The resources listed below explain basic steps that most business owners will need to take into consideration when starting a business.
Step 1 – Get Business Training and Expert Advice
There are several free counseling and training services available to help you get started and expand your small business. Take advantage of training and counseling in your community. These services include everything from preparing a business plan, to getting financing, to help with starting, expanding, and relocating a business.
Step 2 – Research and Create a Business Plan
Use these tools and resources to help prepare your business plan and become a successful business owner.
- Small Business Administration’s Small Business Planner provides guides and resources on developing business plans and common-sense advice on starting a new business.
- Log on to the SBA’s free online course on how to prepare a business plan.
Step 3 – Select a Location
Before signing a lease or purchasing a property for your business, check with the Planning and Zoning Department to see if your business is zoned to conduct the type of business you would like to open.
Step 4 – Finance Your Business
Search for Grants and Loans to find financing for your small business.
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Metro Broward
- South Florida Regional Planning Council
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Step 5 – Select a Business Name and Register Your Business
If your business will use any name other than the owner’s name or a properly registered corporate name, a fictitious name (also referred to as a D/B/A) must be registered with the state. Forms and additional information can be found at www.sunbiz.com or Florida Department of State, Fictitious Name Registration, P.O. Box 1300, Tallahassee, FL 32302, (850)245-6058.
Step 6 – Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
A choice that must be as a business owner is to determine the legal structure of your business. Your choice determines what kind of taxes your business must pay, who’s liable and what forms to complete. There are four main choices: 1) Sole Proprietorship; 2) Partnership; 3) Corporation; 4) Limited Liability Company.
Contact the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, P.O. Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314, (850) 245-6052, www.sunbiz.org. For S-corporation, call (800) 829-4933 or check online at www.irs.gov.
Step 7 – Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used to identify a business entity. A business with business partnerships, employees, corporations, and other types of organizations, must obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service. The EIN is form SS-4. Contact the IRS to obtain an EIN at 1-800-829-4933 or apply for an EIN Online now!
Step 8 – Register for State Taxes
The amount and type of taxes on your business, as well as other reporting requirements, will depend on the nature of the business, its legal organization, and whether there are employees. Major federal and state business taxes are listed below.
Federal Taxes – The Internal Revenues Service can provide information to employers on withholding and Social Security taxes, as well as federal unemployment taxes. Call (800) 829-4933 with questions and requests for assistance.
State Taxes – If your business will involve taxable transactions, you must register as a sales and use tax dealer before you begin conducting business. Form DR-1 must be completed. You are responsible for collecting sales tax at the time of each sale and remitting the tax each month to the Department of Revenue. Contact the DOR at (800)352-3671 or www.myflorida.com/dor.
Businesses with one or more employees may need to pay taxes to the state Unemployment Compensation Program. Employers pay a quarterly tax based on taxable payroll and benefits. Information and forms are available from the Department of Revenues website, www.myflorida.com/dor or, for more details, call Taxpayers Services at (800) 482-8293.
Step 9 – Obtain Certificate of Use and Permits for Lauderhill
In order to operate legally in the City of Lauderhill, all businesses are required to have a certificate of use and permit (if applicable) issued by either the state and/or the city.
City of Lauderhill Certificate of Use Process
Before an applicant can obtain a Local Tax Receipt, it is necessary to first apply for a Certificate of Use. All applicants must have the business use approved by Planning & Zoning prior to a Certificate of Use Application being approved by the Business Tax Division. After receiving approval from the Planning & Zoning Department, the fire, plumbing and code enforcement inspections must be approved and the business tax fees paid before a certificate of use can be issued.
Step 10 – Join Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce
As a member of the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce, you are partnered with other businesses and individuals in an organization that is working to strengthen the long-term economic vitality of its members at large and the community. You will find that many of out Chamber services have been designed to meet your needs. Be sure to put them to work for you today.
Step 11 - Learn How to Manage your Small Business's Finances
View the SBA'S Small Business Financial Management Webinar. This resource will guide you through the steps needed to organize your business's finances. From applying for loans to identifying key financial and accounting statements, this webinar is filled with tools and resources to help you navigate and manage your finances.