Business Startup Information
- Incorporation: If you plan to do business as a corporation, you must register with the Secretary of State. Call the Corporate Information Department at (850) 245-6052; www.sunbiz.org.
- Business Name: If your business does not operate as a corporation and you plan to run your business under a name other than your own full name, you will need to register the business with a "fictitious" name. Call the Secretary of State at (850) 245-6058; www.sunbiz.org.
- City License: If your business is within the city limits of Tallahassee, you will need to obtain a Business Tax Certificate (occupational license) from the City. Call Renaissance Center, Revenue Division at (850) 891-6488; www.talgov.com.
- State License: The State of Florida requires people in more than 50 regulated professions, from pharmacists to barbers, to obtain special licenses or certificates. Call the State Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395; www.myfloridalicense.com.
- Sales Tax Certificates: The State of Florida requires retail stores and some other businesses to collect sales tax. Businesses must apply for a sales tax certificate. In Tallahassee, call the State Department of Revenue at 1-800-352-3671; dor.myflorida.com.
- Corporate Income Tax: Corporations in Florida must pay the state's corporate income tax. Call the State Department of Revenue at 1-800-352-3671; dor.myflorida.com.
- Tangible Personal Property Tax: Leon County taxes the personal property of businesses (i.e., business equipment). Call the Leon County Tax Collector's Office at (850) 488-4735; www.leontaxcollector.net/tangtax.html.
- Employer Identification Number: All businesses except sole proprietorships with no employees must register for a federal identification number. Call the Internal Revenue Service at (850) 942-8995 or 1-800-829-4933; www.irs.gov/.
- Federal Income Tax Withholding and Social Security Tax: Employers must withhold from salaries of their employees for federal tax purposes. They also must pay Social Security taxes. Call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933; www.irs.gov/.
- Federal Unemployment Tax: Most businesses with one or more employees must contribute to a federal fund that pays unemployment insurance to workers that have been laid off. Call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933; www.irs.gov/.
- State Unemployment Tax: Businesses must also pay into a state fund that pays unemployment insurance. Call the State of Florida Department of Revenue at 1-800-352-3671.
- Workers' Compensation: Companies with four or more employees must pay into a state fund that compensates workers who are injured on the job. In construction businesses, the rules that apply are stricter. Call the Compliance Division of Workers' Compensation at (850) 413-1601; www.myfloridacfo.com/wc/.
- Business License Information: People who open, own or operate restaurant, hotel or other food service businesses need to comply with state regulations. Call the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395 or apply online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
- Zoning: Business owners must make sure that the business they want to conduct is permitted on the property that the business will be located. Call the Tallahassee-Leon County Planning Department at (850) 891-6400; www.talgov.com/planning/.
- New Employee Hire Reporting Requirements: Federal and State law requires employers to report all new/rehire employees who work in the State of Florida to whom the employer anticipates paying earnings. Employees should be reported even if they work only one day and are terminated. This reporting requirement is part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. Call (850) 656-3343; https://newhire.state.fl.us/fl-newhire/.
- Department of Agriculture: There are various businesses that are governed by the Florida Department of Agriculture. If you are starting a small business, check with the Department of Agriculture at 850-410-3800 or 1-800-435-7352; http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Consumer-Services.
There may be other start-up requirements that your business must comply with. It is the responsibility of the business owner to insure that all of the start-up requirements are met.