If you’re thinking of starting a business in Florida, you’re going to need to register the business in the appropriate places. A state tax registration number is the unique number a state assigns to a company, business or organization to track its tax filings and employees. This number is also known as a state employer ID or state EIN and is different than a federal employer identification number. Even if you’ve filed for a federal EIN, most states will require you to file for a state EIN as well.
How will you know if you need a sales tax ID number? If the business intends to hire employees, it will require a state EIN for every state in which employees are hired. If the business intends to sell goods or services that will be taxed, it will need a sales tax ID number.
If the business is a single person, called a sole proprietorship, it may not need an EIN if the owner files taxes under his own Social Security number. However, if that individual files pension or excise taxes, he will need an EIN even if he is the sole employee.
Types of businesses that may need to register include:
- Retail sales of goods and services
- Selling goods and services at non-permanent events, such as farmers’ markets, craft shows and flea markets
- Selling goods and services online and/or by mail
- Renting or leasing commercial real estate
- Billing or collecting membership fees
- Repairing or altering existing products and equipment
You can register for a federal EIN online at the IRS website. This page will also allow you to check your EIN if you’ve taken over the business from someone else or if you aren’t sure whether you have one already. It will let you know whether you need a new EIN after a business ownership change. The process is online, and it should assign a federal EIN quickly.
The Florida Department of Revenue website provides online instructions on how to obtain a state tax registration number in Florida as well as an online form that can be submitted. While specific information may be needed based on the type of legal entity that is being registered, in general, the business will need the following information to register in Florida for a state EIN:
- Legal name of the business
- Federal EIN
- The date the business was founded and its charter number
- The owner or officer’s name, Social Security number, address and telephone number
- The business’s physical address
Depending on the type of business being filed, Florida sales tax registration may require you to provide a description of the business’s activities, including its goods and services.
You may also need to provide employee information for tax purposes. In this case, you’ll need the number of employees, their date of hire and some payroll information if applicable. Businesses that operate using resale — buying goods, services or property that will then be resold or released — may need to also file a Florida Annual Resale Tax Certificate.
The Florida Business Tax Application form (DR-1) is available online or can be downloaded and printed. Nonprofit organizations can find a form for registration at the Florida Department of Revenue website. The website provides information for any other forms that will need to be filed based on the type of business being registered. Once granted, the sales tax license remains valid unless the business is not active for a year or more.