How to Open a Sole Proprietorship Business in Florida

By Elizabeth Rayne

Compared to other business structures, sole proprietorships are relatively straightforward to set up. A sole proprietorship only has one owner who assumes liability for the business's debts. Opening a sole proprietorship involves selecting a business location, registering its name, applying for licenses and permits, and registering to pay taxes. Although uncomplicated, it is essential to set up a sole proprietorship correctly so as not to incur jurisdictional fees or penalties.

Step 1

Select a location for your business. You will need to have the address of your business to fill out any required paperwork.

Step 2

Choose a name for your business. Decide if you want to do business under your own name, or create a different business name. If you choose to conduct business under a different name than your own, you may check to see if another business is already using the name. Two businesses may have the same name in Florida, but you may want to avoid duplication to prevent consumer confusion. To see if the name is available, visit the Florida Department of State website. Click on "Corporations" in the left column. Select "Look Up a Business Name" from the popular links list on the left column of the next page. Next, click on "Inquire by Name," and type in your selected name. You may also go back and click on "Inquire by Fictitious Name," to complete a more detailed search.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

Step 3

Advertise your selected business name. If you choose to do business under a different name than your own, you must publicize the fictitious business name in at least one newspaper in the county where you decide to do business.

Step 4

Register your fictitious name with the Florida Department of State. You can do this online, but it won’t expedite the service. To register, visit the Florida Department of State website. Click on "Corporations" in the left column, and then on "Electronic Filing" Click on "Fictitious Name Registration." Select "Sunbiz E-file Account" under payment options. Download both the "Sunbiz E-file Account Application" and the "Sunbiz E-file Account Deposit Slip." Submit both forms with the required deposit to the address listed on the form to set up an account. Once you are notified that you have an account, you can register you name fictitious name online by returning to the Florida Department of State website, clicking on “Corporations,” then on "Electronic Filing," followed by "Fictitious Name Registration." At the bottom of the page, check the box, and then click on “Add Fictitious Name Registration.” You will then see a form that you can fill out and submit online. You can also print it out and mail it or hand-deliver it to the address on the form. Call 850-245-6058 if you have any questions.

Step 5

Apply for appropriate licenses and permits. Visit the website for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to determine if your professional business requires a license. Contact the city and county government to determine if you must apply for any local licenses or permits such as a health department permit or a permit for a sign. Your permit requirements may change depending on what county you select for your business.

Step 6

Register with the Florida Department of Revenue. If your business is required to pay sales tax, or you have any employees, you must register with the department of revenue. You may register online by visiting the Florida Department of Revenue registration page. Follow the on-screen instructions to register your sole proprietorship. To speak to a department representative call 800-352-3671.

Step 7

Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If your business will have any employees, you must register for an EIN. To apply, visit the IRS EIN registration website to apply.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How to Get a DBA in Utah

References

Resources

Related articles

Sole Proprietorship Laws in Illinois

For individuals looking to start a business without partners, a sole proprietorship is a common business entity because it is straightforward to set up and has minimal tax and reporting requirements. In Illinois, as in other states, you do not have to register your sole proprietorship with the state. However, you are required to register an assumed business name, if you use one, and depending on the nature of your business, you may also be required to obtain other permits and licenses.

How to Register a Trade Name in Massachusetts

If you want to do business under any name besides your legal given name, you need to use a trade name, also known as a "doing business as," or DBA, name. For example, if you want to call your delivery service "Mere Minutes," you have to register that name. In Massachusetts, the state doesn't handle the registrations of business names for unincorporated businesses. Instead, you must register the name in each city or town where you will do business to receive a "doing business as" certificate, which is renewable. Be sure to note the expiration date of the certificate and renew as indicated.

How to Legalize a Business Name in Louisiana

In Louisiana, any time you use a name besides your own (or your business's registered name) for business, you have to register it with the Secretary of State. For example, if you want to run your own small business called "Donovan's Dogs," that's a trade name that must be registered with the state.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Reserve a Business Name With the State of Florida

If you are starting a small business or sole proprietorship in Florida under a name that is not your own, you must ...

How to Form a Sole Proprietorship in Ohio

Many Ohio businesses are formed as sole proprietorships because this type of business is relatively simple to set up, ...

How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in the State of Florida

If you plan to start a business in Florida and want to work by yourself, a sole proprietorship might be an appropriate ...

Guide to Setting Up a Sole Proprietorship in Florida

A sole proprietorship operates as an alter ego of the business owner who runs it. Since the owner is personally ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED