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How to Start a New Business in Florida

Reviewed by Ty Crandall

November 14, 2023


New Business In Florida Credit Suite

Starting a Business in Florida

Do you want to set up a new business in Florida? So have you been wondering: precisely how do I start a business in Florida? And more importantly, can I do so no matter what the economic conditions are? Can I start a new business in Florida during a recession?

This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links for some products and make a purchase, Credit Suite receives a commission at no additional cost to you.

Starting a Small Business in Florida – Pros and Cons

First of all, Business Insider says the Sunshine State is the tenth best state to start a business, per a 2016 article. Florida hosts over 100 startup firms per 1,000 firms. This is the second highest density of startup businesses in the United States. The state also has an excellent business tax climate. This includes no individual income tax. Plus, Florida also has a rate of new entrepreneurs that ranks near the top.

Slight Upsurge

According to a 2018 article by Forbes, Florida was in seventh place. But keep in mind, the methods used by Forbes and Business Insider are undoubtedly different.

Still, why the change? Forbes likes Florida for its growth prospects (second in the nation) and its economic climate. Its regulatory environment and labor supply were not too shabby, either. Bust keep in mind that business costs were in the lower middle of the pack.

DBA for a New Business in Florida

By filing a fictitious name, or “Doing Business As,” a business owner can thereby provide their business with a name that stands apart from their own personal name or the registered name of a corporation or partnership. The Florida Division of Corporations has an online fictitious name registration service.

Start a New Business in Florida – Top Florida Industries

Per Investopedia, the top industries in the state of Florida are tourism and agriculture. Other Florida top industries are international trade; and aerospace and aviation. Another group of Florida top industries are in the life sciences and financial services. In addition, Florida is well known to be a retirement destination.

Smart business owners should be able to readily find opportunities amidst the larger industries. These can potentially include food service and hospitality; and inventing and supplying safety devices for agriculture. They can also include device manufacture and distribution for elder care; and trucking for any industry. Another opportunity is to offer data support for the financial services sector.

Here is exactly how to start a business in Florida.

Start a New Business in Florida – Florida New Business Secretary of State Requirements

Register a Business Name

By filing a fictitious name, or “Doing Business As,” a business owner can provide your business with a name that stands apart from their personal name or the registered name of the corporation or partnership. The Florida Division of Corporations provides an online fictitious name registration service.

There are special rules for naming corporations in Florida. To incorporate a small business in Florida, the name that a business owner chooses for their corporation must include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” or “company.” If they would prefer, they may choose to use an abbreviation of one of these words in the name of the corporation instead of the full word.

Business Permits and Licenses: How to get a Business License in Florida

Go to the official website of Florida. Learn about all professions and businesses that need licenses.

Local Business Permits and Licenses

Go to a non-government-affiliated website, “State of Florida”. They have a list of links to both Florida city offices and county websites.

Start a New Business in Florida – Business Registration

Visit the Florida Division of Corporations website. Surf to the “Start a Business” page.

Tax Registration

Go to the Florida Department of Revenue website for all tax registration information and forms for doing business in Florida.

Information on how you can Discover 7 Easy Vendors to Start Building Business Credit Immediately - without a Personal Credit Check or Guarantee via Credit Suite

New Business in Florida – the Virtual Office

Alliance Virtual Offices offers several choices of cities for Florida virtual business offices. Note: the division of Northern, Central, and Southern Florida is rough. Alliance’s locations are:

Alliance – Northern Florida

Northern Florida is north of Gainesville.

  • Jacksonville

Alliance – Central Florida

Central Florida stretches from about Gainesville to Port St. Lucie.

  • Celebration
  • Lake Mary
  • Lakeland
  • Orlando
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tampa

Alliance – Southern Florida

Southern Florida is south of Port St. Lucie and includes the keys.

  • Aventura
  • Boca Raton
  • Bonita Springs
  • Coral Gables
  • Doral
  • Estero
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Hollywood
  • Miami
  • Miami Beach
  • Naples
  • Palm Beach Gardens
  • Pembroke Pines
  • Plantation
  • West Palm Beach
  • Weston
  • Wilton Manors

In addition to many of the above cities, DaVinci offers Florida virtual office space. However, they don’t seem to have any unique spaces in Northern Florida. Instead, they have virtual office space in the following other cities:

DaVinci – Central Florida

Central Florida runs from about Gainesville to Port St. Lucie.

  • Altamonte Springs
  • Bradenton
  • Clearwater
  • Daytona Beach
  • Eustis
  • Sarasota
  • Wesley Chapel
  • Winter Park

DaVinci – Southern Florida

Southern Florida is south of Port St. Lucie and it includes the keys.

  • Boynton Beach Cape Coral
  • Coconut Grove
  • Coral Springs
  • Davie
  • Deerfield Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Fort Myers
  • Jupiter
  • Key West
  • Miami Lakes
  • North Palm Beach
  • Pompano Beach
  • Sunrise

For virtual office space in other areas of the state, try Regus. Business owners might want to seek out local business owners. Or they could maybe even talk to computer user groups to try to find help in this area. Other options could include securing virtual business office space in Georgia or Alabama. Either may have the bonus of being less expensive.

Start a New Business in Florida – Build Business Credit

Business credit is credit in a company’s name. It doesn’t link to an entrepreneur’s personal credit, not even if the owner is a sole proprietor and the solitary employee of the company.

