There’s no denying that small businesses are the backbone of America. According to the SBA, there are 31.7 million small businesses in the United States. By the end of 2022, 17 million more will be formed, something that NASDAQ expects will set a record for entrepreneurship. These new business owners likely have a lot of questions, so, in this guide, we will answer some of the most common small businesses planning FAQs in the state of Florida.
Writing A Business Plan
What Should This Plan Include?
According to the SBA, it is vitally important to write down your business plan, no matter whether you’re seeking financing or not. This business plan should include your mission statement, product or service, and information about your employees, location, and leadership team. If you are seeking funding, you should include information about high-level growth plans and other financial must-knows.
Starting A Small Business
What Is An Overview of the Process?
There are a lot of steps to starting a small business, but you should first conduct market research, as that will help you decide whether your idea will be successful in the environment in which you’re starting your company. Then, write your business plan, decide on funding if you’re seeking it, and pick your location.
You’ll want to choose a business structure. There are several from which to pick, and some of the most popular include:
- Sole Proprietorship. This uncomplicated form of business is simple, and, in Florida, you do not need to register it with the state. There is no formal paperwork required to set it up, and it is owned and operated by one person (you).
- Partnership. In Florida, this is created when 2+ people agree to conduct business together in pursuit of a profit, even if the people do not intend to form or do not write an agreement to form this partnership.
- Limited Liability Company. A very common type of business structure, an LLC combines the easy administration of a partnership with the tax benefits of a corporation. In Florida, you get pass-through taxation when you form an LLC. That is one of the reasons this type of business structure is so popular in this state.
- Corporation. This type of business is its own legal entity, and it exists separately from the people who own and operate it. A corporation is considered its own “separate” person, as far as the law goes.
Registering Your Small Business In Florida
For certain types of business structures, you will need to register your small business. It is advisable that you seek the counsel of an attorney to do this, as the attorney will be able to make sure it is done properly the first time, with no technicalities missed.
How Do I Incorporate a Business in Florida?
There are several steps to incorporating a business in Florida, should you choose a structure that requires this process. First, you’ll need to select a new, unique name for your business that no one else has. Then, you should choose the type of business you want and file Articles of Incorporation with the State Department of Florida.
On those Articles, you’ll need a company name, physical address, mailing address, names and addresses of the company’s owners, and an email address. The next step will be to obtain an EIN filing (Federal Employer Identification Number). If you have an LLC and it is a single member, you may just choose to use your social security number for business transactions.
You’ll then want to secure a business/occupational license with your county. This is required by most Florida counties in order to do business. You’ll want to check with your local tax collection office to see their requirements. One final step will be to secure a bank account for your company, as monies entering and leaving the business must go through this account.
If these steps seem overwhelming, they don’t have to be, if you have the right legal help. Contact an attorney today to help you get through the process of starting your business.