A business plan is essential to starting and running a business and often is required when applying for loans and seeking investors. Detail the business’s purpose and goals and how you will achieve them.
Choose a location
Considerations include proximity to potential customers, ease of access and zoning restrictions. The Chamber will help you navigate the local permitting process and locate commercial space.
The Chamber can connect you with banks and credit unions that finance small businesses as well as provide information on federal and state financing, including programs for minority, veteran and women entrepreneurs.
The most common business structures are Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Corporations, S Corporations and Limited Liability Companies. The Chamber can assist you in finding legal guidance if needed.
To do business in Florida, you need to register your company with the Florida Division of Corporations and obtain a bank account for the company. You are required to do these steps even if you have an online or at-home business.
All businesses -- except sole proprietorships with no employees -- must apply to the Internal Revenue Service for a federal employer identification number.
Before you begin business, you must first find out if your business activity or products used are subject to sales or use tax. If it is, you must register with the Florida Department of Revenue to collect those taxes. Some businesses also are subject to federal taxes. Contact the IRS for more information.
All counties tax the personal property or business equipment of businesses.
Nassau County does not require Local Business Tax Receipts, often referred to as business licenses. However, Callahan, Fernandina Beach and Hilliard require all businesses within their municipal limits to obtain a Local Business Tax Receipt.
A variety of businesses and professions are required to obtain specific licenses issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Some professionals may be licensed through other agencies including the Department of Financial Services, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and the Department of Health.
If you have employees, you must report newly hired and re-hired employees to the Florida New Hire Reporting Center. Employers must withhold from salaries of their employees for federal tax purposes as well as pay Social Security taxes. Most businesses with one or more employees must contribute to a federal fund that pays unemployment insurance to workers who have been laid off.
Florida law requires any non-construction business employing four or more people and any construction business with at least one employee must obtain workers’ compensation insurance. The Chamber can help connect you with a Florida-licensed insurance agent.