Starting a Business in Florida: Legal Considerations
Updated: Jun 13, 2022
Launching your own company can be a confusing and lengthy procedure. While Florida has a streamlined process, there are still many ancillary issues that must be considered in order to be successful in a competitive market.
1. Protecting your personal assets Businesses come in many forms which offer a variety of liability and asset protections to their owners. When deciding to form a business it is important to separate yourself from your business as an entity. Shielding yourself from the liabilities of your company can help prevent you from swimming through personal financial straits should your business go under. The most common form of business that operates in this way is a limited liability company, or LLC. LLC owners are protected on a personal level from the liabilities incurred to customers by the business.
2. Naming your Company Florida requires business entities to have distinguishable names. When naming your company, it is always important to research how available the name you have chosen is. This is an important step on both a state and federal level because while a name might not be registered to a business formed in Florida, it may have a trademark filed federally by an entity in another state. After choosing a name and forming your business, you might also want to consider registering the name with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
3. Insurances Florida, like most states, requires a business to insure their employees by the way of worker’s compensation. While this may be costly to an employer, it is important not to overlook the importance of insurance for workers because a lack of insurance could cost you your whole business instead of some additional money each month. General liability insurance might be even more important than worker’s compensation. It can protect you from defective product and negligence claims, amongst others. It is always a better route to pay a little more now than to lose your entire business later.
4. Taxes Before you can even begin to operate as a business it is imperative to remember what may be the most important process in starting up your company – paying your taxes. The IRS requires business entities to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so that it can collect taxes from them. Failing to do so can incur costly liability and/or other repercussions down the road that a limited liability business structure might not protect against.
5. Licensing and Permits From retail to restaurants, cutting hair to cutting grass, most professional businesses require some sort of licensing or permit in order to operate legally. Comprehensive lists of permits and licenses required for different industries can be found online through both the Florida Departments of Agriculture & Consumer Services and Business & Professional Regulation.
6. Hire a Good Lawyer Florida requires you to register your business with a registered agent. A registered agent is an entity or person that receives service of process and other legal documentation on behalf of your company. While you may want to put yourself, the business owner, as the registered agent, it is import for you give legal matters to a legal professional in order to best protect yourself. Hiring a lawyer as your registered agent may save you time and money in the future. A lawyer experienced in business law can also help you with the setup of your business, including the creation of operating documents and contracts necessary to business operation.
The Kendrick Law Group is dedicated to providing quality legal counsel in all aspects of your business legal matters. Call us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you.