Starting a business can be a difficult process, with many steps that cannot be skipped in order to be successful. After completing the most obvious first step of the process - choosing a name for your business - you must make a choice between designating your business as a sole proprietorship or as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). Regardless of which designation you choose for your business, you will have to register your company with the state of Florida and with Hardee County, and then you will have to open a bank account in the name of the company. Even if you are running a small business from your home or online, these steps are necessary and must be followed.
If you choose to designate your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you will have to file a DBA, which is a fictitious business name or trade name. DBA stands for "doing business as." This name is the name that you will register with the state of Florida, and you will be able to conduct business under this name in Hardee County as well as throughout the rest of the state. Once you have filed your DBA with the state, you will have to put out a legal notice in one of the local newspapers, and obtain a business license from either the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and file your taxes with the Hardee County Tax Office.
If you choose to incorporate as a corporation or LLC, you will need to confirm that your business name is totally unique, and then you will need to choose between becoming a corporation or an LLC; your accountant or an attorney will be able to help you choose which is best for your business and your goals. Once you have made that choice, you will need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Department of State, which legally creates your business as an entity. You will also need a name for your company, a company email address, a principal address (which must be a physical address in Florida), and a mailing address (which can be a PO Box, if desired). Florida also requires the names and addresses of all the owners of the company. Next, you will need to file a Federal Employer Identification Number with the IRS for federal tax purposes that will be used with all transactions associated with your company. After all of this, now you will be able to apply for a business license from Hardee County. Finally, you will need to open a bank account for your company.
Once you have completed all of these steps, you will be able to begin operating your business in Hardee County.