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Do I need a Florida Business License?

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With today’s technology, starting a home-based and/or online service business can be as simple as letting others know about your expertise, establishing a website or social media page, publishing an ad and/or other eCommerce offer.  Voila, you’re in business.  

Why not just a sole-proprietorship?

Many service-based small businesses choose to operate as a sole-proprietorship or independent contractor.  Compared to other business structures, setting up a sole proprietorship is fairly easy and less costly. For example, sole proprietors without employees are not required to have a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) and can use their Social Security number to report taxes. In some states, like Florida, sole proprietorships are not required to register with the Department of State.

Legal Requirements

The ease that technology provides and the availability of the sole proprietorship business structure does not eliminate the legal requirements of obtaining a business license.  In Florida for example, the law requires any business selling merchandise or services to purchase a local business license known as a local business tax receipt from its home-county, and comply with any local business license and zoning requirements..  This includes one-person companies and home-based businesses, whether they sell their goods or services online or from a brick-and-mortar office. When you operate a business without required licenses, you risk civil actions and penalties. The same civil actions and penalties apply to annual renewals as well. 

Business License Benefits

Aside from local licensing regulations, whether a business license is required or not, there are benefits to registering your business. Dependent upon the business structure, you may be able to claim certain tax deductions, and eliminate the personal liability for business debts and  litigation claims. A state registration provides your business a greater appearance of legitimacy, reduces identity theft opportunities, and also creates a presumptive ownership of your business name within your state. Lastly, many banks require an EIN, State Registration, and Articles of Incorporation to open a bank account.  

So before you open your small business, take the time to consider: do you want to protect your personal assets, avoid fines and penalties, and boost your business credibility?  Be sure to consider obtaining your business licenses first.

Are you and/or your business Florida based? If so and you need help with your business licenses, we’re here for you. Contact us here.  

Want to take the first step to legally securing your success?  Get your Free Ebook today!

About Sagacity Legal:
Sagacity Legal is a Florida-based firm that works with service-based small business owners, who want to minimize their legal risk so they can focus on achieving their full potential.

This article and all content herein is solely intended for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice in any manner. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing, or communication via email or other means does not establish an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when a written engagement agreement is executed. We disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website to the fullest extent permitted by law. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

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  1. Lee Shawk says:

    Yes you have to get licensed if you want to run your business other they claimed it illegal and fine you.

  2. Myron Em says:

    There is apparently a bundle to identify about this. I consider you made some good points in features also.

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    • Randi Karpinia says:

      Hi Sylvester – I just added a new feature to my blog where you can subscribe to receive the blog posts by email as I publish them.

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    Hi – I’m definitely not an expert at setting up a blog but I can tell you I’m using WordPress for my blog. There’s lots of online tutorials. Good luck!

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