With so many different states, that also means so many different rules. With every state being autonomous, what may be valid in one state could be completely prohibited in another. The country does promote entrepreneurship as long as you follow the guidelines.
That’s why you need to make sure you pay special attention to your state’s rules and regulations while creating a business. What might have worked for your friend in Alabama may not work for you in Florida, so following their blueprint may set your timeline back a few weeks.
Below, we’re going to run over the basics about what you should know before starting a business in the Sunshine State.
Careful Business Planning is a Must
Have you ever heard of the 10-90 rule? The 10-90 rule states that 10% of your planning and activities will help account for 90% of the results. Planning is important!
There are around 2.5 million small businesses in Florida which represent roughly 99.8% of all businesses in the state. When you’re thinking of a business idea, it’s important that you find a niche market where you believe you can thrive.
While it’s often tempting to try and fill a hole where no business is, the chances of your striking gold are quite limited. If you see that there isn’t a business servicing people for a certain product or service that means they’re likely isn’t a market there.
Planning out your business is just as important, so you should be laying down all the groundwork. How will you market to customers, what problem will you help solve with your business, where are you going to get funding?
These are questions that can’t be answered overnight, usually taking weeks or months to decide.
You’ll Have to Choose a Business Structure
After the business plan comes the business structure. Your business structure is the legal organization of your business and affects how you’ll be taxed, what you’re liable for, and how you go about registering your business.
Many small businesses choose to register as an LLC as they are pretty easy to set up and have pretty favorable tax treatment. Plus, they have protection from personal liability in case of defaulting on your loans or you’re sued by an employee or customer.
Choosing a business structure is incredibly important and if you don’t register your company as a business entity, then you’re going to be held personally responsible for any debts and liabilities.
You’re Going to Need Business Bank Accounts
If you already have multiple credit cards or bank accounts in your personal life, then you might not want to add yet another card to your already stuffed wallet.
Not only is it a wise financial move to keep your personal and business assets separate, it’s also going to help protect your business. Doing this is also going to make sure your personal assets are protected.
Plus, when tax season rolls around it will be much easier to manage and eventually file your taxes.
You might want to also consider getting a credit card for your business. This will help you separate your business and personal expenses as well as building up your company’s credit history.
Filing Florida Paperwork
Depending on the type of business you have, you might need to file something called the Florida Articles of Organization. You can do it online at the MyFlorida Sunbiz website or by good old fashioned snail mail.
You have until the due date of your first annual report to decide how your business is going to be managed.
You’ll also have to go about choosing a registered agent, who is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving any legal documents. In a way, they’re your contact point for dealing with the government.
A registered agent must be a Florida resident. Some people choose a corporation, an agent service, or nominate someone from their business to do so. It can even be you.