There are many things to consider when starting a business in Florida. While decisions like picking a color palette for your storefront or designing a logo may spark your interest, it is important to make sure your business is legally structured in a way that helps your business grow. Choosing a business structure is one of the most significant business decisions you will ever make, as it determines how your business will operate on a daily basis. With various business entities to choose from, you must understand the differences to decide the best structure for your business. Once you are ready to get your business in solid standing, our experienced business attorney can advise you on the best way to structure your business.
The advantage of structuring your business as a sole proprietorship is that it can be quickly set up. In Florida, new business entities are automatically sole proprietorships unless paperwork is filed to form another type of business structure. If you want your business name to be different than your legal name, you will need to file for a fictitious name (also called “doing business as,” or DBA) to register your business.
The major disadvantage of sole proprietorships is that they do not offer liability coverage. Someone could sue the sole proprietor for their business profits, , and other family assets not related to the business.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A Limited Liability Company allows a single individual or a group of business owners to separate their business from personal assets legally. This protects the business owner’s private property, as an individual could only sue the company for the business profits, not the business owner’s personal assets.
Partnerships allow multiple people to share in the business’ gains or losses. General partnerships distribute rights and company responsibilities equally among all members.
What sets corporations apart from other business structures is that business ownership is sold through stocks. Though one or more individuals may operate the business, shareholders are technically the owners of the corporation. To become a corporation, business owners must adhere to detailed business record-keeping and other requirements.. This type of business entity is entirely separate from the people who operate the business. If one of the owners passes away, the company can live on if desired.
Non-profits are technically corporations, formed with charitable, scientific, educational, or religious causes in mind. As the name suggests, non-profits net zero when filing for taxes every year. Non-profits are tax-exempt but must file and be approved to achieve 501(c)3 status (the most common type of nonprofit status).
Peppler Law, P.A., business attorney
Attorney Thomas R. Peppler is an experienced business lawyer dedicated to guiding small business owners on running legally sound businesses from day one. We created a program to help small business owners with their required yearly reporting, invoices, and contracts. We serve businesses throughout Central Florida, including Winter Springs, Oviedo, Orlando, and beyond. Call our office at 407-316-2045 to schedule a free consultation.