most important aspects of starting a new business is the process of hiring good talent. Every company needs employees for specific tasks like accounting, marketing or sales, public relations, distribution, and retail among others. Amongst other small business opportunities in Florida, the state provides a deep talent pool and this is one of the key drivers of the economy and business climate. Here are some tips to help you find them.

  • Be flexible and utilize freelancers and contractors wherever necessary
  • Since company culture is extremely important for small businesses, recruitment based on a candidate’s culture fit always helps
  • Offer attractive compensation to the right candidates along with added benefits
  • Offer growth opportunities within the company as this is a crucial aspect for attracting talent
  • Streamline your overall hiring process
  • Use your existing network of contacts for candidate referrals

9. Secure funding for your business

Florida has a strong startup environment and if you are thinking of starting a new business in the state then there are two types of costs to focus on:

  • Startup Costs
  • Operating Costs

These costs are important and different from each other as startup costs are one-time costs while operating costs are continuing in nature and can vary from one year to the next. How does one manage excess expenditure especially when it comes to handling operating costs? This is where small business opportunities in Florida can provide the much required assistance through a variety of funding programs. Some of the ways you can secure funding in the state are:

  • Bootstrapping or using any amount of personal funds you can manage
  • Consider your friends and family if you are looking at minimal expenses
  • Explore other funding sources like micro-loan organizations and crowd-funding sites
  • Look at venture capitalists (VC) and angel capital associations
  • Apply for small business grants in Florida

10. Prepare for the worst

You can start a small business in Florida with ease but it is important to be psychologically prepared for the worst as natural and man-made disasters can strike anytime. Surprisingly, according to readwrite.com, 74% of small businesses don’t have any post disaster recovery plan while 84% of startups don’t have any insurance against natural disasters or events. Florida has been bearing the brunt of hurricanes, thunderstorms, wildfires, floods, tropical storms, and tornadoes for several decades and this can be disruptive for small businesses and especially home-based businesses. Hence, it is important to stay prepared and this can be done through the following:

  • Make risk assessment of natural disasters or financial crisis in advance
  • Ensure you have a backup of all your computer or business data
  • Ensure a COOP or Continuity of Operations Plan is in place
  • Pick up an insurance plan that provides coverage necessary to help your business become operational post crisis.

11. Brand your business

Branding is integral towards creating an identity of a small business. The process of creating an identity through branding involves several important elements like the name of the company, logo, and graphic design, which can identify the company, brand or product from others. When you start a small business in Florida, the company name and logo can be used in a variety of branding and marketing collaterals like company website, business cards, letterhead, envelopes, printed brochures, social media graphics, Direct Mail, Tradeshow Displays, Packaging, and catalogs among others. The most important thing about branding your business is that all elements collectively help in supporting the sales and marketing efforts of your company and takes you one step closer to becoming one of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida.

12. Market your business

Branding and marketing are interrelated as branding exercises provide the support for implementation of marketing strategies required. Along with a strong branding strategy, you need to work on a marketing plan before you start a small business in Florida. There are several mediums or platforms through which you can market your business. Some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida have successfully used the following ways to market their business.

  • Word of mouth
  • Company Website
  • Company Blog
  • Social media and email marketing
  • Digital advertising like PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
  • Free coupons or free products or service for first time client
  • Create listings in major online directories like Yelp
  • Run contests for discounted of free product or service

13. Plan to expand your business

There are several small business opportunities in Florida that will not only help you to operate your business successfully but also provide a definite path towards business expansion. It is important though to create an expansion plan in advance especially when you are creating your business plan. A good expansion plan needs to focus on:

  • Targeting new customer base and markets
  • Reinvent your business to take advantage of various online opportunities
  • Think of expanding using new sales as well as delivery channels
  • One of the fastest ways to expansion and growth is by acquiring other businesses
  • Add to your existing product or service list based on customer or market need
  • Form a strategic partnership with the right businesses or companies
  • Some of the fastest-growing small businesses in Florida have created a franchise model

Ready to Start Your Small Business in Florida

There are plenty of small business opportunities in Florida if you are thinking of starting a new business in the state. You will need to register your business and obtain small business licenses in Florida to become operational. IncParadise has a team of experts who can guide you through the process of starting your small business in Florida.

We have also helped thousands of companies to start their own businesses in Florida. IncParadise understands that different businesses have different requirements and hence offers many additional services like obtain EIN, filing annual reports, and foreign qualification among others.

