Regional Resources

 SCORE Southwest Florida is a resource partner of the SBA, 3650 Colonial Blvd, Suite 231, Fort Myers, FL 33966  239-489-2935



Small Business Administration (SBA)100 South Biscayne Blvd., 7th Flr, Miami, FL 33131, Phone: 305-536-5521   

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) @ Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Blvd. South, Lutgert Hall, 2nd Floor, Fort Myers, FL 33965, Phone: 239-745-3700      

Women's Foundation of Southwest FloridaServing Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades Counties,  (239) 908-0301

Florida Women’s Business Center (FWBC)401 W Atlantic Ave, Suite 9, Delray Beach, FL 33444, 561-265-3790 x111  

Women’s Business Development Center – FloridaFor certification of women-owned business status used to connect with companies desiring to do business with such certified enterprises, 13155 SW 134th Street, Suite 205, Miami, FL 33186, 305-971-9446  

Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)  Helps Florida businesses seeking to compete for federal, state, and local government contracts. 

    Federal Government Contracting Process    

    Doing Business with the Defense Logistics Agency     

    Steps to Starting and Finding Federal Government Contracting Opportunities   

    How to Register to do Business with the Government - FL link

VBOC Veteran Business Outreach Center   Mission is to help create, develop, and retain veteran-owned small business enterprises. 

   Fees for 7(a) SBA Loans Made to Veteran Owned Small Businesses Effective October 1, 2016 

   Non Veteran 7(a) and 504 SBA Fees Effective October 1, 2016

Business Plans In addition to SCORE and/or SBDC  

Census Business Builder  data to determine the best location for your business



Whether to choose to be a Sole Proprietor or Partnership or choose to limit liability more by Incorporating or becoming a LLC (limited Liability Company).

Legal Support                                                                                     

Lee County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, 2077 1st Street, #207, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-334-0047  For a $50 fee, a lawyer (up to three) is recommended according to the area of need.  The fee covers 30 minutes of consultation.

LegalZoom  For specified fees, you may enlist the support of legal professionals for business startup needs.  

Registration, State of Florida   For corporations, partnerships, or LLC’s.  Office of the Secretary of State Corporate Information Department, PO Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314, Corporations: Phone: 850-245-6052, LLC: 850-245-6051, Partnerships: 850-245-6051, 



If the business is not a corporation and not named by the individual’s full name.  It must be advertised (at least once) in a newspaper in the county in which the principal place of business will be located.

Division of Corporations, PO Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32302  Phone: 850-245-6058  



License Requirements, State of Florida                                               

Florida Business Guide”,  (costs $9.95)

Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulations & Licensing, 1940 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399, Phone: 850-487-1395   


License Requirements, Lee County

Lee County Tax Collector, 2480 Thompson Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-533-6000   


Certificate of Use, Permitting, Zoning, Lee County - Consult if the business is located other than in your home.  Municipalities also have such a requirement.

Lee County Community Development, 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-533-8585 


Competency License, Lee County - For some businesses and professions, such as carpenters, painters, tile installers, concrete, etc.

Lee County Contractor’s Licensing, 1500 Monroe Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-533-8895   


Municipal Licensing    

City of Bonita Springs, 9220 Bonita Beach Rd., Suite 111, Bonita Springs, FL 34135, Phone: 239-444-6150  

City of Cape Coral, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33990, Phone: 239-574-0401   

City of Fort Myers, 2200 Second Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-321-7900    

City of Sanibel, 800 Dunlap Road, Sanibel, FL 33957, Phone: 239-472-3700   

Town of Fort Myers Beach, 2523 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931, Phone: 239-765-0202    



Federal Employer Identification NumberNecessary if entity has employees and/or is a corporation or partnership and/or is a non-profit. 

See EIN at for more information and obtaining a number, or go to:

US Internal Revenue Service, 4210 Metro Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33916, 239-938-7601   (click FL on the map)



Federal - A sole proprietor without employees pays by a personal Tax Return.  Otherwise, consult the IRS.

