How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in the State of Florida

By Jeffry Olson, J.D.

How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in the State of Florida

By Jeffry Olson, J.D.

A sole proprietorship is an easy form of business for a single business person to start. It requires no formal paperwork, making it one of the most common forms of business in the State of Florida. Many businesses fall under this umbrella without ever consciously setting out to establish itself as one. It's possible to register a sole proprietorship in the State of Florida with a few simple steps.

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1. Select a name.

The first step for registering a sole proprietorship in the State of Florida is selecting a name for your business and checking for availability of the name. You can check the availability of your desired name with a simple search on the Florida Division of Corporations website.

While not a legal requirement, consider the availability of some form of your name as a website or on your desired social media platform. If that is important to you and your business (and it usually is) consider searching for name availability on those sites as well.

2. Register the business with the State of Florida.

If you are operating your business under a name that is different than your own name, you must apply for a fictitious business name with the Florida Department of State. You can file an Application for Registration of Fictitious Name by mail or online.

The State of Florida Department of Revenue also allows you to register online to collect taxes for any employees.

3. Obtain any required licenses.

If your type of business requires any local, state, or federal licence, obtain appropriate licensing before beginning operation. Failure to do so may have civil or criminal legal consequences. You do not want to risk having your new business closed by government authorities after beginning operation.

4. Determine any other tax or regulatory requirements.

If your business will have employees, you will need an employer identification number (EIN) from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. You can apply for an EIN online or by phone. Note that your business may obtain an EIN even if you have no employees. Having an EIN can make it easier to open a bank account. The State of Florida has additional requirements if you hire employees.

Florida also has business tax requirements. Consider reviewing the New Business Start-up Kit available from the Florida Department of Revenue.

5. Open a bank account for your sole proprietorship.

Even with a new business, it is advisable to maintain business finances separate from any personal bank account. This makes accounting and tax filing much easier. When opening a bank account for your business, the bank likely requires either your Social Security number or EIN as well as a copy of your business name filing.

Registering a sole proprietorship in the State of Florida is a simple, straightforward process. First, select an available business name. Second, register your business name with the State of Florida. Third, obtain any licenses required to operate your business. Fourth, comply with any other tax or regulatory requirements. Finally, open a bank account for your sole proprietorship. Following these steps will ensure that your business operates smoothly from day one.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.