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Florida Small Business FAQ

In today’s challenging economic environment, you need more than desire and drive to succeed.

You also need a working knowledge of financial and personnel management, record keeping, tax laws and legal structures, communication skills and marketing savvy.

Before launching your small business, take some time to review the Business Basics sections that cover important topics and frequently asked questions like those below. Then see “dba Florida,” where you’ll find the Division of Corporation’s official reference guide for doing business in Florida.

What’s the right legal structure for my new business?
Each form of business structure — sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation — has its unique advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right one depends on your specific circumstances, and you should discuss the options with an accountant or tax adviser. For more information, see the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporation’s official reference guide.

How do I come up with the money to start or grow my business?
The U.S. Small Business Administration can point you to a commercial lending institution, and your local Small Business Development Center can help you put together a loan proposal. See Financing Your Business.

What licenses and permits do I need?
Depends on the type of business you intend to launch. Local business tax receipts, formerly called occupational licenses, are required for most businesses. Check with your county tax collector or city clerk. In some cases, a state license may be required. See Forms, Permits & Licenses.

How do I sell my products to the government?
The Florida Department of Management Services coordinates the purchase of goods and services for state agencies. Find contact information and additional resources.

How do I sell my products or services outside the U.S.?
Enterprise Florida’s International Trade and Business Development Field Offices provide export counseling services, as well as information about training programs, international markets, trade shows and missions. See a list of these offices.