A sole proprietorship is the most simple type of business entity. To set up a sole proprietorship in Florida, you may not need to do anything at all. It's not necessary to register with the state as a corporation or to file a separate state tax return. However, if you are doing business under a name other than your own, you must register the fictitious name with the Division of Corporations of the Secretary of State's office. If you will conduct transactions that involve sales and use tax, you must register with the Department of Revenue.
Search the fictitious name database. Before you start doing business under a fictitious name, run a search through the online database to see whether someone else is already using that name in Florida. The database is linked in the Resources section below.
Advertise the name. Chapter 50 of the Florida Statutes requires that a fictitious name be advertised at least once in a newspaper in the county where the principal place of business will be located before registration. Contact a local newspaper for details on the cost.
Submit the fictitious name registration. If your business name is available and you have advertised your intent, you can submit your registration application online or by mail (see Resources section below). There is a $50 registration fee.
Register to collect sales tax (if necessary). If your business will collect revenue for sales, admission charges, storage or rental, you must register with the state Department of Revenue to collect sales tax. See the Resources section below for forms and registration.
Obtain local permits or other licenses as necessary. You will have to obtain county occupational licenses for certain types of business practices such as auto repair, child care, taxi, home sales solicitation, moving or towing. You will also need county licenses if your business involves certain types of land use or environmental impact.
Sole proprietorships file taxes on the individual return of the business owner. There is no state income tax in Florida.
- Sole proprietorships file taxes on the individual return of the business owner. There is no state income tax in Florida.
Joseph Nicholson is an independent analyst whose publishing achievements include a cover feature for "Futures Magazine" and a recurring column in the monthly newsletter of a private mint. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and is currently attending law school in San Francisco.