IncParadise can help you start a small business in Florida Today!

Florida Business Entity Search

Date: | Category: | Author: Martin Pouzar

A Guide to Florida Business Entity Search

There are different types of businesses you can form in Florida right from a limited liability company to a general partnership, corporation, and even sole proprietorship. You can form a domestic entity or register a foreign business in the state. There are times when you may need to conduct a Florida business entity search especially if you are looking to see if your chosen business name is available or not. This guide has been created specifically on how to do a business entity name search in Florida, the importance of entity search, and the different search options available among others.

Florida Business Entity Search

The number of small businesses in the U.S. has grown from 16,529,955 (16 million) in 2000 to more than 25 million in 2021 while Florida is home to 2.5 million small businesses. The increasing number of small businesses indicates that Florida has a pro-business environment and offers plenty of advantages to ensure these businesses are able to move towards a path of growth and expansion.

If you are planning to form a startup in Florida then one of the important requirements in filing registration is a Florida business name search. This search basically helps you in identifying if the chosen name or assumed name for your new business or foreign entity is not registered in the Florida business name database managed by the division of corporations.

What is a Florida business entity search?

You can choose from different types of businesses depending on your requirement and the benefits such forms offer. The first step towards forming any business like a limited liability company or a corporation is identifying and reserving a business name. The process to check the availability of a specific business name in the state is known as Florida business entity search. Let’s look at the following example to understand this concept and process.

Example: If you are thinking of forming a hiking startup called “Hiking Florida LLC” then the first thing you need to do is to ensure the name is available. This will require you to conduct a Florida business name search also known as name availability check with the database of the division of corporations. This process can also be used to check availability of a fictitious name in the Florida business name database.

If you are wondering how to do a business entity name search in Florida then it is important to note that this entire process is conducted online.

Why is it important to do a Florida business entity search?

A Florida business entity search is an important process and this has to be conducted prior to filing the new business registration or incorporation documents and application. A business name or a fictitious name is the primary identity for any new or existing business irrespective of the entity structure. Hence, there are certain naming rules and regulations that you will be required to follow and these rules or regulations vary according to the type of business.

The rules for an LLC name will be different from that of a corporation and similarly, an assumed or fictitious name would be different from the name of a small business owner. In order to understand how to do a business entity name search in Florida, you have to first recognize the significance of a business name search. Some of the important reasons are:

  • The process of business entity search ensures your chosen name is not already in use by any other forms of business like a corporation or LLC in the state. The division of corporation allows you to search the entire Florida business name database to identify if your chosen name is unique or not.
  • The process of name search will highlight whether your chosen name is distinguishable even after using words like Limited Liability Company or abbreviation like “L.L.C.” or “LLC”
  • Names that have a suffix, a punctuation mark, a symbol, a definite or indefinite article etc., are not considered as distinguishable e.g., if your chosen business name is ‘Alpha Treks & Hike’ and the Florida business name search pulls up another business name in the records as ‘Alpha Treks and Hike’ then your name will not be considered as being distinguishable.

How to do a business entity name search in Florida?

A business name is the most important aspect of any type of business filing in Florida. Without a proper name, you will not be able to incorporate or register your startup. You have to provide a business name in most business documents. For example, Florida annual reports, applications for Amendment, SS-4 application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), cover letters, change of registered agent application, affidavit to change members, managers, officers, or directors, and articles of correction and dissolution among others all require a business name. Hence, conducting a proper Florida business name search is extremely important and there are several ways of doing it.

Visit Search Records

The first step towards how to conduct a business entity name search in Florida starts from the Florida Division of Corporation’s website also known as the Sunbiz Search Records option. The website provides several options to both new and existing domestic and foreign entities to conduct a Florida business name search through a comprehensive business name database.

