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Steps to take when starting a new business

It's always been your dream to own your own business, and you're finally going to make it a reality. This is an exciting time, but it's also important to slow down and make sure you're taking all of the proper legal steps in Florida. Some things you may want to do include the following:

-- Find the ideal location. As you do this, you'll need to know about purchasing commercial property or signing a commercial lease. You also need to know about local zoning laws to make sure that the property you obtain can be used the way you want to use it.

-- Figure out how you want to organize your business and what is required to legally set it up. For example, you may choose to be a sole proprietorship, a Limited Liability Company (commonly called an LLC), a partnership, an S corporation or even a cooperative or nonprofit.

-- Check to see if the name you want to use is available and then register it. This protects your name and your brand, and it ensures that you don't encroach on anyone else.

-- Find out what you must do to pay local taxes and what other expenses you'll face. For example, your company will need to get a tax identification number and you'll have to learn about things like workers' compensation, disability insurance and unemployment.

-- Learn about the legal side of hiring employees and what's required on your end. In many cases, you'll also need to learn about contracts and state laws that govern the treatment of employees.

As you can see, there is a lot to learn for a new business owner, so be sure you do this before opening your doors.

Source: SBA, "10 Steps to Starting a Business," accessed July 07, 2016

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