How do I start a business?
A question that we get a lot is “I want to start by own business. What do I need to do?” Of course, every business is different and a consultation with an attorney on your specific ideas is a must. However, we wanted to give you something to get you started, at least from a legal perspective.
1. Choose whether you want to be a sole proprietor, a corporation, an LLC, or some kind of partnership. For more information about the difference, see our post on “Choosing a Business Organization”
2. Get registered with the State. Go to www.sunbiz.org to fill out the necessary paperwork and pay the filing fee. Most if not all of what you need to do can be done online!
3. Write your organizational rules and regulations. Every organization has rules. Your company is no different. Especially for corporations, LLCs and partnerships, you need to make sure that you draft (or have someone draft) your articles of incorporation, bylaws, partnership agreements, operating agreements, etc. Store these in your corporate book for later reference.
4. Renew your registration annually. All business organizations except sole proprietorships must file annual renewal papers and pay an appropriate fee to be considered active businesses in the State of Florida. This date is May 1st so don’t miss the deadline! The penalties can be very costly!
There are a lot of companies that offer to prepare these documents for you… for a fee. If you want to use one of these companies, make sure to do your research. Otherwise, we suggest that you consult an attorney to assist you if you don’t want to do it alone.