Get Started the Right Way: 4 Documents Your Business Needs to Get Started in Florida

Florida is one of the top states in the country for new startups. It is considered one of the best places to start a business because of its thriving business environment, low operational costs, and easy access to resources. Still, though, about one in five new businesses fails. Launching your new business with the proper documentation in place is one way to increase your chances of success. The following documents should be on your checklist as you move forward with any new business venture.

  1. IRS Form SS-4

This is the form you will need to fill out to obtain your Federal Employer Identification number (FEIN, or sometimes EIN). An EIN is similar to a social security number, but for businesses. Corporations and LLCs are required to have an EIN. Separate DBAs (registered fictitious names) don’t have to have one, but it is advisable because it keeps you from needing to put your personal social security number on business-related paperwork. You can fill out the IRS Form SS-4 in paper form or online.

  1. Business License

You will need a business license (and often, a local occupational license) to operate your company legally in Florida. In order to obtain a business license, the steps will vary depending on the type of services your company will provide or products it will sell. You will typically need to register for state taxes and permits as a part of the process. Florida’s two biggest licensing agencies for skilled trades are the Department of Business & Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. You can consult your attorney about which agency you will need to be licensed through.

  1. Registration

You will need to register your company as a Florida business entity. You may choose to register as an LLC or a corporation, depending on how you want your business to be structured.

  1. DBA

DBA stands for “doing business as” and is the registered fictitious name under which you operate, but not the legal name of your company. Not every company needs a DBA, but if you are a sole proprietor and do not want to form an entity and do not want to operate under your own name either, it’s another option. It allows one to use a business name without most of the usual formalities involved in having an entity – but by itself, it does NOT provide you with the full legal protections of having an LLC or corporation.

With all the paperwork involved and legal issues to consider, it’s very important to have a trusted attorney by your side as you launch any new business. The attorneys at Cove Law have the knowledge and experience to help you. Contact us through our website or give us a call at (954) 921-1121 to find out more!

Written by Andrew Cove

Cove Law has significant experience defending federal investigations and formal actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Finance Protection Board and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as similar matters on the state level by the respective state Attorney General’s Offices and other local agencies.