When someone thinks about e-commerce, it is hard to ignore massive players like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. However, most e-commerce merchants operate with smaller companies, focusing on a specific niche to attract loyal customers.
Which are the licenses required for online business owners in Florida? Read on to find out.
What Business License Do I Need to Sell Online in Florida? – The Verdict
Whether you are selling goods through an online or physical store, you must comply with all the licensing requirements in Florida. State law has an extensive list of regulated professions and businesses, plus other licenses required for tax and compliance purposes.
The first step is determining which business structure is the best option for your company. Many e-commerce merchants operate as sole proprietors, which waives several formalities required by other business structures.
Another popular way to run an online business in Florida is forming a limited liability company (LLC), which allows owners (or “members”) to enjoy pass-through taxation. If you are unsure of which business structure suits your company’s needs best, you must consult with a legal advisor in Florida.
General Business License
While Florida law requires no statewide license from companies simply because they exist, companies must generally obtain a general business license in the city or county where they are located.
Also referred to as a “Business Tax Receipt,” a general business license is required for all businesses providing goods and services, no matter the company’s industry or segment.
Any company involved in wholesale, retail sales, or any activity involving taxable goods and services must apply for a seller’s permit. This license is similar to a state tax ID, allowing online merchants to collect taxes on taxable goods and remit them to the state.
Licenses for Regulated Activities and Businesses
Certain regulated activities and businesses require special licensing from a government body or agency at the state level. For example, if you want to sell liquor online, you must apply for an alcoholic beverage and tobacco license with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Licensing requirements apply to specific activities and professions, which requires the assistance of an expert attorney to identify whether it is necessary for your case.
Obtaining Business License to Sell Online in Florida – Home Business vs. Standard Business
Many online merchants sell products online while working out of their homes. Since July 2021, a new law effective in Florida protects home businesses from several restrictions imposed by local governments (city and county levels) and defines what a home business is.
Florida Statutes §559.955 (1) specify that “local governments may not enact or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or policy or take any action to license or otherwise regulate a home-based business in violation of this section.”
Whether selling products or services online from your home or another business address, you must work with a Florida attorney to ensure your business complies with all requirements established by state law.
Do You Need a Business License to Sell Online in Florida? – Immediately Consult an Attorney at Jurado & Associates, P.A.
A well-versed licensing attorney from Jurado and Associates, P.A. is willing to guide you through the process to comply with Florida licensing laws. Call us today at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to find a solution for your case.