Starting a Small Business in Florida
Invoice2go has released its second annual list of the top 25 cities for small business in the U.S. The ranking was determined by looking at the invoicing data of more than 20,000 businesses across every industry under the sun. Carpenters to plumbers, freelance DJs to fitness trainers were included. Florida showed up big – Miami, Tampa and Orlando all made the top 25.
If you’d like to make the leap to entrepreneur in Florida, here’s some helpful information.
Are you Entrepreneur Material?
First, take this short quiz to determine if you have the personality and fortitude to launch and run a business: Do I Have What It Takes to Start and Run My Own Business? If the answer is a resounding “yes”, start strategizing now.
Choose a Location
Is your location locked down? If not, NerdWallet has an article here that can help Best Places to Start a Business in Florida.
Plan Your Business Idea
According to StartUpSavant, the most important step is to professionally plan your business venture. Along with being required to secure funding, a professional business plan also supports growth, helps manage cash flow and distinguish fly-by-nights from the ones who are serious. Don’t get overwhelmed; there are lots of resources to help you hammer out a plan. Try this course for free: How to Write a Solid Business Plan.
Start Your Business
To start a business in Florida you need to:
- Check with the County Tax Collector to see if you need a license.
- Register your business with the Florida Department of Revenue.
- Register with the IRS.
- Corporate entities or fictitious name registrants should register with the Department of State.
Taxes small business owners are required to pay include:
- Sales and Use Tax
- Reemployment (formerly Unemployment) Tax
- Corporate Income Tax
- Other Taxes
Funding a Small Business
Once your business is up and running, it’s time to consider additional financing. While the word “debt” might concern you, not all debt is created equal. Low-cost funds, like an SBA loan, can absolutely take your business to the next level. From marketing to hiring to equipment purchases, extra funds can help your business flourish. If you have preexisting high interest rate debt, you can refinance with a low rate, long-term loan. Before you go to a bank or start researching online, here’s a helpful checklist so you can determine if you’re ready to apply for a loan. Securing a Loan: Self-Assessment Checklist. If you’re ready to start the process, consider an SBA loan. With low rates and 10-year terms, payments are affordable and won’t crush your cash flow. SmartBiz makes the application process simple with an easy-to-use online platform and dedicated Relationship Managers to guide you through the process. Create an account today and you’ll know in about 5 minutes if you’re prequalified for an SBA loan. SmartBiz conducts a “soft pull” of credit so your scores won’t be impacted. As a bonus for our readers, use the promo code “BLOG” to save $500 off of your closing costs.
Take Advantage of Resources
The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Small businesses are so important to grow the overall US economy, many organizations have been set up to help guide them towards success. Check out the resources below for information and education.
Designated as “Florida’s provider of small business assistance,” the Florida SBDC Network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West to serve the needs of Florida’s business community. Since 1976, a network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the support and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators.
SBA websites offer many resources for the small business owners. From webinars to legal information, you can find almost any issue you might face as a small business owner on their website.
A non-profit organization, SCORE offers a wealth of resources for the entrepreneur including free one-on-one mentoring. The goal of SCORE is to foster vibrant small business communities through education.
The Florida Chamber fights for greater economic opportunity and job creation. From their website: “For the past 100 years, the Florida Chamber has stood up for what’s right for Florida in every corner — from the Florida Legislature to the Florida Cabinet, from state to federal agencies, from the court of law to the court of public opinion. When the battle is about what is best for Florida’s future, the Florida Chamber is on the front lines.
Do you need extra funds for your small business? An SBA loan is the best bet for small businesses with low rates, long terms and low monthly payments. Visit SmartBiz