SCORE Southwest Florida is a resource partner of the SBA, 3650 Colonial Blvd, Suite 231, Fort Myers, FL 33966 239-489-2935 www.southwestflorida.score.org
SCORE NATIONAL www.score.org
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 Florida, Serving 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 – Florida, For 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.
VBOC Veteran Business Outreach Center Mission is to help create, develop, and retain veteran-owned small business enterprises.
Business Plans In addition to SCORE and/or SBDC
Census Business Builder data to determine the best location for your business
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LEGAL STRUCTURE
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).
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
STATE AND LOCAL LICENSING
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
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
Federal Employer Identification Number - Necessary 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)
TAXES AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
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 Business - Where 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 http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/how-to-get-a-free-credit-score-1.aspx
Business Debt Counseling National Debt Relief
Free Financial Assessment from businessloans.com 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, www.frannet.com
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 Facebook.com/FloridaNonprofits
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.