A person in a blue suit smiles and looks at a phone while standing outside under a tree. The text reads, "How to Register A Small Business in Florida.

Registering your small business in Florida is a great decision. The Sunshine State's economy and industries have continued to attract small business owners and entrepreneurs who appreciate the region's tax-friendliness and pro-business culture.

If you're interested in setting up in Florida, use this comprehensive guide to learn how to register your small business there.

How To Register a Small Business in Florida: Step-by-Step Guide

Follow this detailed step-by-step guide to registering your small business in Florida, from entity type to registration fees. 

Choose A Type Of Business Entity

Your business will not be officially registered in Florida until you've selected a business structure, such as one of the legal entities listed below. Our CPAs typically recommend forming as a limited liability company (LLC) due to its numerous advantages for small business entrepreneurs. Learn more about our entity formation service here

Sole Proprietorship

If you're the sole owner of an unregistered business, you will be taxed as a sole proprietorship by default. You are responsible for your business's profits and liabilities in this scenario. 


If two or more people own your business and haven't made an entity election, it will be treated as a partnership for tax purposes by default. As a partnership, you and your partners would establish and oversee operations and determine how profits and liabilities are distributed. 


LLCs are popular among small business owners and entrepreneurs due to their limited liability protection and pass-through taxation. Limited liability protection shields personal assets from business liabilities. At the same time, pass-through taxation allows the LLC owner or owners to pay tax on business revenue via their personal income tax return.

In this scenario, your LLC wouldn't file a corporate tax return, leading to significant tax savings. 

S Corporation

To become an S corporation, your business must meet several eligibility requirements, such as having no more than 100 shareholders with a single class of stock. S corporations are also pass-through entities, meaning owners will pay tax on business revenue and losses via their personal income tax returns. 

C Corporation

C corporations differ from LLCs and S corporations because they lack pass-through taxation. Instead, C corporations are subject to double taxation, meaning the C corporation and its shareholders pay tax on your business’s income. First, the C corporation pays tax on its net income, and second, its shareholders pay tax on corporate dividends. 

While this may seem like a significant disadvantage, many business owners find that the benefits of the C corporation’s flexibility outweigh the cost of double taxation.


If your organization isn't for-profit and has been created to be a charity or to address a social issue, you can form as a non-profit. Non-profits aren't automatically tax-exempt by default and must usually apply to be granted that status. 

Choose Your Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or company who is your official point of contact with the state to receive tax correspondence, service of process, and legal and state documents and transmit these communications to your business.

Generally, a registered agent must be 18 years old or older, have a street address in Florida, and be present at that address during business hours. You can appoint yourself or a loved one or hire a service.

Register Your Company

Once you've selected the right entity for your Florida business, make it official by registering with the state. You will need to supply information with your submission, including your business name, address, and your registered agent's contact information. 

Choose Your Business Name

You must select a name for your business that is unique and available, along with any specific naming conventions as designated by your entity's structure. Search the Florida Department of State’s database to confirm the availability of the name you choose. 

Set Business Address

Your business's primary address should be an office, shop, or home in Florida. To qualify, your business must have a street address rather than a P.O. box. 

Define Corporate Purpose

Not to be confused with a business plan, your business or corporate purpose is its main reason for being beyond making profits. The purpose you choose may attract certain customer segments, attract talent dedicated to your mission, and attract investment opportunities that might not be available without it. 

Set Effective Date

You can designate an effective date for your business, which cannot exceed five business days before or 90 days after your business document's filing date. 

EIN Filing

Your Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number for your business entity. The IRS uses it to identify you for tax purposes, and Florida requires your EIN to register your business in the state, although certain entities are exempt. Possessing an EIN is also essential if you intend to hire employees or open a business bank account.

After filling out seemingly mountains of paperwork, you can obtain your EIN for free from the IRS. Avoid the hassle and let our experts obtain your EIN on your behalf

Register Doing-Business-As

If you will conduct business using a name other than your legal business name, you must register a doing-business-as (DBA)/fictitious name in Florida. Like your legal business name, your DBA must also be available and unique.

Once you've settled on a DBA, register with the state and prepare an advertisement to be shown in the county where you will operate. Florida requires this advertisement in order to register your DBA successfully. 

Business License, Occupational License, and Permits

Depending on your industry, your business may be subject to additional permits and licensing requirements. Check with the Florida authorities to determine if your business is subject to any additional requirements or regulations, including the following bodies.

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation
  • Department of Health 
  • Secure Insurance Policies

    Your Florida business will need to secure insurance policies relevant to your nature of work. Types of insurance you need may include:  

  • General liability
  • Commercial property
  • Business interruption
  • Commercial umbrella
  • Commercial auto
  • Business Owners Policy (BOP)
  • Cyber liability
  • Product liability
  • Errors and omissions (E&O)
  • Weather-specific, e.g., hurricane and flood
  • Owner and employee health coverage
  • Register for Taxes in Florida

    Before launching your business in Florida, you must determine if your products or services qualify for the sales and use tax. Eligible activities include selling taxable items at retail, commercial rentals, and manufacturing goods that are sold at retail.

    If you find that your business qualifies, register online or file by mail with the state.

    Register with FinCEN

    As of January 1, 2024, most US-based businesses must report information about their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) under the Corporate Transparency Act. This applies to many businesses based in Florida.

    Your initial FinCEN BOI report deadline depends on your business registration date. Refer to the following due dates to determine when you should file. 

  • Companies registered in 2024: Within 90 days of registration
  • Companies registered in 2025: Within 30 days of registration
  • Additionally, businesses have 30 days to correct inaccurate reports or submit updates. Learn more about FinCEN here

    Cost Of Registering A Small Business in Florida

    Registering your small business in Florida involves several costs, some of which depend on the type of entity you form as. For example, if your business is formed as an LLC, you will pay a $100 registration fee and a $25 registered agent fee. New corporations will pay less than LLCs to register for a $35 filing fee and more than LLCs for a $35 registered agent fee.  

    Required Reading For Registering Your Florida Business

    1-800Accountant offers a wealth of Florida-specific articles that provide the insight you need to make the most of your operations.

  • 5 Steps to Setting Up an S Corp in Florida
  • 4 Steps to Start a DBA in Florida
  • How to Start an LLC in Florida
  • How to Start a Business in Florida: 9 Steps
  • The Easy Path: Florida Business Registration With 1-800Accountant

    Registering your business is an important foundational step to thoroughly establishing your operations in Florida. But if you make a mistake during the registration process or fail to address any aspect, you could be delayed from conducting business in the state or worse. That's why many Florida-based owners and entrepreneurs trust 1-800Accountant, America’s leading virtual accounting firm for small businesses, for their financial needs.

    Whether it's entity formation, tax advisory, or any of our professional accounting services, we have the affordable pricing solutions you need to ensure you're ready to do business in Florida.  Schedule a quick consultation – usually 30 minutes or less – to learn more.

    This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. 1-800Accountant assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.