If you are starting up a new business in Oldsmar, FL, it is important to ensure you are in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations regarding your business license. Even existing organizations should take the opportunity to review their current standing in the State of Florida, as regulations regarding business licenses can change from time to time. While you should always work with a knowledgeable Florida business formation attorney regarding the details, an overview of the requirements may be helpful.
Since many state and local agencies require you to provide certain tax information when applying for a business license, you should start at the federal level. Most entities must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) to operate, which means you must apply through the Internal Revenue Service. The application is relatively straightforward, though there can be some tricky rules depending upon how your business is organized. If you are a sole proprietorship, you can use your own Social Security Number for tax purposes.
Laws in the State of Florida
Many Florida business owners choose to organize their companies as limited liability entities in order to insulate their personal interests from liabilities and debts of the company. There are a few different business organization options available by filing an application through the Division of Corporations in the Florida Department of State’s Office, including:
- Limited liability company;
- Limited partnership; and,
- General partnership.
Typically, you would organize your business at the same time as you apply for your FEIN. Again, a separate set of regulations applies to sole proprietorships. If you are doing business in your own legal name, you do not need to file business formation documents through the Division of Corporations. However, you must file for a Fictitious Name if you are not operating your business under a brand name or other term that is not your legal name.
Pinellas County and Oldsmar, FL
The final stage of obtaining your Florida business license is applying for your business tax receipt in the county where you operate your company; it is considered the last stage because you must supply your FEIN and business organizational documents before you can apply. All entities must have the business tax receipt if they provide goods and/or services to the general public. You are still obligated to follow the relevant regulations even if you operate your business out of your home.
In addition, keep in mind that there may be separate licensing requirements if you work in certain industries. For example, medical practices, real estate companies, spas and salons, restaurants, hotels, and many other kinds of companies must also get the proper credentials to offer their goods and/or services in Florida.
Consult with a Lawyer Regarding Your Florida Business License
If you are a Florida business owner that needs assistance with your new company or checking compliance with an existing organization, please contact the attorneys at Clearwater Business Law at (727) 785-5100. We can schedule a free consultation to review the details of your company, and tell you more about your legal obligations for a Florida business license.