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Plan for Your Future Today

Legal Checklist for Florida Startups

Even if you already own a business, you can still benefit from this startup checklist to be sure your business is functioning as it should when it comes to the law:

1. Avoid naming conflicts. One of the first steps in establishing a new business is naming it, but before you order your stationery and signage, be sure the name you have selected can be legally yours. You can perform a trademark search for free by going to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website (

2. Choose the right business structure. Many new business owners choose to operate as a sole proprietorship, but you can’t be sure this is the right structure for your business until you are fully aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each business structure. A Florida business attorney can help you understand if your business will function best as a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation.

3. Register the name of your business. If you have chosen to operate as an LLC or corporation, your business name will automatically be registered. However, if you choose to operate as a sole proprietor, you will need to register the name of your business by submitting a Doing Business As (DBA) application. This will protect your business name in the state where it is registered.

4. Get a Tax ID Number. LLCs and corporations are required to have a Tax ID number, which the IRS uses to track company transactions. If you are a sole proprietor, you should also register for a Tax ID number so you don’t have to share your personal Social Security number with customers or vendors.

5. Apply for business permits. Depending on the nature of your business and where you will operate, you may be required to have business permits from the city, county or state.

6. Learn about employment laws. If you plan to hire one or more employees, you will need to know what your legal obligations are as an employer and implement the proper policies and procedures to ensure you are fully compliant with state and federal employment law.

The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC, focuses on business planning and asset protection for Florida business owners. Contact our Fort Myers business planning law firm for your free consultation.

Categories: Business Planning
dorcey law firm
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169