Know the search options

There are different Florida business entity search options that you can consider depending on your requirements or needs. The options are as follows:

  • Search by entity name – The first type of Florida business name search option is by searching using a chosen name. When opting for this option, you can search the name database for Limited Liability Companies, corporations, Limited Partnership, and Trademarks. If you are planning to start a corporation and you have chosen a name like Florida Hills Inc., then while searching using this name, you will find that it is not a unique name as you may find some other the entities with similar names in the Florida business name database you may find similar names like, Florida Hills Corporation, Florida Hills Corp., Florida Hills, Inc., and Florida Hills. In such a scenario, you will have to change the name and search again. For example, you can choose ‘Florida Hill Store’ and if the search shows this name is available, then you have the green light to use it.
  • Search by registered agent – If you are planning to form a registered agent service or you want to conduct a Florida business entity search using the name of the registered agent then there is the option to do so. If you are searching for a registered agent service using the name ‘Registered Agents Inc.’, then the search will reveal several names along with the entity number.
  • Search by trademark name – A trademark name is used primarily to identify brands or goods and hence is known as a brand name. In order to register a trademark name in Florida, you will need to do it through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Florida business name database of the division of corporations allows searching for trademark names. The database lists all trademarks as well as all service mark registrations by name and the result includes document numbers and status of each entity.
  • Search by Trademark Owner Name – This type of Florida business entity search is conducted using the trademark owner name. The Florida business name database lists the trademark as well as service mark owners by their name and the results reveal the document numbers related to the names.
  • Search by EIN – The EIN or the Employer Identification Number is a unique nine digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses. You can use the EIN to conduct a Florida business name search and the result may bring up several entities registered under a single Federal Employer Identification number (FEI) and EIN.
  • Search Detail by Document Number – If you are wondering how to do a business entity name search in Florida then one of the options is conducting a name search using the document number of the business. The document number of a Florida business is a 6 or 12 digit number that has been assigned to an entity by the Division of Corporations during the registration or incorporation process. An example would be, if you search using a document number ‘F93200’ then it brings out the name of the entity and its filing information, status (active/inactive), and even the registered agent name and address.

Submit and view entity details (Active/Inactive)

The important step towards how to do a business entity name search in Florida is to use any of the name search options offered by the Division of Corporations. A Florida business name search can be conducted using the official state of Florida website (Sunbiz) for both active and inactive businesses. As an example, if you conduct the search using the document number ‘F93201’, it will bring up the following filing information:

  • Name of the business
  • FEI/EIN Number
  • Date of registration
  • Status (Active/Inactive)
  • Principal address and mailing address
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Officer or director detail
  • Annual Reports and filing dates

Looking to Conduct a Florida Business Entity Search?

The process of a Florida business entity search is helpful for all forms of businesses as it helps you to check the availability of a business name and if available, you can reserve or register the name. A new business can be registered only after it has reserved its name and IncParadise can provide any guidance or information that you require to form a new business in Florida.

We can help you to do a Florida business name search and get you the details of the search. IncParadise is one of the leading business formation service providers in Florida and provides several additional services to help different types of businesses.

Do you want to form a Florida business?

Florida LLC Annual Report

Date: | Category: | Author: Martin Pouzar

A Guide to Florida LLC Annual Report

When you form a new business in Florida, there are certain annual requirements that certain businesses need to fulfill. A Florida LLC annual report is one such requirement of the state and it has to be filed annually. The annual report is a type of business document where a company needs to provide specific information as stated by Florida Statutes or by the division of corporations. This guide has been created to provide you with an insight into what an annual report is, how you can file such a report and the Florida LLC annual requirements.

Florida LLC Annual Report

An annual report is defined as a document that business entities like public corporations need to provide to their shareholders annually. This type of document describes the business operations and existing financial status of the company. An annual report has become a regulatory requirement for different forms of business entities after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

A business annual report may differ from one state to another in terms of information required. It may also vary according to the type of business filing, e.g., a Florida LLC annual report will contain information that is different from that of a traditional C corporation. An annual report is also known differently in various states like a Biennial Report in Iowa, an Annual Franchise Tax Report in Arkansas, a Periodic Report in Colorado, a statement of information in California, and a Public Information Report in Texas.

What is a Florida LLC annual report?

Most forms of businesses have to file an annual report in Florida as it contains specific information pertaining to the said business entities. So, if you are planning to form a limited liability company then you will have to file a Florida LLC annual report. The report has to be filed by foreign limited liability companies as well and is governed by the 2019 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVI – Business Organizations.

