Florida Business Startup Guides
Starting a Business in Sarasota, Florida
Thinking about starting a business in Sarasota, Florida? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Sarasota.
Which Business to Choose?
An important decision is what kind of business you want to start. You might get some good ideas about what kind of business to start by reading Good Business Ideas.
For step-by-step instructions on starting a variety of business types, visit the Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Opening a Warehouse Equipment Business guide or our Opening a Picnic Grounds & Services Business guide.
Remember that you are starting a business in Sarasota. Some businesses will do better in Sarasota than others. A critical consideration is whether Sarasota demographics mesh well with your startup concept.
Sarasota, Florida Demographic Information
Sarasota has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.
To give you a better feel for Sarasota demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Sarasota.
As a new Sarasota entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Sarasota 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.
Company Formation in Sarasota, Florida
It's essential that you form your business as a legal structure. 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 popular way to form a business. 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. Just because you are starting a business in Florida, you don't necessarily have to incorporate in Florida. In fact, you can incorporate in the state of your choosing. However, if you do incorporate in another state, you'll have to register as a foreign corporation in your home state.
There's a lot to know about forming a company. We recommend you read some of the educational articles about company formation that are availabe on our site, such as Pre-Incorporation Agreements. You may also want to seek the advice of an attorney. Finally, if you are starting a business in Sarasota, Florida, our information on Incorporating in Florida may be a useful resource if you decide to incorporate in Florida.
Don't Skip the Business Plan
A business plan is essential in laying a solid foundation for your business success. Simply put, a business plan is a written description of the future you envision for your business. Not having a business plan is a recipe for disaster.
To learn more about business plans, read Find Sample Business Plans Online. A great resource for business planning assistance is the free counseling sessions provided by your local SCORE chapter in Florida.
Raising Money for Your New Venture
Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Sarasota business requires strong organization skills and perseverance. The reality is that there is very little funding available for new small businesses, and you have to explore every possible alternative.
To learn about raising money, we recommend you read the fundraising articles on our site, such as Business Incubators.
Learning More About Entrepreneurship
Good entrepreneurs know that what they know now may not be enough to ensure their future success.
As an entrepreneur who lives in Sarasota, Florida, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Florida universities, colleges and community colleges. We also recommend you look into networking groups or organizations in which Sarasota entrepreneurs get together to network and trade their business experiences.
Sarasota Entrepreneur Interviews
We're compiling a number of interviews with Sarasota entrepreneurs. Enjoy!
Now It's Up To You
Most new Sarasota businesses underestimate the number of challenges they will face.
If you choose the right business and love what you do, you will greatly increase your odds of success.
Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Sarasota and throughout the United States . We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Sarasota, neighborhood development and overall economic health.
More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Sarasota, Florida
Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Sarasota.
- Resources for Sarasota, Florida Entrepreneurs - Browse a variety of resources we've collected to assist Sarasota 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.
Starting-a-Business Guides for Other Cities in Florida
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