Thus, a business owner’s business and consumer credit scores can be very different.

The Benefits

Due to the fact that company credit is independent from personal, it helps to secure a small business owner’s personal assets, in case of legal action or business bankruptcy.

Also, with two separate credit scores, an entrepreneur can get two separate cards from the same vendor. This effectively doubles purchasing power.

Another advantage is that even startups can do this. Visiting a bank for a business loan can be a recipe for frustration. But building small business credit, when done properly, is a plan for success.

Individual credit scores depend upon payments but also various other considerations like credit utilization percentages.

But for small business credit, the scores truly only hinge on if a small business pays its bills on a timely basis.

Information on how you can Discover 7 Easy Vendors to Start Building Business Credit Immediately - without a Personal Credit Check or Guarantee via Credit Suite

The Process

Establishing company credit is a process, and it does not happen without effort. A company needs to proactively work to establish company credit.

Nonetheless, it can be done easily and quickly, and it is much faster than developing personal credit scores.

Merchants are a big aspect of this process.

Performing the steps out of order will lead to repetitive rejections. Nobody can start at the top with business credit. 

Small Business Fundability™

A business has to be Fundable to credit issuers and vendors.

Consequently, a small business will need a professional-looking web site and e-mail address. And it needs to have site hosting from a hosting provider.

Additionally, the business phone number should be toll-free (800 exchange or comparable).

A small business will also need a bank account devoted purely to it, and it must have every one of the licenses necessary for operation.

Working with the Internal Revenue Service

Visit the Internal Revenue Service web site and get an EIN for the business. They’re free. Select a business entity like corporation, LLC, etc.

A business can start off as a sole proprietor. But they should change to a form of corporation or an LLC.

This is in order to reduce risk. And it will take full advantage of tax benefits.

Information on how you can Discover 7 Easy Vendors to Start Building Business Credit Immediately - without a Personal Credit Check or Guarantee via Credit Suite

Starting Off the Business Credit Reporting Process

Begin at the D&B web site and get a free D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number is how D&B gets a small business in their system, to generate a PAYDEX score. If there is no D-U-N-S number, then there is no record and no PAYDEX score.

Once in D&B’s system, search Equifax and Experian’s websites for the company. You can do this at www.creditsuite.com/reports. If there is a record with them, check it for correctness and completeness. If there are no records with them, go to the next step in the process.

By doing so, Experian and Equifax will have activity to report on.

Vendor Credit

First, you must build trade lines that report. This is also referred to as vendor credit. Then you’ll have an established credit profile, and you’ll get a business credit score.

Vendor Credit – It Makes SenseStart a New Business in Florida Credit Suite

Not every vendor can help in the same way true starter credit can. These are merchants that will grant an approval with very little effort. You also need them to be reporting to one or more of the big three CRAs: Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, and Experian.

You want 3 of these to move onto the next step.

Start a New Business in Florida – Monitor Your Business Credit

Know what is happening with your credit. Make sure it is being reported and attend to any mistakes as soon as possible. Get in the practice of checking credit reports and digging into the specifics, and not just the scores.

We can help you monitor business credit at Experian, Equifax, and D&B for considerably less.

Update Your Information

Update the info if there are mistakes or the information is incomplete.

Start a New Business in Florida – Fix Your Business Credit

So, what’s all this monitoring for? It’s to contest any mistakes in your records. Mistakes in your credit report(s) can be corrected. But the CRAs normally want you to dispute in a particular way. Disputing credit report errors commonly means you precisely itemize any charges you dispute.

Start a New Business in Florida – A Word about Business Credit Building

Always use credit smartly! Don’t borrow beyond what you can pay back. So keep an eye on balances and deadlines for payments. Paying in a timely manner and in full will do more to boost business credit scores than almost anything else.

Building small business credit pays. Because good business credit scores help a company get loans. Your lending institution knows the company can pay its financial obligations. They understand the company is bona fide.

So the business’s EIN links to high scores and credit issuers won’t feel the need to request a personal guarantee.

Business credit is an asset which can help your business in years to come.

Learn more here and get started toward opening a new business in Florida.

Want to start a new business someplace else in America? Then check out our handy guide to starting a business in any state in the country.

Florida’s Response to COVID-19

Florida is taking the following steps to offer relief from the impact of the novel coronavirus. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is available to small business owners in all Florida counties.  This is statewide to all those that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. By April 14, the money was already gone, 1,000 businesses got $50,000. 37,000 got nothing.

Short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to bridge the gap between the time a crisis hits and when a business has longer term recovery resources available[AF1] . Loans under this small business financing program are short-term debt loans made by the state of Florida using public funds. They are not government grants.

On April 12, it was announced that Florida colleges and universities will get millions of dollars from the CARES Act.

About the author 

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Janet Gershen-Siegel is the seasoned Finance Writer and a former content manager at Credit Suite. She has been admitted to practice law for over 30 years, with a focus on litigation and product liability, and is a published author, with writing credits at Entrepreneur, FedSmith.com and BusinessingMag.com.

She has a BA in Philosophy from Boston University, a JD from the Delaware Law School of Widener University, and a MS in Interactive Media (Social Media) from Quinnipiac University.

She regularly writes for Credit Suite, which helps businesses improve Fundability™, build credit, and get approved for loans and credit lines.

Her specialties: business credit, business credit cards, business funding, crowdfunding, and law

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