April 20, 2014  
 
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Florida Entrepreneurs  
  Fort Lauderdale, Florida Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Starting a Business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Thinking about starting a business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Fort Lauderdale.

What Business Are You Starting?

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? To stir your creative juices on what kind of business to start, take a look at Evaluating Your Idea.

For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our How to Start a Metal Finishing Equipment & Supplies Business guide or our How to Start a Mobile Health Care Business guide.

Remember that you are starting a business in Fort Lauderdale. The business you want to start may already be well-represented in Fort Lauderdale. Study Fort Lauderdale demographics and do a competitive analysis as part of your startup planning process.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida Demographic Information

Fort Lauderdale has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.

To give you a better feel for Fort Lauderdale demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Fort Lauderdale.

Business Size# of
Businesses
1-4 Employees 59235
5-9 Employees 13041
10-19 Employees 8336
20-49 Employees 5510
50-99 Employees 2112
100-249 Employees 1350
250-499 Employees 309
500-999 Employees 87
1000+ Employees 39
All Fort Lauderdale Businesses 90019

As a new Fort Lauderdale entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Fort Lauderdale for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.

Business Type # of
Businesses
Abrasive Product Manufacturing 1
Advertising Agencies 80
Air and Gas Compressor Manufacturing 2
Aircraft Manufacturing 2
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 2
Ambulance Services 6
Amusement and Theme Parks 4
Amusement Arcades 12
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 38
Apprenticeship Training 3
Architectural Services 143
Armored Car Services 1
Art Dealers 36
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 4
Automatic Vending Machine Manufacturing 1
Automobile Driving Schools 7
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 6
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 17
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 77
Automotive Transmission Repair 22
Baked Goods Stores 13
Barber Shops 14
Beauty Salons 307
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 6
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 56
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 3
Blood and Organ Banks 8
Boat Building 24
Boat Dealers 141
Book Publishers 10
Book Stores 24
Books Printing 2
Bottled Water Manufacturing 1
Bowling Centers 4
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 7
Broadwoven Fabric Mills 2
Building Inspection Services 31
Burial Casket Manufacturing 1
Business and Secretarial Schools 2
Business Associations 49
Business to Business Electronic Markets 11
Cable and Other Program Distribution 9
Cafeterias 27
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 11
Canvas and Related Product Mills 12
Car Washes 46
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 46
Casino Hotels 1
Casinos (except Casino Hotels) 1
Caterers 43
Cemeteries and Crematories 7
Charter Bus Industry 7
Child and Youth Services 20
Child Day Care Services 166
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 24
Cigarette Manufacturing 1
Civic and Social Organizations 53
Claims Adjusting 40
Clothing Accessories Stores 36
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 47
Collection Agencies 41
Commercial Bakeries 7
Commercial Flexographic Printing 3
Commercial Gravure Printing 2
Commercial Lithographic Printing 37
Commercial Photography 30
Commercial Screen Printing 17
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 15
Commodity Contracts Dealing 17
Community Food Services 6
Computer and Software Stores 53
Computer Facilities Management Services 9
Computer Storage Device Manufacturing 1
Computer Systems Design Services 190
Computer Training 10
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 2
Concrete Pipe Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 15
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 7
Consumer Lending 42
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 10
Convenience Stores 111
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 36
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 2
Copper Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Copper Rolling, Drawing, and Extruding 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 2
Couriers 42
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 65
Credit Bureaus 7
Credit Card Issuing 3
Credit Unions 23
Curtain and Drapery Mills 2
Custom Computer Programming Services 222
Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing 2
Deep Sea Freight Transportation 9
Deep Sea Passenger Transportation 10
Dental Laboratories 31
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 42
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 12
Digital Printing 13
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 29
Direct Mail Advertising 20
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 33
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 8
Discount Department Stores 9
Display Advertising 14
Document Preparation Services 42
Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing 1
Drafting Services 12
Drilling Oil and Gas Wells 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 133
Dry Pasta Manufacturing 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 69
Educational Support Services 24
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 268
Electronic Auctions 3
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 5
Electronic Connector Manufacturing 3
Electronic Shopping 66
Elementary and Secondary Schools 65
Emergency and Other Relief Services 1
Employment Placement Agencies 49
Engineering Services 220
Environmental Consulting Services 24
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 21
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 93
Facilities Support Services 12
Family Clothing Stores 101
Family Planning Centers 5
Farm Management Services 1
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 2
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 9
Fine Arts Schools 31
Finish Carpentry Contractors 135
Fish and Seafood Markets 7
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 17
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 108
Flight Training 12
Floor Covering Stores 51
Flooring Contractors 58
Florists 41
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 37
Food Service Contractors 45
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 9
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 7
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 6
Fossil Fuel Electric Power Generation 3
Framing Contractors 16
Freight Transportation Arrangement 80
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 2
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 11
Full-Service Restaurants 723
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 20
Fur and Leather Apparel Manufacturing 1
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 24
Furniture Stores 111
General Automotive Repair 252
General Freight Trucking, Local 56
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 9
General Rental Centers 17
General Warehousing and Storage 18
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 98
Glass and Glazing Contractors 20
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 16
Grantmaking Foundations 26
Graphic Design Services 107
Gypsum Product Manufacturing 1
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 36
Hardware Stores 15
Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal 4
Heating Oil Dealers 1
HMO Medical Centers 4
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 27
Home Centers 11
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 34
Home Health Care Services 131
Home Health Equipment Rental 9
Homes for the Elderly 38
