How to Get Your Business Started in Miami, Florida

Image Source: McDermott Travel

The city of Miami on the beautiful southern tip of the USA is a gateway to international business and friendly to new companies. Take a look at the process required to open a new business in this Class A city.

Why Miami?

Simply put, South Florida is a fantastic place to open a business. Florida has no state income tax which allows you to keep much of your earnings. Florida also has a number of write-offs and tax incentives for business that help the state flourish as the 4th largest economy in the United States. Many tax credits are awarded in different sectors.

Miami itself is a burgeoning market for tourism, real estate, and finance. Information technology and healthcare are also opportunity markets in the region. Moreover, Miami is America’s gateway to South America and the Caribbean. With business and cultural ties to these vast markets, Miami is the perfect US location for companies with Latin American enterprises.

Opening Your Company

Once you’ve decided upon Miami to open your business, there are a number of steps to take to before you are up and running. First of all is the naming of your company. As with town names in American states, there can only be one per state. When you have the name of your company in mind, do a quick check to see it is available in Florida on the State of Florida Website.

Take care to consider the type of legal naming for the company you have as well. If you are forming a limited liability company, for example, it is important to note that either the abbreviation LLC or the words Limited Liability Company need to be included in the name. It is also wise to reserve the domain name for your company on the internet as well. It would be awfully confusing for another site to get traffic that should go to yours.

Next you will need to obtain the legal licenses and permits necessary to open your business in Miami. These include a Local Business Tax Receipt, a Zoning Permit, and Industry-Specific Licenses. Some businesses may also need to get approval for Environmental Operating Permits such as Land Use Regulations Compliance, Sewer Capacity Certification, or others. Be careful to check if your business will be located in a municipality with additional permits to obtain. LLCs will require the address and filing of a Registered Agent.

Beyond Miami’s jurisdiction, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations gives licenses covering a number of activities and professions in the State. The federal government requires you to get federal licenses for activities regulated by the United States Federal Government.

Download the Registration Statement to the Division of Corporations with the required fee to apply to open your business. The Federal Government will also need you to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS.

Finding Your Office

Miami leases are somewhat expensive compared to other American cities, but far lower than those of New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. Views abound throughout the city and there are relatively high rates of construction keeping vacancy rates at an acceptable level. That being said, there are a few things to consider when searching for an office.

Parking in Miami is notoriously difficult to come by. Outside of the downtown area, it isn’t as easy to get around without a car and it may be preferable if you want to offer employees the opportunity to avoid public transportation to scope out an area’s parking garages.

You may also want to consider if you prefer downtown or a suburban location with more amenities. The Wynwood area is home to Uber and increasingly trendy. All across the Miami area, amenities such as good restaurants, cafes, cultural areas, and good schools can be found. It may pay off to do your research if you want to attract more permanent staff with an attractive area.

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