Step 2: Creating Your Business
There are several types of business structures, each with its own benefits and limitations. While it can be changed later, it is far easier to make this decision correctly at the start.
The most common business structures available to you are:
Limited Liability Company
Limited Liability Partnership
View the available forms from the State of Florida.
What does it mean?
The Florida Division of Corporations, also known as Sunbiz, does a great job explaining the types of business entities and structures. As such, start your business by filing with the Department of State.
'Doing Business As' = DBA
A DBA, sometimes called a Fictitious Name, assumed name, or trade name, is a business name that is different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation. If you will be operating under a fictitious name, you will be able to register the name with the state to conduct business with this name. A lot of very small businesses choose this path.
What to Consider
If you choose the DBA as your filing, then the name you choose can still be used by another company. The name is not unique to only you in Florida. The other thing to consider is that if you file a DBA, there is no limited liability, therefore, if someone sued the company, your personal assets would be available in a lawsuit. If this is not a concern then a DBA might be right for you. More information can be found at Florida's Division of Corporations.
Legal Notice and Business License
Once you have the DBA filed with the state, then you will need to do a Legal Notice in a local newspaper,
Incorporated = Inc. & Limited Liability Company = LLC
If you choose to create an incorporated company, you will file as a Corporation or LLC. In Florida, these filings require that the name you choose must be unique. No other company can have the exact same name, so be creative and unique in the naming of your new business.
How to Incorporate a Business?
The formation of a company is an important decision so having this kind of assistance is very helpful in doing it right the first time. The first step to incorporating your business is choosing if you want to have corporation and which type your business will qualify as. Your accountant, tax preparer, attorney, or bookkeeper may the best person to go to help you make this choice.
Articles of Incorporation
Once you have chosen the type, you would then file the Articles with the Florida Department of State to legally create the entity. You will need a company name, principal address (which must be a physical Florida address) and a mailing address for the company which can be a PO Box if you would like. You will also need the names and addresses of all the owners in the company as the state requires this information. An email address is also necessary to file with the state.