Checklist for Starting a Business in Manatee and Sarasota Counties
- START YOUR BUSINESS PLAN. This is essential for obtaining any financing and is an excellent resource for creating a checklist and for making sure you have thought through the business idea. SCORE has a number of resources that can help you create your plan including a workshop held several times a year.
- OBTAIN AN ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER, A BUSINESS LAWYER, AND AN INSURANCE AGENT. If you need a referral to a lawyer, The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service (LRS), provides referrals to attorneys who will conduct an initial one-half hour office consultation for $25. Their number is 1-800-342-8011 1-800-342-8011 . If possible, utilize an insurance agent that comes recommended from friends, family, and colleagues. Your Manasota SCORE chapter can also provide a list of supporting professionals.
- DETERMINE A BUSINESS ORGANIZATION (E.G. C-CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP, S-CORPORATION, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP). Through an appointment, SCORE can help with that. Alternatively, use a lawyer to help you. You might also review www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98359,00.html and www.corporate.com/entitycomparison. jsp
- REGISTER THE COMPANY WITH THE FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE. While you are there, check with the Occupational Permit Counter at (850) 487-2252 (850) 487- 2252 ( www.myflorida.com/dbpr/ ) to determine any special licenses you need for your profession (e.g. contracting, barbers, etc.). Their website is: www.dos.state.fl.us Sample Forms are located at: www.dos.state.fl.us/doc/form_download.html
For example: Sole-proprietors will file a Fictitious Name Registration; Corporations will file Articles of Incorporation.
- REGISTER FOR A FEDERAL TAX ID NUMBER (EIN).
- REGISTER FOR STATE TAX ID NUMBER, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ID NUMBER, SALES TAX ID NUMBER (IF REQUIRED), AND ANY OTHER NECESSARY PERMITS REQUIRED FOR YOUR TYPE OF BUSINESS. See: www.myflorida.com/dor/businesses . This web site also has a NEW BUSINESS GUIDE which can be downloaded (PDF format).
- IF YOU WILL BE ESTABLISHING YOUR BUSINESS IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS, OBTAIN A BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT (formally called an Occupational License, which is basically a small tax allowing you to conduct business at that location):
- Sarasota County 1 (941) 861-8300 1 (941) 861-8300;
- City of Sarasota 1 (941) 954-4186 1 (941) 954-4186
- City of Venice 1 (941) 486-2626 1 (941) 486-2626
- City of North Port 1 (941) 423-3186 1 (941) 423-3186
- City of Longboat Key 1 (941) 316 -1999
- Manatee County Local Business Tax Receipt
(Manatee County does not issue occupational license(s), Bradenton does.)
City Clerk's Office - located in City Hall
101 12th St W
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 932-9400 (941) 932-9400
- WHILE DEALING WITH YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT BE SURE NO SPECIAL PERMITS OR ZONING REQUIREMENTS ARE REQUIRED.
- OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT.
- Manasota SCORE is here to help. As you proceed through these steps, remember that you can always ask for help from SCORE!