An annual report is one of the most important Florida LLC annual requirements and it contains specific business information based on the type of entity filing it. Some of the important information contained in this report pursuant to FL Stat § 605.0212 (2019) includes:

  • The name of the domestic or foreign limited liability company
  • The street address of the Florida LLC or its principal office address as well as the mailing address
  • The date of formation of a domestic LLC or a foreign limited liability company along with the jurisdiction of its formation
  • The name and address of the Florida registered agent as hired by the LLC
  • The federal employer identification number (FEIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) is crucial towards filing a Florida LLC annual report
  • The name, title, and address of at least one person managing the affairs of the domestic or foreign LLC. In most cases, the information pertains to a member

It is important to ensure that the information provided in the annual report is current and has to be delivered to the division of corporations for filing along with the appropriate Florida LLC annual report fee.

Why is filing Florida LLC annual reports important?

It is important to not only file a Florida LLC annual report but also file it on time. In the state of Florida, it is mandatory for a domestic or foreign LLC to file an annual report and it has to be filed irrespective of whether there are any changes in name, address, or ownership of the LLC. There are several reasons why filing of the annual report is important and some of them are:

  • It is one of the most important Florida LLC annual requirements according to 2019 Florida Statutes
  • Title XXXVI – Business Organizations, Chapter 605 – Florida Revised Limited Liability Company Act 605.0212 – Annual Report for Department.
  • The report is used for confirming or updating business information in the records of the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations.
  • Filing a Florida LLC annual report each year is important as it will help a business entity or LLC to maintain an “active status” in the state.
  • A limited liability company, both domestic and foreign, will be subjected to a heavy penalty or late fee for not submitting on time and the company may also be dissolved if outstanding reports are not filed within a stipulated period of time.

If you require any help regarding Florida LLC annual requirements like annual reports then our team of expert professionals can provide you with necessary guidance.

Filing a Florida LLC Annual Report

A Florida LLC annual report is one of the most important requirements towards annual maintenance of a limited liability company in the state. There are several aspects that you need to consider like the Florida LLC annual report fee and the date of filing as this will help in making the process of filing the report hassle free. Let’s look at these aspects in detail.

How do I file LLC annual reports in Florida?

The State of Florida requires you to file a Florida LLC annual report pursuant to FL Stat § 605.0212 (2019) with the Division of Corporations. You will have to file your LLC annual report using the Sunbiz portal of the Department of State, Division of Corporations. It has to be filed online and the portal can be accessed using the 6 or 12-digit number that has been assigned to your limited liability company when it was registered with the Division of Corporations.
Alternatively, We at IncParadise can help you file the annual report online along with the Florida LLC annual report fee. When you file an annual report through us, the process is quick and easy and as a result, it saves you precious time. This is not all, IncParadise can help with filling of the annual report in such a way that you can avoid making any mistakes and ensure your annual report doesn’t get rejected by the Division of Corporations.

Save time by Ordering Your Florida Annual Report from here!

Florida LLC Annual Report Fee

The fee for filing a Florida LLC annual report for a domestic entity as well as a foreign LLC is $138.75. If you are filing online then payment of the fee can be made using a debit card, a credit card, as well as a Prepaid Sunbiz E-File Account. You can also use a check or money order to submit your Florida LLC annual report fees.

When is the due date to file your LLC annual report?

If you are filing a Florida LLC annual report for the first time then the filing date is between January 1 and May 1 of the year following the year in which the domestic LLC was formed or the foreign limited liability company received its certificate of authority.

For Example: If you have formed a domestic or foreign limited liability company on September 15, 2021 then according to Florida LLC annual requirements, your first annual report will have to be filed between January 1 and May 1, 2022.

You will have to submit subsequent annual reports by May 1, each year pursuant to FL Stat § 605.0212 (2019).

As a client of IncParadise, you will have access to our entity management software, which will send you email notification for filing Florida Annual reports more than a month prior to the due date. As a result, you will be able to order it using our system in advance and prevent any late filing penalties.

Consequences of Late Filing of Florida LLC Annual Report

A Florida LLC annual report is due on January 1st of each year and you can file it till May 1 of the same year. If you fail to submit the annual report within the due date then it will result in a penalty of $400. You will then have to file with a Florida LLC annual report fee of $138.75 plus $400, which is $538.75. The filing date with late fee is the third Friday of September each year e.g., 3rd Friday of September 2021 was the 17th while that of 2022 is 16th of September.

If you fail to file a Florida LLC annual report by the third Friday of September then the limited liability company in question will be administratively dissolved or revoked in the state department records by the fourth Friday of the same month (September). Once your LLC becomes a revoked or dissolved entity, you can reinstate it by filing a reinstatement application and paying all outstanding fees, which includes Florida LLC annual report fee, late fee, and the reinstatement fee of $100. On filing reinstatement, the administratively dissolved or revoked limited liability company will regain active status.