Household Appliance Stores 18
Human Rights Organizations 7
Ice Manufacturing 2
Industrial Building Construction 4
Industrial Design Services 20
Industrial Launderers 4
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 1
Inland Water Freight Transportation 3
Inland Water Passenger Transportation 11
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 5
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 561
Interior Design Services 137
International Trade Financing 7
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 21
Internet Service Providers 37
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 2
Investigation Services 53
Investment Advice 155
Iron and Steel Forging 2
Iron Ore Mining 1
Janitorial Services 191
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 6
Jewelry Stores 135
Junior Colleges 4
Kidney Dialysis Centers 17
Land Subdivision 56
Landscape Architectural Services 36
Landscaping Services 344
Language Schools 9
Leather and Hide Tanning and Finishing 1
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 33
Libraries and Archives 1
Limited-Service Restaurants 569
Limousine Service 26
Linen Supply 4
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 26
Locksmiths 29
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 10
Machine Shops 27
Mail-Order Houses 51
Manifold Business Forms Printing 1
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 8
Marinas 70
Marine Cargo Handling 8
Marketing Consulting Services 240
Marking Device Manufacturing 1
Masonry Contractors 49
Materials Recovery Facilities 5
Mattress Manufacturing 2
Meat Markets 20
Meat Processed from Carcasses 2
Media Buying Agencies 5
Media Representatives 16
Medical Laboratories 32
Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing 1
Men's Clothing Stores 49
Metal Heat Treating 1
Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing 1
Metal Stamping 6
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 4
Mineral Wool Manufacturing 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 34
Mixed Mode Transit Systems 1
Mobile Food Services 5
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 198
Motion Picture and Video Distribution 1
Motion Picture and Video Production 52
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 1
Motor Vehicle Towing 21
Motorcycle Dealers 14
Museums 13
Music Publishers 4
Musical Groups and Artists 27
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 10
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 4
Nail Salons 35
Natural Gas Distribution 1
Navigational Services to Shipping 20
New Car Dealers 64
New Housing Operative Builders 34
News Dealers and Newsstands 6
News Syndicates 2
Newspaper Publishers 13
Nonclay Refractory Manufacturing 1
Nonferrous Forging 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 89
Nursing Care Facilities 31
Office Administrative Services 232
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 33
Office Machinery Manufacturing 1
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 28
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 5
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 384
Offices of Chiropractors 183
Offices of Dentists 406
Offices of Lawyers 1,528
Offices of Optometrists 89
Offices of Other Holding Companies 41
Offices of Podiatrists 50
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 94
One-Hour Photofinishing 4
Open-End Investment Funds 4
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 3
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 12
Optical Goods Stores 65
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 9
Packaging and Labeling Services 10
Packaging Machinery Manufacturing 3
Packing and Crating 9
Paging 3
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 4
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 19
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 157
Parking Lots and Garages 62
Passenger Car Leasing 8
Passenger Car Rental 44
Payroll Services 17
Periodical Publishers 47
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 2
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 43
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 50
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 15
Petroleum Refineries 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 121
Photography Studios, Portrait 54
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing 5
Political Organizations 6
Polystyrene Foam Product Manufacturing 1
Port and Harbor Operations 3
Portfolio Management 48
Power-Driven Handtool Manufacturing 1
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 3
Prepress Services 11
Primary Battery Manufacturing 1
Printing Ink Manufacturing 2
Private Mail Centers 33
Professional Employer Organizations 19
Professional Organizations 33
Public Relations Agencies 31
Quick Printing 35
Racetracks 2
Radio Networks 2
Radio Stations 6
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 10
Real Estate Credit 218
Real Estate Investment Trusts 9
Record Production 2
Recreational Goods Rental 12
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 3
Reinsurance Carriers 1
Remediation Services 8
Repossession Services 11
Residential Property Managers 142
Residential Remodelers 162
Retail Bakeries 23
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 31
Roofing Contractors 59
Rooming and Boarding Houses 1
Sales Financing 34
Satellite Telecommunications 8
Savings Institutions 60
Sawmills 1
Scheduled Freight Air Transportation 1
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 33
School and Employee Bus Transportation 9
Secondary Market Financing 3
Securities Brokerage 108
Security Guards and Patrol Services 39
Septic Tank and Related Services 5
Sewage Treatment Facilities 3
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 5
Shellfish Fishing 2
Ship Building and Repairing 11
Shoe Stores 119
Siding Contractors 9
Sign Manufacturing 10
Silverware and Hollowware Manufacturing 1
Site Preparation Contractors 66
Small Arms Manufacturing 1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 121
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 4
Soft Drink Manufacturing 1
Software Publishers 42
Software Reproducing 2
Solid Waste Collection 16
Solid Waste Combustors and Incinerators 2
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Sound Recording Studios 7
Special Needs Transportation 6
Sporting Goods Stores 82
Sports and Recreation Instruction 59
Sports Teams and Clubs 4
Spring (Light Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Steel Wire Drawing 2
Storage Battery Manufacturing 1
Support Activities for Forestry 1
Tax Preparation Services 79
Taxi Service 8
Telecommunications Resellers 20
Telemarketing Bureaus 34
Telephone Answering Services 8
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 4
Television Broadcasting 6
Temporary Help Services 103
Temporary Shelters 2
Testing Laboratories 12
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 13
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 59
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 6
Tire Dealers 58
Tire Retreading 2
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 127
Tobacco Stores 10
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 3
Tortilla Manufacturing 1
Tour Operators 38
Tradebinding and Related Work 4
Translation and Interpretation Services 13
Travel Agencies 150
Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 2
Used Car Dealers 68
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 50
Used Merchandise Stores 51
Vending Machine Operators 20
Veterinary Services 78
Video Tape and Disc Rental 43
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 16
Voluntary Health Organizations 16
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 4
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 10
Web Search Portals 3
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 324
Window Treatment Stores 23
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 79
Women's Clothing Stores 162
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 2
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 1
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 3
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 2

