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How to Obtain a Business License in St. Petersburg, FL

Written on October 24, 2018

Starting a new company is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming to think about all the business license requirements under federal, Florida, and local laws. You should discuss the specifics with a knowledgeable St. Petersburg, FL business formation attorney, but an overview may be useful to help you understand the basics.

Your Business Structure

Before you can obtain your license, you need to decide how you want to structure your business. Many owners opt for a type of organization that offers limited liability, including:

  • A corporation;
  • A limited liability company; or,
  • A limited liability partnership.

These structures will protect you from personal liability, so you will not be responsible for any debts or obligations of the company. Note that you can still obtain a St. Petersburg, FL business license if you will operate as a sole proprietorship. The downside is that there is no business structure to separate your company from your personal interests.

Filings in the State of Florida

Your next step is to file your organizational documents with the Florida Secretary of State’s Office. You will need to provide some basic information about your company, and there is a filing fee. Owners of sole proprietorships do not need to file any forms for organization, but you will need to register a fictitious name if your company’s name is different from your own.

Federal Forms

You are required to supply a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) when you apply for a Florida business license. It is necessary to complete the application form, which you can do online or via fax. You must provide your own Social Security Number or other tax ID number to get an FEIN.

In addition, you should consult with a business formation attorney about the S Corporation election. Doing so will not affect your business license in Florida, but there are tax advantages. A lawyer can explain more about the process and eligibility rules.

Obtaining Your Pinellas Park, FL Business License

Once you work through the state and federal procedures for organizing your company, you can apply for your business license. Florida uses the term “business tax receipt.” There are different forms you may need to complete, depending on your industry, location, and other details regarding your company. Regardless of the specifics, you will need to provide:

  • The certificate returned to you after filing with the Secretary of State’s office;
  • Your company’s FEIN or personal Social Security Number for a sole proprietorship;
  • Any professional credentials that are required for your industry; and,
  • Related paperwork.

Keep in mind that there are additional requirements if you will be hiring employees. You must address income tax withholding, FICA, and other issues. Plus, most Florida employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of workplace injury.

Trust a St. Petersburg, FL Business Formation Lawyer to Assist with Licensing

While this general information may be useful, there may be additional considerations when you are starting a new company. To ensure you get your business off on the right foot, consult with a business formation attorney who can help with the basic requirements. A lawyer can also provide additional recommendations on matters that are not required, but could provide significant advantages. For more information on obtaining a St. Petersburg, FL business license, please contact Clearwater Business Law at (727) 785-5100 to schedule a consultation.


I strongly endorse Andrew Mongelluzzi. He is a very skilled and able business attorney focused on customer service and results. On the front end, Andrew deftly advises new businesses on organizing properly, acquiring necessary licenses, contracting with vendors & customers, and dealing with various compliance issues that may arise. On the back end when things go south, Andrew counsels and navigates businesses through complex commercial disputes and aggressively represents them in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and in litigation so that businesses can legally move on and get back to business. Andrew’s ability to identify legal issues and approaches to resolve business-related issues is a strength that I have learned from and professionally relied upon in approaching the business matters and cases that I handle. I regularly refer business to Andrew knowing that he will diligently represent his business clients and their best interests.
Relationship: worked together on matter

- Frank N. Genco, Florida Bar No. 440086

Attorney Mongelluzzi and his team provided excellent and quality service. I always felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. The quality services I received at Mongelluzzi’s firm were remarkable. From the initial meeting they were responsive to my calls, questions and concerns. All issues were handled professionally and timely, easily accessible, got back to me quickly, aggressive and got me the results that I wanted. Attorney Mongelluzzi and his staff all gave my case their personal attention and provided the quality of work that anyone would want when hiring an attorney.

- Client

Andrew is very thorough defining the outcome expectations. In my case, it was setting up a new corporate entity. He advised me on the most beneficial option and he then executed on that path. Andrew is a very pleasant person to work with. He is determined, skilled and committed to his client’s success.

- Gil Pinney

Andrew helped me through a difficult situation with American Express and we won the case. A great job by Andrew! He also helped me with T&C’s in my company. I would recommend Andrew highly as an attorney.

- John Sams

As a business owner for 12 years I have seen my fair share of ups and downs. Some of the downs would include landlord/tenant disputes and creditors that may have not been fulfilled to agreement. Andrew has met both of these situations for me in a timely, positive, and affordable manner.

- Rich Mattes

It was very nice to have a lawyer who not only is fierce in negotiations but has been successful in business. This is a lethal combination. I was glad he was on my side.

- Nigel Castanheiro

Andrew helped me with a contract litigation case. The lawyers battled it out for over a year and we finally got a reasonable settlement offer. Then the other side tried to back out. Andrew figured out how to force the other side to honor the deal and really knows his way around the court system. Definitely feel comfortable using him again.

- John Ellis


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