Internal Revenue Service, 4210 Metro Parkway,   Fort Myers, FL 33916, Phone: 239-938-7601 or 800-829-4933  


State of Florida - Consult for Corporate Income Tax, Sales and Use Tax, Florida Unemployment Tax, Tax on Out-of-State Purchases requirements.

Florida Department of Revenue, 5050 W Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399, Phone: 800-352-3671    

Once an employee is hired, employers must report such if the employee resides and/or works in the State of Florida within 20 days of hire, whether full-time or part-time, rehires and/or all returns-to-work.

Florida New Hire Reporting Center, PO Box 6500, Tallahassee, FL 32314, Phone: 888-854-4791   


Florida Workers Compensation - For a construction business that has one or more full or part-time employees; for another business that has four or more full or part-time employees:

Florida Dept. of Financial Services. Division of Workers Compensation, 200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399, Phone: 850-413-1609 or 800-742-2214                        


Lee County Property Appraiser - Known as Tangible Personal Property Tax, all counties tax the personal property or business equipment of businesses.  Contact:

Property Appraiser,  2480 Thompson Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-533-6100    


Business Formation in Florida

A Business Start-up Guide for sales and use tax requirements.

Department of Revenue Service Center. 2295 Victoria Avenue, Suite 270, Fort Myers, FL 33901, 239-338-2416     


Lee County Business Start-up Guide - These are available as handouts in the SCORE office.



Minority Owned BusinessWhere 51% is owned by African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, or American Indians/Alaska Natives, special Federal programs and resources exist.  

Credit Counseling & Financing Sources

As approved by the Department of Justice.

Consumer Debt Counselors, Inc. 831 W Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789, 800-820-9232     

Free Credit Score Information

Business Debt Counseling National Debt Relief   

Free Financial Assessment from who is a SCORE Foundation partner to determine which options are open to you based on your credit score and other factors.  

Access Business Development and Finance provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings. A certified development company [CDC] is a nonprofit corporation set up to contribute to the economic development of its community or region. CDCs work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide the financing to small businesses. 

Crowds Unite  The biggest crowdfunding review site in the world.   A guide  through the crowdfunding process from start to finish. 

Gust provides simple, powerful tools for finding and working efficiently with angel and venture capital investors throughout the funding process


Franchises - For selection assistance and general information:

FranNet, Phone: 813-920-0100,                      


Chambers of Commerce (COC)/Associations/Organizations

Greater Fort Myers COC, 2310 Edwards Drive. Fort Myers, FL 33901, Phone: 239-332-3624,

 Cape Coral COC, 2051 Cape Coral Parkway – East, Cape Coral, FL 33904, Phone: 239-549-6900  

The Chamber of Southwest Florida, 5237 Summerlin Commons Blvd., Suite 114, Fort Myers, FL 33907, Phone: 239-275-2102, 

Estero COC, 9351 Corkscrew Road, Estero, FL 33929, Phone: 239-948-7990   

Fort Myers Beach COC, Key Estero Shops, 1661 Estero Blvd, Ft Myers Beach, FL 33931, 239-454-7500     

SW Florida Hispanic COC, 1400 Colonial Blvd, #250, Fort Myers, FL 33907, Phone: 239-418-1441   

Lee County COC, PO Box 60834, Fort Myers, FL 33906, Phone: 239-931-0931   

North Fort Myers COC, 2787 North Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers, FL 33903, Phone: 239-997-9111

Sanibel and Captiva Islands COC, 1159 Causeway Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957, Phone: 239-472-1080

Bonita Springs COC, 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135, Phone: 239-992-2943   


Florida Association of Nonprofit Organizations (FANO) - Start-up and education services.

7480 Fairway Drive, Suite 205, Miami Lakes, FL 33014, Phone: 305-557-1764 or


Southwest Florida Enterprise Center - A business incubator dedicated to assisting start-up and emerging businesses.

3903 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite #5, Fort Myers, FL 33916, Phone: 239-321-7086 (Tom Scott)  


Lee County Library System, Business Resources Research  E-Source and Internet Sources of business data.