We offer these resources for your business based on our experience with these situations. Every situation is unique, and your situation may require a different course of action. This is a partial checklist. Always consult a tax or legal professional when starting, or making changes to, a business. Most of these issues are decided when a business is formed, but much of the information can apply to existing business that could improve operations.
For new businesses, consider the following:
Are you sure you want to do this? Do you have a business plan? Is it workable? How much working capital will it require? Where will you secure those resources? What happens if your business fails? Are you prepared to work twice as many hours in your own business as you did working for someone else? Tough questions. And they require tough, honest answers.
Business Entity Decision
One of the most critical decisions you will make will be choosing your business entity. One size does not fit all. Deciding factors are often:
- What liabilities will you or your business be exposed to?
- What income tax benefits can you avail yourself of?
- Who will be the stakeholders in your business?
- What assets do you, or will the business, own that might be at risk?
Compensation and Employees
Unemployment Taxes – You owe these too!
- Florida – http://www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/uc_empr_resources.html
- Alabama – http://dir.alabama.gov/uc/employer.aspx
- Georgia – http://www.dol.state.ga.us/em/unemployment_taxes_and_benefits.htm
Federal Labor Laws
- OSHA – http://www.osha.gov/
- COBRA – http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_cobra.html
- ERISA – http://www.dol.gov/
State Labor Laws
- Florida – http://www.stateofflorida.com/employment.aspx
- Georgia – http://www.dol.state.ga.us/
- Alabama – http://www.alalabor.state.al.us/
- Federal (Yes, some businesses require a Federal license or permit)
- Florida – http://www.myflorida.com/taxonomy/business/business%20licenses,%20permits%20and%20regulation/ (May require multiple licenses)
- Pensacola – http://www.ci.pensacola.fl.us/101/Business
- Gulf Breeze – http://cityofgulfbreeze.us/permits-applications-and-agreements/
- Milton – http://www.ci.milton.fl.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/258
- Century – 850-256-0210
- May require multiple City licenses
Your net income from your trade or business will be subject to income taxes and can be subject to Self Employment Taxes as well. Further, income earned outside of Florida may be subject to State Income Taxes also.
Sales, Use, Local Option, Gross Receipts, Alcohol and Bed/Tourist Taxes
Many States, Counties, Cities and Special Tax Districts require some businesses to collect taxes from their customers when selling some goods and services. These rules and rates can differ by state, county, city and special taxing jurisdictions. Failure to collect these taxes from your customers does not relieve you of the liabilities thereof and penalties and interest can be very costly.
Many states assess a tax on personal property used in a trade or business. Late filing penalties can be significant and reporting deadlines vary.
If you hire workers, employees or independent contractors, you may be required to carry and pay Workers Compensation insurance on them. Failure to do so could leave you financially responsible to them should they become injured on the job while working for you. Check with a competent insurance agent that is familiar with and deals in commercial and business insurance coverage lines.
Organizations We Support
Panhandle Tiger Bay Club, Inc. : The Panhandle Tiger Bay Club, established in 1977 by the late Pensacola News Journal columnist Pat Lloyd, is a diverse, non-partisan group of men and women who are interested in public policy issues and politics. The club brings in speakers who address topical issues and present ideas that are intended to provoke curiosity and provide insight, as well as generate debate and community discussion.
For businesses, new or existing, we have assembled a collection of service providers in addition to our firm that you may find useful or helpful in managing and administering your business. These are businesses we have either worked with in our own needs or businesses we have prescreened to insure they, like our Firm, provide quality services at reasonable prices. We are please to recommend them to you, but we do not warrant their services. Please give us your feedback on your experiences with them, positive or otherwise.
|Business Type||Service Provider||Website|
|Certified Public Accountants||Holmes & Company, P.A.||www.pensacolacpafirm.com|
|Commercial Lines Insurance||Eddie Zarahn Insurance||www.eddiezarahnagency.com|
|Payroll Processing||My Payroll Site, Robin McEachin||www.mypayrollsite.com|
|Website Design, Hosting and Consulting||Creative Web Solutions, Lisa Smith||www.getcws.com|
|Employment Services||Express Employment Professionals, Charlie Bockwith||www.expresspros.com/penscolafl|
|Deferred Compensation Plan Administration||The Pension Center||http://thepensioncenter.com/|
|Business Resource Center||University of West Florida Haas Center||http://haas.uwf.edu/|
|National Business Information Clearinghouse||www.fgnw.natbic.org|