Starting an Online Business in Florida - 10 Steps for Startups

Proven road to success

Starting an Online Business in Florida - 10 Steps for Startups

Let’s assume you have an entrepreneurial type of mind and have decided to start your own business. At the same time, you would like to keep your freedom of activity (otherwise why to leave the office job and start your own company?). With an online business, you can easily work from any place at a convenient time, no matter what time zone you are situated in. Making a living on the Internet without leaving your house or vice versa traveling and seeing the world sounds nice, doesn’t it? But every business, even an online one, needs a clear structure and strategy. You should make a plan and decide on the schedule. So, what steps should you follow before starting an online business in Florida?

starting an online business in Florida

Step 1. Determine Type and Size of the Company

The first and foremost step is to define the type and size of the company you want to start. If you begin to work individually or with one partner, then sole proprietorship can work well. This one is the simplest form of business structure. Furthermore, you won’t have to deal with thousands of papers and figure out a bunch of organizational questions to set it up. However, sole proprietorship companies are unprotected from liability for the business’s debts and obligations.

So, if you want to guarantee your protection in this sphere, choose to form a limited liability entity. It could be a limited liability company or corporation. Officially, the owners of such types of business are not personally liable for the business’s obligations. A limited liability company or an LLC is considered to be more flexible and involves less work with papers than in a corporation. Though starting an online business in Florida and planning to cooperate with outside investors or international partners, you should consider choosing a corporation.

Step 2. Decide on the Location

Being a resident of Florida, you will probably have no doubt what state to file your formation documents in. Just get to know how to register an online business in Florida. It is a usual practice to register your business in the place where you’re located. This way you avoid the added cost of hiring an out-of-state registered agent.

Step 3. Starting an Online Business in Florida - Identify a Name

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After two official steps of the plan on how to start an online business in Florida,  let’s move on to a creative stage! Try to choose a unique and interesting name for your company, which expresses the main idea and contributes to the image.

An original and memorable name helps your marketing, raises the chances that you will get a domain name coinciding with the name of your business. Keep in mind the legal side: with a well-chosen name there are fewer chances that you will be accused of the trademark infringement, and it also corresponds law requirements. To avoid repetitions or plagiarism, do a Google search, using local and general settings in your sphere of business.

Step 4. Choose a Domain

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The next logical stage of starting an online business in Florida is to choose a domain name. It is your Internet address which can end either in com., org., net., edu. or your local identification. It depends on the field of your activity, though .com seems to be the most popular and demanded. The easiest way to check if it’s taken is the same as with the name - type it into the address bar in your browser and see if any search result appears.

There are a lot of reliable companies nowadays who offer domain name registration. So, now the process is as simple as a piece of cake - set up an account, define the name you would like to have, and pay an annual fee. Yes, that simple! If you are not sure which company to choose for that purpose, read the reviews and testimonials on the Internet.

Step 5. Starting an Online Business in Florida - Submit Documents

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As you have already solved all the necessary questions concerning the structure and type of company, and the registration location, it’s high time to start the actual paperwork. File the documents with the state agency which deals with business filings. Then you are going to pay a fee. For now, the filing fee in Florida is about $125 for an LLC. After your LLC or corporation are formed, you will receive a confirmation document.

Step 6. Deal with the Financial Side

You can easily get a federal tax ID number from the Internal Revenue Service website. Being a sole proprietor you can choose a Social Security number instead of the tax ID number. Don’t forget about opening a bank account for processing business transactions. You can also pick online payment means beforehand.

Step 7. Figure Out Tax and Licensing Requirements

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If you are not sure that you understand clearly how to collect and pay taxes in Florida, just contact Florida taxation department or a trustworthy accountant to figure out all the requirements and responsibilities. You should check what kind of online business license Florida you need or whether you are required to register a DBA. Knock this paperwork out when it’s fresh!

Step 8. Buy a Web Hosting

Starting an online business in Florida and getting your website functioning online, you need to buy a web hosting, which is usually provided by the same companies which offer domain registration. Hosting actually gives your website a place on the Internet. There are a few things to consider when you choose a web hosting provider. Identify a type of the hosting you require, features you need, areas of specialization, security requirements, and the price you can afford. Don’t forget to check the feedback about the provider online!

Step 9. Starting an Online Business in Florida - Set Up a Website

set up a website

Surely, in a contemporary world with so many diverse means and even comprehensive website builders with drag-and-drop functionality, it’s possible to make a website yourself even not being a designer or a developer. However, this process surely requires a lot of learning and seems to be time-consuming.

So, if starting an online business in Florida, you have a budget, then you can save time and hire a professional to help you configure the design of your site, including all the features you need, creating a stylish logo, boosting the site’s speed, inserting images, and creating valuable text content.

Step 10. Pay Attention to SEO

You can have the most attractive and functional site in the world. Though what’s the point in it if nobody sees it on the Internet. As you’ve decided to incorporate a business in Florida online, you are obliged to take care of the SEO factors and indicators of your company. As for the on-site SEO, work on the reasonable and interesting titles, h1 and h2 tags. Remember, that your page title should be relevant to a user’s search query. Research the keywords that if included will contribute greatly to your company’s Google ranking.

Starting an online business in Florida, create the unique content of the decent volume and containing enough keywords. The content should also be relevant to the topic of your business activity. If you start a blog on your website, never forget to make new engaging posts regularly, otherwise, you will lose the reading audience. They say that SEO is a continual process, so you can’t just make it and leave it as it is.

Work with business partners to increase the level of outer links which lead to your site, add excellent content to your website, advertise your business on social media - and you will certainly see the result! Furthermore, make sure that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly because mobile is becoming the primary way customers search for new goods and services.

Starting an Online Business in Florida - Final Words

So, once you’ve chosen a great name and business structure, filed documents and set up your website, you’re ready to start your online business. Remember online business is actually busy and competitive. It means you can’t just sit back and wait for clients to arrive. Find your own methods to promote your business and enjoy your success!