If you are an entrepreneur who is thinking about how to start a business in Orlando, it is quite understandable. Welcoming more than 57 million tourists annually, Orlando, the Theme Park Capital of the World, is not just a trap for tourists. In fact, the city does not just have a flourishing tourism industry, but digital media, technological businesses for agricultural support, software designing and even aviation industries are booming as well.

Apart from the strong technological base, Orlando also has a solid medical foundation. For entrepreneurs and seasoned businessmen alike, Orlando is a great city to establish a business. Florida is actually one of the most pro business states in the USA and even though reflecting upon how to start a business in Orlando may seem like a daunting task at first, as you proceed you will realize that the cost of starting a business in this city is actually relatively cheaper than most cities.

So in case you are wondering how to start a business in Orlando, this blog will tell you what you need to know before starting a business in the area.   You can also call us at 407-502-2400, or email us at [email protected] , and we will gladly help set up your new business in Orlando.

Establishing Your Business in Orlando

Writing a Terrific Business Plan

If you want your business to reach the pinnacles of success, then writing a business plan is one of the things that you really need to focus on. A business plan will not just provide a road map achieve your goals but it will also determine how to start a business in Orlando that ends in success. A detailed business plan has the following:

  • An executive summary
  • A brief yet apt description of the company
  • Results of an elaborately conducted market research
  • Details about how you intend to market and sell your product
  • The managerial hierarchy and structure of reporting
  • Incorporate details that make your product stand out from the competition
  • Methods through which you will fund and finance your business

Choosing a Corporate Structure

Whenever you are setting up a new business, you need to analyze the different corporate structures and check which one is the most suited to you as all of them have certain advantages and disadvantages associated with them. So if you are wondering how to start a business in Orlando, the business structure that you choose must depend upon your particular business requirements for which you need to have a discussion with tax preparers and lawyers. The structure of the company helps to determine the type of tax forms you have to file and the kind of taxes that you will be liable to pay. Choosing the right business entity plays an active role in determining how to start a business in Orlando.

  1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

These companies are hybrid businesses; meaning, they combine the characteristics of both partnerships or sole proprietorship and corporations. Such companies have the limited liability of corporations and the pass through taxation of the former.

You must file “Articles of Organization” to the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations. The fees for these articles may be paid in check, money order, and credit or debit card. In Florida, the filing fee is around $125 and you will also have to pay annual charges of $50. LLCs have the option of choosing how to get taxed, whether as corporations or as partnerships/single member companies. You may check the mailing address for the division here.

  1. Sole Proprietorship

If you are a single owner and wondering at how to start a business in Orlando, you may incorporate the company as Sole Proprietorship. Such companies are just as easy to dissolve as they are to start. The profitable incomes are taxed at the individual rate of federal tax determined by the amount conveyed on the Schedule CZ or Schedule. These companies are not supposed to file income tax returns of a corporation but they do have a lot personal liabilities for obligations incurring in business and debts. But this personal liability is actually limited by the state of Florida’s homestead rights law. According to this law, the creditors are allowed to seize the house of the owner of the business.

  1. Partnership

Quite similar to sole proprietorship, partnerships are also easy to set up. If there are a couple of people or more who are thinking about how to start a business in Orlando, then partnerships are probably the answer. The losses and the profits are shared by all the owners. However, it is not easy to dismantle a partnership. Partnerships are required to submit annually a report that shows their deductions, actual income, profits and losses but it can pass through the income tax to individual partners and then every partner can include his/her share of the income and loss for tax returns. You may receive detailed information on tax returns of partnerships here.

  1. Corporation

If you are wondering how to set up a business in Orlando for a complex network having numerous employees, then the solution is to set up your company as a corporation. The Division of Corporation of the Florida Department of State will see your company as a corporation. There are two major types of corporations:

  • C Corporation
  • S Corporation

In the C Corporation, the business is accountable to pay for liabilities and taxes. However, the S Corporation, even though it is similar to C Corporations in most ways, requires the individual to pay the taxes and be accountable for liabilities when filing the individual income tax returns. More details about tax returns of C corporations and S corporations can be read at the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) official website.

