Starting a business venture of any sort comes with a lot of uncharted territory. For some, finding the right financing option is the ultimately challenge, for others it might be locating the perfect office space to spark the most business growth. And for those who have never done so, it can often be difficult to determine the best way to legally structure your business to get it off to a good start.
So before you begin your Florida based business, learn all your options to set your business up for success, both legally and financially. With the proper research and understanding of these key aspects of beginning your business, you will be able to make the right, informed decisions and turn your focus on the fun part: actually growing your business!
Before you can begin doing business in the state of Florida, you must choose a company name, the type of company to file as, and you must register with the state and have a business bank account.
While the name will depend on the type of business you are doing, here are some definitions to help you decide the type of company you should file as under that name:
Definition - This is a legal entity, created by the state, with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a natural person. A corporation possesses the attributes of limited liability, centralized management, continuity of life, and free transferability of interest.
There are two types of corporations:
Created for the purpose of conducting business in the widest sense of the term.
This is usually a corporation created for religious, educational, or charity purposes. Some might assume that nonprofits are charitable organizations, or that they are tax exempt, but that is not necessarily the case. They are corporations that may not distribute their income to a member, director, or officer other than as provided by law.
An association of two or more persons who carry on a business for profit as co-owners. There are several types of partnerships based on different factors, including limited partnerships, and foreign limited partnerships.
Limited Liability Companies
This is a hybrid form of a business entity combining the liability protection of a corporation with the tax treatment of a partnership. There are several advantages and disadvantages to this type of incorporation, just as with any other sort. So before you jump at one type of structuring or the other, do further research.
Getting Small Business Financial Help
Florida has been allocated more than $97.6 million by the U.S. Department of Treasury for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to strengthen the state’s programs that support lending to small businesses. Some of these programs include:
Florida Capital Access Program
This is a loan portfolio insurance program that enables lenders to make loans to small businesses that are creditworthy, but are not getting the loans necessary to expand and create jobs. This program allows small businesses to secure capital through lenders.
Florida Venture Capital Program
Enterprise Florida, Inc. has a partnership with Florida Opportunity Fund to manage this particular program that provides equity investments and convertible debt instruments to emerging Florida companies and companies locating in Florida with perceived long-term growth potential.
Small Business Loan Support Program
This program is also through Enterprise Florida, Inc. and is designed to provide Florida small businesses with credit enhancement and other tools to better access commercial bank financing.
Florida Export Support Program
This is administered through the Florida Export Finance Corporation. The purpose is to expand employment and income opportunities through increased exports of goods and services through guarantee loan organizations for sale in support of export transactions.
Once you’ve taken care of your business financially and legally, you can then settle down to enjoy the Magic City (or wherever in Florida you choose to locate your business) and all it has to offer in terms of business opportunities.