Why is using a Florida Registered Agent Service a Better Option?

When you form a limited liability company in Florida, it is mandatory to hire a registered agent as dictated by Florida Statutes, FL Stat § 605.0113 (2019). A reputable registered agent like IncParadise will provide many benefits especially when it comes to filing a Florida LLC annual report. Some of the benefits you can enjoy are:

  • When you hire registered agent services, you will be notified of the filing date of the annual report so that you never miss your due date. This will help you to save on late fees and ensure you enjoy good standing
  • A good RA service will ensure your business is in compliance with all Florida LLC annual requirements
  • Florida registered agents like IncParadise offer the service of helping business owners or members to directly file Florida LLC annual report from their website and this will help you save time
  • A Florida registered agent can also guide you regarding information required for filing a Florida LLC annual report and ensure the information is correct, so that the annual report gets filed and is not rejected.
  • In a worst case scenario, if your limited liability company has already been revoked by the state department then a registered agent can help you with the reinstatement process. They can also provide information on the various Florida LLC annual report fees, and other fees to be paid for making the entity active.

There are several other benefits of having a registered agent in Florida including service of process and providing guidance towards fulfilling all annual business requirements in the state.

Choose one of the top registered agent services in Florida!

Need Any Assistance in Filing Your Florida LLC Annual Report?

There are different types of Florida LLC annual requirements including other annual compliances that a new and existing limited liability company has to maintain in the state. If you choose us as your registered agent in Florida; you will be able to use our services to ensure that your Florida LLC annual report is always filed on time with the division of corporations.

We also offer many additional services for Florida business like DBA filing, foreign qualification, and obtaining EIN.

Need assistance with filing Florida LLC Annual Reports?

How to start a home-based business in Florida

Date: | Category: | Author: Martin Pouzar

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:

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.

Start a Florida home-based business with IncParadise!

How to Start an Online Business in Florida

Date: | Category: | Author: Martin Pouzar

How to Start an Online Business in Florida?

Entrepreneurs are choosing to be online increasingly as more and more people prefer to order products and services from the convenience of their home or office. There have been increased investments from the computing technology industry and e-commerce has become the trend for many product and service oriented businesses. You can also start an online business in Florida and become a part of the e-commerce revolution and this guide will show you how exactly you can achieve that. The guide provides a brief outline of benefits of doing business online in Florida, trending online business ideas in Florida, preparation of a business plan, registering such a business, licensing and permits, and regulatory requirements of the state.

Online Business in Florida

Online Business is also known as electronic business or e-business and entails any form of commercial or business transaction over the internet. If you start an online business in Florida in the services industry then it may include sharing of information amongst businesses, individuals, and groups using the internet as a medium of communication. However, if you are planning to sell goods or products then you will have to start an ecommerce business in Florida. E-Commerce is known as electronic commerce and is an integral aspect of online businesses as it involves electronic funds transfer, inventory management, supply chain management, automated data collection systems, and online processing of transactions.

There are different types of e-commerce business categories but the most popular models are the Business to Consumer (B2C) and the Business-to-Business (B2B). You will require an online business license in Florida if you are planning to buy and sell products or services using electronic channels exclusively.

For example: You are an entrepreneur with an idea to sell services as a wedding photographer. Instead of e-commerce, you will need to start an online business in Florida offering photography services. Now, if you plan to sell your photographs, different types of clothing, mugs, jute bags etc., using your pictures then your business will become an e-commerce enterprise. Either way, it will be considered as a Business to Consumer (B2C) business.

What are the biggest benefits of doing business online in Florida?

Florida has a pro-business climate and along with a state-of-the-art infrastructure as well as a skilled workforce; the state is considered the perfect starting point for any new business. Florida provides a cost-efficient alternative to some of the better known high-tech states and this is beneficial if you are planning to start an online business in Florida. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits of operating an online business in Florida.

