Start a Business in Florida

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This guide on starting your business in Florida provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Florida, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Florida Limited Liability Company

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  • Form CR2E047: Articles of Organization for Florida limited Liability Company
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form DR-1: Florida Business Tax Application
  • Formation: $125
  • Formation: ~1-3 days online. ~8-17 days by mail.

Florida Corporation

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  • Form CR2E010: Articles of Incorporation for Florida Profit Corporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form DR-1: Florida Business Tax Application
  • Incorporation: $70
  • Form DR-1: $0 + $5 for sales tax registration (if applicable)
  • Incorporation: ~1-3 days online. ~8-17 days by mail

Florida Nonprofit

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  • Form CR2E006: Florida Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Form DR-1: Florida Business Tax Application
  • Form DR-5: Florida Application for Consumer's Certificate of Exemption
  • URS Charitable Registration, if applicable
  • Form FDACS-10100: Solicitation of Contributions Registration Application, or Form FDACS-10110: Exempt Charitable Organizations/Sponsors Application.
  • Incorporation: $70
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Florida sales tax license: $5, if applicable
  • Florida Charitable registration: $10-$400 ($0 if exempt)
  • Incorporation: ~1-3 days online. ~8-17 days by mail.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Florida

  1. The Florida Department of State branded their online filing tool "Sunbiz". You can file your formation documents through Sunbiz and you'll file your annual reports through Sunbiz.
  2. You can save time by filing online. If you file by mail, you'll wait for a response for ~8-17 days. If you file online, you'll get a response in ~1-3 days.
  3. Be sure to include a corporate suffix in your business name such as "corporation", or "llc". Florida accepts a short list of suffixes, which we will explain later.
  4. Registering for Florida business tax accounts is a relatively friendly process compared to other states. Florida offers a consolidated state tax registration application (Form DR-1) and they provide instruction in a start-up kit for new business owners.
  5. Finally, be wary of corporate filing scams in Florida. You need to file an annual report with the Florida Department of State through You may receive other notices from scam companies attempting to intervene in this filing process or sell you other services. The government has issued public warnings because these notices appear official and they get many calls asking if they are real.