For a consultation on what type of business structure is better for you, call us at 407-502-2400, or email us at [email protected] .


Before you analyze how to start a business in Orlando, you must understand the various taxes you will be liable to pay. There are basically for types of federal taxes that you may have to pay:

  1. Federal Excise Tax
  2. Employers Tax
  3. Tax for Self Employment
  4. Income Tax

For details on federal taxation, read the IRS’s Guidelines for Taxes. However, there are also state level taxes that companies have to pay. You may visit http://dor.myflorida.com/taxes/Pages/default.aspx to find out more about the taxes that you will to pay for your business.

Financing Your Business

Another key factor when determining how to start a business in Orlando is financing. Starting up a business is not an easy thing to do. In order to run the business smoothly, you need finances to support it. Study in detail about the various loan programs, research grants so that you are certain about the necessary funding for running the operations of your business.

Choosing a Location

Choosing the right location plays a key role in attracting customers, especially if your business relies a great deal upon exposure to customer traffic. All those people wondering how to start a business Orlando, following are the things to keep in mind before you select a location:

  • You must analyze all the business requirements no matter how inconspicuous they may appear initially. Here are some of the things you need to asses:
    • Finding out whether nearby businesses are of complementary nature or competitive one;
    • Discovering if the location has room for future growth if the business expands;
    • Determining the proximity of the suppliers;
    • Noticing whether the locations aids in projecting the image you want to portray;
    • Ascertaining the labor force is readily available to work at the location;
    • Sensing the susceptibility to crimes.
  • Confirm the zoning of the land before finalizing the property. You may check up the location in zoning maps or speak to a planner by calling the local Planning Division on 407-246-2269.

Naming the Business

If you are thinking about how to start a business in Orlando, picking up a name should also be a priority as the name is one of the most crucial business decisions that you have to make. Ideally, the name should be small and not very complicated. You must trademark your name so that your company gets protected both legally and federally.

Visit http://www.uspto.gov/ to find out if any other company is already using your name. Corporations are not required to file until they are doing business under a name that is different than the corporate name given to them. For more about naming your business in Florida, visit http://www.sunbiz.org/search.html.

Obtaining EIN

EIN stands for Employer Identification Number and it is meant to identify your unique business entity. Except for sole proprietors without employees (ones who have to pay employment tax or federal excise will require EIN), businesses generally require an EIN number.

Obtaining Business License or Tax Receipt and Other Permits

Establishing a business also means that you will be occupied with a lot of paperwork unless you are running a home based sole proprietor business without any other paid employees (which still requires certifications). All of the detailed information that you require regarding how to start a business in Orlando can easily be obtained from the City Hall. However, if you want a more efficient service, you may visit http://business.cityoforlando.net/ and make an online account for better convenience. You will get all the information related to permits, costs and time, and zoning requirements for your business here.

So if you were anticipating how to start a business in Orlando, here is a bunch of certifications, licenses and permits that you may need to acquire:

Business License or Business Tax Receipt

If you are thinking about how to start a business in Orlando, realizing the significance of acquiring license will help you out. If the business is within the city of Orlando, two business tax receipts will be required, one from each: Orange County and Orlando City (from the Office of Permitting Services). The latter should be acquired before the former. There are a few exceptions though; cities like Buena Vista and Bay Lake must only acquire a local business tax license from Orange County. You must pay all the fees that are associated with it. If you do not pay the business tax receipt fees, you will incur additional delinquency charges. This fee is due on 1st October of every year.

Permit for Zoning

Another aspect about how to start a business is Orlando is related to zoning permits. If you are an entrepreneur looking forward to start a business in Orlando then you acquire a zoning permit. The permit is also required for acquiring business tax receipt. If the address is within the city, you may get the permit from the zoning department of the city. If the address is outside the city, county zoning department may be approached. The idea is to determine that the zoning classification for the particular business has been done appropriately.

