As my quest to start my own business continues, I’ve realized that there is quite a lot of fiddling with tax forms and legal documents to be done. And, when trying (trying being the key word here) to do some research on said documents, there is very little online that is quite as strait forward as I need. I know I need a Business License, and a Seller’s Permit, and I need to file for a Fictitious Name or “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. And I also know that I will more than likely have to pay income taxes, self-employment taxes, etc etc etc. -_- And with every single article I come to, I read the same exact lines:
“What you’ll need to start your business will vary from state to state, and even county-wise. The best thing to do is visit your city’s, county’s and state’s websites and find the forms.”
And off I went, starting with my state. Ah good old Florida. Where they say is a perfect place to start up a business. And they are quite right, assuming you live in any other county and state than the one I happen to live in. Every time I found a form for a “Home Occupational License” or something that looked to be exactly what I needed, I’d find that it was for Orange County, or Orlando. I looked up my county’s website and what you see is something like this:
Exactly. A Big. Fat. Nothing.
Sure, there’s some info for visitors, and some building and zoning permits, but when the “Businesses” tab is clicked on, the associated page wields nothing but emptiness. It might as well be a brick wall for all the information it held for me. And even then a brick wall might have given me at least a perspective of what I’d like to build my brick and mortar shop with one day. Oh the agony. Of all the counties we could have moved to, it was this one. And now on to my “city’s” site…well, needless to say this was just about as useful as the afore mentioned brick wall. Perhaps a bit more helpful though, as I did manage to find a Business Tax Certificate (or Occupational License) form. So I was appeased by this a bit, knowing that I had at least one scrap of useful something from the two sites. And, lucky me, the state’s Sunbiz website held a Fictitious Name Registration Form. So now I have in my possession two of the forms I need. And yet I still need to find this thing called a Business License, and a Seller’s Permit. Though I’m quite annoyed because apparently all of these licenses and permits and registrations can fall under different names according to your state or county. A Seller’s Permit can be called a State Tax ID, or Reseller Permit, along with a few other names. I feel like these websites have gone and pulled some Jedi mind trick on me, saying “These aren’t the forms you’re looking for, move along.” So perhaps, when I go back to the Florida website looking for permits, I can find the ones I’m looking for.
If anyone has any experience starting a business of their own, I would gladly take any advice you can offer. I hope those of you on your own journey to starting a business have more luck than I, and that your county isn’t so technologically inept that it can’t have a proper informative website.