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How to Start a Business in Clearwater, FL

Updated Oct 10, 2020 –

Many people dream of one day owning a business and being their own boss. These days, with the uncertain job market and the steady rise of online businesses, increasing numbers of entrepreneurs are making that dream a reality. Forming a business can be a confusing and sometimes complicated process, and not adhering to both state and federal laws in terms of the requirements for business formation could end up resulting in serious tax consequences and personal liability. If you are looking to start your own business, follow our guide in terms of the general steps needed to establish a business in Florida.

5 Steps to Starting a Business in Florida

1).  Decide on a business structure: The Internal Revenue Service offers guidelines in terms of deciding on the type of business entity for tax purposes. There are four main types of business structures:

    1. Sole proprietorships, in which you are the sole owner and claimant of profits and losses through your yearly taxes;
    2. Partnerships, in which profits and losses are passed through to each partners on their tax return;
    3. Corporations, which stand alone for taxes purposes and distributes profits to shareholders; and
    4. S Corporations, in which profits as well as losses and potential deductions are passed through to shareholders.

Limited liability companies (LLC) are governed under Florida state statutes, in which taxes are passed through to the company owners, who are referred to as members of the LLC.

2).  Check to see if the type of business you are starting is regulated by the state or requires a specific type of Florida business license.

3).  Select a name and location for your business. If you are starting an online business, register your domain name and check into website design services to increase traffic to your website. If you will be operating a brick and mortar business, consult the Florida Division of Corporations for tips on choosing the right location for your business.

4).  Register your business with the IRS and with the Florida Department of State for tax purposes.

5).  Consider joining the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which can help you grow your business and provide valuable opportunities to network with other business owners. In addition, be sure to take advantage of business exposure and engagement opportunities available on the various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and others.

The Florida Department of Revenue offers a start-up kit for new business owners that can answer many of your questions on tax liability and provide information addressing common concerns regarding tax obligations, such as filing quarterly reports.

Take the Most Important Step and Contact Our Florida Contracts Lawyers

When starting a business, perhaps the most important step you can take is retaining the services of an experienced Clearwater business lawyer. At Clearwater Business Law, we have the legal knowledge and experience to guide you through the entire process of starting a business. We can help you attend to all of the important details to ensure your business has the best chance for success and to increase your likelihood of making a profit. Serving the Clearwater and the surrounding areas, our lawyers are prepared to assist you today.