Florida partnership filing requirements do not require general partnerships to undertake registration or obtain a business license. Since a general partnership is not an independent business entity, each partner becomes personally responsible for any and all business activities undertaken by the partnership. Although it is not required, the state of Florida allows general partnerships to register with the state — making it easier for such businesses to adequately represent themselves in public.

A state registration allows the maintenance of a public record of the partnership's existence. Since the state can certify the general partnership's standing, it makes it easier for the partners to obtain loans or engage in dealings that require substantiation of its business activities.

How to Register your Partnership

To do this, you must first visit Florida's Department of State to register a DBA (fictitious) business name. If you intend to operate the business using any name other than that of the partners, you must seek the state's permission. You can check the availability of the fictitious business name by visiting the website of the Department of State and using the link to the "Look up a Business Name" database. To file the application online, navigate to the section marked "Electronic Filing & Certification" and click on the tab marked "Fictitious Name Registration."

You can also choose to file the application by mail. Click on the Forms tab on the website and download the "Application for Registration of a Fictitious Name” form. Fill it and send to the Department of State. Make sure that you include the filing fee of $50.

Complete the General Partnership Registration Form

The next step requires you to complete and submit the general partnership registration form with Florida's SOC. Visit the state website, navigate to the section marked "General Partnership Forms." You can download the registration form, complete and send it in by mail or use the online registration system. The form asks for the names and contact information of the partners as well as other relevant information about the business. You should also submit a filing fee of $50. Include an extra $8.75 if you want to receive an official certification of your partnership status or $52.50 for a certified true copy of the registration.

All checks should be made out to the Florida Department of State. If you are filing online, the accepted credit cards are American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa. The processing time for applications filed online is 2 - 3 business days, while it usually takes 3 - 5 business days for those filed by mail.

Importance of Registering your Partnership

You should obtain both documents if you intend to submit job bids, apply for loans, or undertake any activity that requires the submission of official paperwork documenting the existence of your general partnership.

After acquiring the above documents, the next step involves getting an EIN from the IRS. You can do this by visiting the IRS website and using the online application portal to immediately obtain an EIN. You can also do a manual request by downloading Form SS-4. Complete the form and submit by fax or mail.

You can use the state registration paperwork and EIN to open a bank account.

Draft a general partnership agreement outlining the responsibilities and rights of partners. The agreement should be signed by all partners. Although this is not a requirement, it's regarded as best practice.

If your business activities include the retailing of products with sales tax, you must register with Florida's Department of Revenue. To do this, simply visit the department's official website and use the online filing system to submit your business information. You can also download "Florida Business Tax Application," fill according to instructions and send it in by mail.

If you intend to hire employees, you must register with Florida's New Hire Reporting Center. Use the online registration system on the center's website to submit a new hire report or download, fill, and send by mail.

If necessary, obtain all relevant permits and occupational licenses. This is necessary for businesses such as physical therapists, lawyers, barbers, etc.

Visit the website of the state board in charge of your particular occupation. Each board has its licensing requirements. You can use Florida's Regulated Industries Guide to look up your occupation's licensing requirements.

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