Checklist for starting a business in Manatee or Sarasota Counties
Checklist for Starting a Business in Manatee and Sarasota Counties
1) 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.
2) OBTAIN AN ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER, A BUSINESS LAWYER, AND AN
INSURANCE AGENT. If you need a referral on 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.
3) 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.
4) 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 web site 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.
5) REGISTER FOR A FEDERAL TAX ID NUMBER (EIN). See
6) 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:
This web site also has a NEW BUSINESS GUIDE which can be downloaded (PDF format).
7) 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
8) WHILE DEALING WITH YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT BE SURE NO SPECIAL
PERMITS OR ZONING REQUIREMENTS ARE REQUIRED.
9) OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT.
10) Manasota SCORE is here to help. As you proceed through these steps, remember that you
can always ask for help from SCORE!