Getting Started in Business

Success is at Your Fingertips

Business Start-Up

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce is comprised primarily of small businesses and those organizations are the backbone of our society. When preparing to launch your company, it's important that you follow all the necessary steps to start off in the right direction.

Red tape isn’t the only element in starting a small business. Steps that don’t involve the government, including creating a business plan and securing financing, are also crucial to success.

These requirements often vary from person to person and from business to business. But all area businesses must follow some basic steps to become legally established in Manatee County. Please refer to the information below for

Telephone numbers are:

  • Anna Maria ~ 708-6130
  • Bradenton ~ 932-9400
  • Bradenton Beach ~ 778-1005
  • Holmes Beach ~ 708-5800
  • Longboat Key ~ 316-1999
  • Palmetto ~ 723-4570
Obtain a City Occupational License
Contact the city in which your business will be located in order to secure the necessary occupational license. License fees vary depending on the type of business. No county occupational licenses are required.

Check Zoning Requirements
Some businesses don’t require any special zoning consideration, but entrepreneurs should check by calling the Planner on Call at the Manatee County Planning Department (749-3070).

File a Fictitious Name Notice
This provides official notice that you will be doing business under your company name. File the notice with the Florida Department of State at 850-245-6058 and run an advertisement that includes your official fictitious name notice in a Manatee County newspaper.

Obtain a Certificate of Registration and State Sales Tax Number
You must do this unless your business is exempt from sales taxes. Contact the Florida Department of Revenue at 1-800-352-3671.

Register for Federal Taxes
Obtain the “Small Business Tax Kit” for sole proprietors, for a general partnership, or for a corporation. These kits are available from the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-3676. Unless your business is a sole proprietorship with no employees, obtain a federal identification number (Form SS-4).

If You Plan to Hire Employees

  • Obtain a 940 Form from the IRS to register for federal unemployment compensation taxes.
  • Obtain a 941 Form (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return) from the IRS to register for income tax and Social Security payments.
  • Obtain a Report to Determine Status Form from the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security at 850-488-2514. This form will help determine whether you are liable for unemployment compensation taxes and to apply for a state unemployment compensation tax number.
  • If your business will hire four or more employees, contact the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security at 850-488-2514 to determine whether you need to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.
If You Plan to Incorporate
You must prepare, execute, and deliver the proper articles on incorporation, along with any necessary fees and taxes, to the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporation at 850-488-9000.

Other Special License Requirements, Fees and Regulations
Contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-2252 to determine whether your business will require any special regulatory considerations.

For more information on starting a business MyFlorida.com or SCORE.