  • Access to the Internet – Florida internet coverage and availability is one of the most important deciding factors if you are planning to start an online business in Florida. According to a survey report by BroadbandNow, 96.8% of Florida residents have access to high speed internet services. This means that if you were to start an ecommerce business in Florida then you will be able to reach 96.8 percent of customers in the state.
  • Global Audience – There are several benefits of high speed internet services and one of the top benefits is being able to reach out to a global audience. Since Florida has a high internet coverage and availability, it is great for e-commerce and home-based businesses. If you start an online business from home in Florida, you will be able to provide a variety of services to a global audience.
  • Business Incentives – Whether you start an ecommerce business in Florida or operate an offline brick and mortar retail outlet; you will be able to leverage the business incentives provided by state and local counties. There are tax credit programs based on the industry like the services or information technology industry that you can benefit from and you can also apply for grants.

Top online business ideas in Florida

Florida is home to a large number of startups and most of these companies have evolved from a single business idea. If you already have a business idea or are looking for an idea to start an online business in Florida then there is plenty to choose from. There are some ideas that are trending and there are some that have had a slow start. Some of the top ideas to start an online business from home in Florida are:

  • Online Retail – One of the best ideas is to start an online business in Florida in the retail segment. You don’t have to necessarily compete with the big e-commerce portals because you can create your own niche like selling your designs and artwork or selling baked products.
  • Mobile Apps Development – If you are planning to start an online business from home in Florida then mobile apps development is an option that you can really benefit from. Yes, you will need to have certifications in various computer programming languages like HTML5, C#, JavaScript, and Swift among others.
  • Translation Services – This is one of highly valued services where an online business license in Florida is not required as long as you are working as a freelancer. You may require proper certifications though. This type of services can be used for translating documents, projects, and also for communication purposes.
  • Social Media Consulting – One of the top and trending online business ideas in Florida is that of social media consulting. This is a type of business segment, which can be conducted online as the objective is to reach out to a target audience and engage them using various social networking channels.

Starting an Online Business in Florida

Florida offers a robust platform and startup resources for all types of online or e-commerce businesses but first you need to form a new business. The following processes will help you in understanding the state and business specific requirements as well as documentation to start an online business in Florida.

1.Prepare your Florida online business idea and plan

Your business idea is the most important aspect as it will provide the first step towards creating a business plan. In order to start an online business in Florida, you need to have a business plan as it will provide you with the information you require to launch and sustain your online business successfully. You can use the internet to see how other entrepreneurs are converting their ideas into sustainable startups. Although a business plan is created based on online business ideas in Florida, there are certain key components of the plan, which remains the same for most forms of businesses. These components are:

  • Business objective and mission
  • Your short and long-term goals
  • Defining the targeted online demographic profile
  • Existing online market for your idea
  • Providing a value proposition
  • Creating a revenue model
  • Defining benefits of the online service or product
  • Developing a strong internet marketing strategy
  • Defining risks
  • A financial plan regarding scaling of business

2. Choose your online business name

Once you have an idea, you can start your business over the internet and obtain an online business license in Florida. All this will be possible only after you have chosen a business name as it is important towards giving the brand or the idea an identity. Here are some tips for choosing a name for an online business:

  • Keep the name short, simple, and memorable
  • The name should have a connection to what the business offers
  • Since, it will be for an online business, ensure the domain name is available
  • In order to reserve the business name with Florida State, check for name availability
  • Follow all business naming requirements mentioned in Florida statutes

If the said online business idea in Florida is a home-based business or a sole proprietorship then check with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to ensure there are no name copyright infringements.

3. Choose a business structure for your online business

A business structure is quite important to any new startup and one of the most popular forms of online business is sole proprietorship. This is a type of online company that is operated by an individual or a single owner. There are several other forms of businesses that you can consider if you are planning to start an online business in Florida. These structures include:

There are some important aspects to keep in mind while choosing a structure to help you start an ecommerce business in Florida. The aspects are:

  • Formation documentation and other paperwork needed
  • The tax obligation for the chosen business structure
  • The registration cost
  • The liability and corresponding risks
  • The benefits of your chosen structure

4. Register your online business

Whether you start an online business from home in Florida or operate an e-commerce startup from a brick and mortar commercial space; you will need to register the business in the state. This process is also known as new business formation or incorporation. The registration process will be different for different business structures and has to be followed up by obtaining an online business license in Florida to make the company operational.

We at IncParadise are one of the reputable Florida registered agents and have a team of experienced professionals who can help you with the incorporation or registration process in Florida. We have helped many new business owners to start an online business in Florida.

Start your online business in Florida today!

