It takes more than desire and drive to succeed in business. In today’s challenging economic environment, small business owners 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, review the dba Florida section beginning on page 18 where you’ll find answers to many basic business startup questions.
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 own advantages and disadvantages. Your choice depends on your specific circumstances, and you should discuss the options with your accountant or tax adviser. For more information, go to the article Corporations, which is the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporation’s official guide.
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 article on Forms, Permits & Licenses.
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 article on Financing Your Business.
Where do I get information on state and federal taxes?
For state tax information, contact the Florida Department of Revenue. For federal tax information, contact the Internal Revenue Service. See article on Taxes.
How do I sell my products to the state?
The Florida Department of Management Services coordinates the purchase of goods and services for state agencies. Find contact information and additional resources in the article Selling to the Government.
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 in the article Resources.