Is Franchising a Better Option?

Examine a list of Fort Lauderdale businesses and you'll notice that many local entrepreneurs have gone the franchising route. Should you be giving franchising serious consideration?

Our advice is to consider franchising as an option. We have many articles on franchises, such as Five Franchise Opportunities To Watch. Become a franchising expert of sorts by reading more of our Articles on Franchising.

You can review hundreds of franchise opportunities by browing our Franchise Directory.

Representative franchise opportunities include UBuildIt and Atlantic Windshield. Alternatively, you can browse franchise categories, such as Textile Repair Franchises and Health and Diet Franchises.

Note on Fort Lauderdale Franchise Opportunities: You will need to contact franchisors directly to see if their franchises are available in Fort Lauderdale.

What About Buying an Existing Fort Lauderdale Business?

We've created a handy website page for those who want to Buy a Business in Florida. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in Fort Lauderdale.

Before buying a business, be sure to read this article: How to Buy a Business.

Forming a Company in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

It's essential that your business is formed as a legal entity that is separate from its owners. Doing so will shield you from personal liability for business debts and obligations.

The entity you form can be a traditional C-corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or an S-corporation.

Incorporation is a very common way to legally create a business entity. A key decision is whether to form and S-Corp or a C-Corp, and you also must decide in which state you will incorporate. If you are starting a business in Florida, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Florida. As it turns out, you can incorporate wherever you want. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.

There are many nuances to forming a company. To learn the basics of company formation, browse articles on our site, such as Subchapter S Corporations. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, our information on Incorporating in Florida may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Florida.

Startup Financing Basics

Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Fort Lauderdale business is very difficult due to the ongoing business credit crunch. To obtain business financing, you will need to hear a lot of rejections before you finally find a funding solution that works for you.

To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as Attracting Investors.

For Fort Lauderdale entrepreneurs on the hunt for startup funding, you'll want to take a look at our List of Florida Angel Investors and our List of Florida Venture Capital Firms.

Getting the Word Out About Your New Company

To rise above the crowd in Fort Lauderdale and build your business, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your business achieving its goals.

We have some excellent resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. Newspaper Advertising Costs is a good read to get your marketing juices flowing. That's just one of the many useful articles we have on Marketing a Small Business.

Fort Lauderdale Entrepreneur Interviews

Here, we'll keep a running list of interviews we've had with Fort Lauderdale entrepreneurs.

What's Next?

You have a dream -- starting a business in Fort Lauderdale. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.

Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Fort Lauderdale and throughout the United States . We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Fort Lauderdale, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Fort Lauderdale.

  • Resources for Fort Lauderdale, Florida Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Fort Lauderdale entrepreneurs.
  • Florida Entrepreneurial Resources - We've gathered state-level entrepreneurial resources to help new entrepreneurs who are based in Florida.
  • Florida Small Business Development Center - The Florida Small Business Development Center Network (FSBDCN) is a statewide economic development partnership between higher education and other stakeholder organizations dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and established businesses with the assistance needed to start, grow and succeed, contributing to the Florida economy.
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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business - Writing a Business Plan - Raising Money - Incorporate

Small Business Marketing - Advertising Advice - Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips - Entrepreneurial Selling - Workplace Safety