5. Obtain all necessary licenses and permits for online business

If you are thinking of taking your idea online then there are plenty of online business ideas in Florida to choose from. Florida offers the opportunity and resources to entrepreneurs and startups so that they can form a new business and start capitalizing on state incentives, tax credits, and resources. It is important to register your new business with the Division of Corporations but it is more important to apply for and obtain an online business license in Florida. If you have formed a business and not applied for a license or permit then you will not be able to make your business operational. If you operate without a business license then there will be a penalty.

The type of online business license in Florida required by your company will depend on two factors and they are:

  • The nature of business or online business ideas in Florida like baked goods online, grocery online, consultancy, advertising services, and Information tech companies among others.
  • Licensing and permits will also depend on the city or county your business operates from.

If you are planning to start an ecommerce business in Florida then you may require a general business license also known as business tax receipts or permits for specific industries or professions. Depending on the type of business activity, you may require business tax receipts as well as permits or online business license in Florida. You may even require multiple licenses.

Do you require more information regarding Florida Business Licenses?

6. Buy a domain and set up the website for your business

Whether you are a freelance wedding photographer planning to start an online business from home in Florida or want to take your existing small business online; you will need a website. A website is the foremost way of connecting to a larger and global audience over the internet. You can hire an in-house web designer or hire services globally depending on your budget for designing a website. You can also choose custom website design templates depending on the product or service you are offering. A website can also be integrated with a payment gateway and shopping cart and these are important aspects to keep in mind when you start an online business in Florida.

In order to start a website, you would need to book a domain name first. Let’s look at an example to understand the domain name aspect.

Example: If you are planning to start an online business in Florida that will be creating custom T-shirts or FL t-shirts and if the name of your company is GatorsFL then you need to search for a domain name with the words “GatorsFL”. It is always recommended to book your domain name with an ICANN-accredited registrar. There are different types of domain name extensions that you can choose from like .com, .net, .org, .co, and .us among others. If your domain name is available like “GatorsFL.com” then all you have to do is go ahead and register it. Normally, you can book a domain name for 3, 6, or 12 months and the maximum registration period is 10 years. The cost will vary according to the time period you are booking for and the domain name extension.

7. Get EIN

If you are planning to start an online business in Florida then depending on your business structure, annual sales, and activity, different types of Florida taxes may be applicable. For Example: If your business is a limited liability company and you are selling grocery online then you may be levied sales and use tax. Hence, you will be required to apply for and obtain an employer identification number (EIN) before you start an ecommerce business in Florida. The EIN number will be issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

8. Open a bank account

Once you have obtained your online business license in Florida it is extremely important to open a business bank account. A business bank account will be important in segregating your personal income and expenses from your business gains and expenses. Since the revenue generated is much higher when you start an ecommerce business in Florida, having a business bank account will ensure you are able to keep track of all business related expenses.

9. Comply with taxes and other regulatory requirements

Once you start an online business in Florida, you will be required to comply with annual maintenance as well as tax requirements of the state. Some of the important requirements include:

  • Once you have obtained an online business license in Florida, it is important to ensure timely renewal. The renewal time and fee may vary depending on the county your business is operating from and the governing or issuing authority of the license.
  • As part of annual maintenance, you will be required to file an annual report in the state of Florida.
  • If you start an ecommerce business in Florida, you may be levied different forms of taxes. The filing of taxes ensures your business enjoys an active status and remains in the good books of the state authorities.

10. Market your business

Marketing is a very important aspect of online businesses as you are looking at an audience that is not going to walk into your store and buy but instead will be ordering using a laptop or a mobile application. Before you start an online business in Florida, you need to have a marketing plan in place that will comprise of the following elements:

  • Search Engine Optimized content
  • Visuals for strengthening your brand, product or service
  • Use of Mobile commerce (m-commerce) to reach more customers
  • Digital marketing strategies and campaigns
  • Promoting your products or services using email marketing

Looking to start an online business in Florida?

You can start a new business based on different types of online business ideas in Florida thanks to high internet access in the state. Even though you are planning to start an online business in Florida, there is a specific process based on Florida statutes that you will have to follow. IncParadise can assist you with ensuring you are able to form your online or e-commerce company with ease.

IncParadise is one of the most reputed Florida registered agents and we have helped thousands of companies to start their own businesses in Florida. We also have a team of experts who can guide you through the process of starting your online business in Florida.

Start a Florida e-commerce business!