Opening your own business is an exciting journey but I caution you, the path to business formation and government compliance is looted with legal questions and hurdles which may require the advise of a business law attorney. Before you start your entrepreneurial trek up the mountain of job freedom, you need to do the following:
First, decide whether you will operate as a corporate entity, under a fictitious business name, or as an individual, under your own name.
If you choose to operate as a corporate entity, you need to consider which type of entity is best for your business, whether it be an S-Corp, C-Corp, Non-Profit, Limited Liability Company, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship. Keep in mind that the type of entity you choose will affect your tax responsibilities and that the requirements for the name of your business vary depending on the type of entity you choose to create. Also make sure that no other businesses in Florida are actively registered under the name you choose for your business. Once you make that determination, you need to register your entity with the Department of State, and in some cases, files articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, or other entity related documents. The Florida Department of State strongly recommends that all legal documents be reviewed by a business law attorney prior to submission.
Next, you need to register your business with the federal, state, and local tax agencies. Here, you need to look out for the different requirements of each county and local government.
Finally, skilled trades and other professionals will need to register for a business license with the appropriate State agency.
Failure to appropriately register with each governmental agency can lead to fines and other penalties. You should always consult with a business lawyer before starting your own business to make sure you are in compliance with all the legal requirements.
Good luck on the path to business stardom and please feel free to contact me with any questions!