Starting a Business in Florida as a Foreigner

Starting a business in Florida as a foreigner is possible, but there are rules to be followed and form an entity that is legal for a foreigner to operate.3 min read

Starting a business in Florida as a foreigner is possible, but you will have to follow certain rules and form a business entity that is legal for a foreigner to operate.

Starting a Business in Florida

Starting a business in the state of Florida requires you to follow some important steps:

  • Register the business with the state's Department of Revenue.
  • Check with the tax collector in your county to find out about required licenses.
  • Register the business with the IRS.
  • Register with the Department of State (only required if you are registering a fictitious name or corporate entity).

You may also want to review available resources, such as books about starting businesses in Florida.

Corporate Entities that Non-Residents Can Operate

Non-citizens can currently form two types of business entities in the United States:

Many people recommend that foreigners should form S corporations instead because this business formation comes with a number of benefits. However, this type of business entity is only available to permanent residents and citizens.

Although foreigners are usually encouraged to form C corporations, it's worth looking at the advantages of forming a business as an LLC. The first and most appealing benefit is limited personal liability, which means that the owner(s) of the business are shielded from liability for any business obligations, debts, actions and decisions. If the LLC is sued, the owner(s) would generally only be responsible up to the amount they invested in the business.

An LLC also doesn't have the same regulations imposed on it for recordkeeping that corporations are required to follow. The owners of an LLC, called members, have few restrictions on how the profits will be split between them. Although an LLC is an appealing business formation, many new business owners choose to form C corporations. One of the main advantages of this business structure is the option to offer an unlimited number of stock shares, which can help the company grow more rapidly. This aspect of the formation often appeals to investors.

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