Starting a Business in Bonita Springs? Your License and Permit Checklist

Florida is an attractive state — it offers excellent weather, beautiful beaches, and an exciting melting pot of culture. But beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, it’s also an excellent state to become an entrepreneur and start a business. Because it doesn’t have an income tax and rent is low, especially when compared to other startup hubs, like Silicon Valley or New York, southwest Florida is quickly becoming a hotspot for entrepreneurs. If you’re ready to get in on the action and start a new business in Bonita Springs, there are some licenses and permits that you need to acquire before you can get started. We’ve got a handy checklist to get you started.

1: Determine Your Structure

One of the first steps to getting your business started is determining whether or not you’re going to have a sole proprietorship, corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership. Once you’ve determined which legal structure makes sense for you, you’ll need to register it with the state. Here are the links to register structures other than sole proprietorships in Florida:

2: Register Your Business Name

Once you determine what kind of business you will have, you will also need to register your business’s name if you will be doing business (D/B/A) under any other name. You can register your business name with the state using this link. You can also download the application and send it in person. It is recommended that you check to make sure the business name you created is unique and not currently in use by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System. You also may choose to trademark your business name to prevent other businesses from claiming your name.

3: Register with the State and/or County

Many different types of businesses require state licensure. To read the licensing requirements and determine if your business requires a state license, visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website. You will be able to complete an application for a license in the event that you are required to obtain one. For Lee County, you can determine whether or not you need to show a Business Tax Receipt by visiting their website.

4: Register for a Federal Employer Identification Number

Unless you have created a sole proprietorship, you are required to register for a Federal Employer Identification Number. You can do that online through the IRS website.

5: Register to Pay Florida Business Taxes Online

Although there isn’t an income tax in Florida, there are other taxes you must pay. You’ll want to register to pay your taxes online so you can handle them easily and promptly.

6: Determine Whether You Need Workers Compensation Insurance

In Florida, for non-construction businesses, if you have four or more employees, you will need to carry Worker’s Compensation insurance. You can find out more information and verify it online.

These are just the first steps to starting your business in Bonita Springs. Once you get things going, there is even more to do. Check out and download our Business Toolkit to make sure you’ve got everything covered!