Licenses for Alcoholic Beverages

If your business sells alcohol, then a beverage has to be attained which will be issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the fees will depend upon the kind of alcoholic beverage that you will be selling. It is federal tax and even the retailers of alcoholic beverage will be subjected to pay the federal occupational tax.

Licenses and Permits for Health

These types of permits and licenses are required for public food and lodging business. The Division of Hotels and Restaurants may provide you with the necessary licenses. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs issues licenses to food distribution and storage businesses, plants that process food, and retail stores that sell food items.

License for Retail Establishment

The Department of Financial Regulation of Florida subjects financing companies, dealers of security, brokers, and advisors of investment and collection agencies to acquire this license.

Permits for Environmental Safety

You have to apply for this license through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection of the State. This type of permit is important for businesses where the following activities are performed:

  • Water and sewage treatment
  • Construction of storm water and drainage wells

Professional and State Business License

While assessing how to start a business in Orlando, you must realize the importance of acquiring all the required federal and state business licenses. There are several categories (nearly 200) which require state licenses issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida. The Department of Health of Florida deals with the licenses issued to health related business.

Protecting Your Business

When you are deliberating on how to start a business in Orlando, you need to think about methods to protect your business simultaneously. There are several types of asset protections that your business may require which depend upon the nature and the size of the business.


Protection of Tangible Assets

All the cash, machinery and tools required to run the operations, furnishings can be described as tangible assets. These can be protected by:

  • Insuring the property
  • Liability coverage to protect your business from injuries and deaths and damages to the property caused by the operations of the business
  • Business income Insurance to pay the utility bills , payroll, rent in case a business has to shut down
  • Coverage against natural disaster like flood and earthquake
  • Coverage for commercial crimes such as forgery, burglary

Protection of Human Assets

You have thought about how to start a business in Orlando quite extensively but the one thing you forgot to take into account was the most precious asset that you have, that is human life which might cause you to shut the business. There are various insurances to acquire for the ordinary workers and bosses, such as:

  • The liability for directors and officers to protect individual executives and company in case of financial losses
  • The coverage for the workers which is required necessarily in case the company has four or more employees according to the law of Florida
  • Insurance for key employees in event of their death

Protection of Intellectual Property

If you can’t touch or feel it does not mean that it does not require insurance. That is right, these are intangible assets. These also play an important in determining how to start a business in Orlando because having no physical existence, they have great commercial value. There are following three kinds of intellectual property protections available

  • Trademark distinguishes between different business products. Trademarks may comprise of web domains, packaging, symbols and logos etc. For limited state protection for your business in Orlando, you may register your trademark through the Department of State’s Division of Corporations.
  • Copyrights for original artistic works like music, creative works. Just put a symbol © for copyrighting your property. If you want to take legal action for violation you may click here.
  • Patents granted to inventors to prohibit other to make or sell a similar invention for a particular time frame

Managing Your Business in Orlando

Other Professionals for Business Support

One of the important things to keep in mind when determining how to start a business in Orlando is to have a complete business support system, working alongside the professionals in their respective fields. You will most definitely need the service of the following:

  • A lawyer to take care of the legal issues
  • An accountant for maintaining records and bookkeeping along with preparation of taxes and loan applications
  • Web developers for making a professional website

You must have a proper record keeping system and despite the fact you have an accountant to keep track of your financial aspects, you still need to know some of the basics of bookkeeping yourself.

Getting Acquainted with Federal and State Labor Laws

Another important thing to get acquainted with when analyzing how to start a business in Orlando is state labor laws along with federal laws. You must necessarily check up on laws related to child labor, minimum wage, new recruitments, compensation of workers, health insurances, leave policies, eligibility of employees, equal pay laws for men and women, equal employment opportunities and occupational laws for safety and health of the workers.

Call us at 407-502-2400, or email us at [email protected] , and we will gladly help set up your new business in Orlando. Take advantage of our FREE initial consultation. For more information about our new business set up service in Orlando, click here.


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