Question – I am in the process of moving to Florida within the next 3 months and would like to know if I can start my process online and get some stuff done beforehand. I want to start selling goods to customers as a retailer. My purpose is to start selling on online platforms like Amazon and to be honest I’m still in the process of figuring everything out..  My question is: Can I apply for the licenses and certificates needed to do this if I am not yet living in Florida. Can I do it online?

Our Answer – You can typically apply for licenses and permits beforehand, but some licenses will require a physical address. Most of your licenses will be a pretty quick turnaround, so if they need a physical address, you can get those forms filled out and be ready to file once your address is secure. Another option could be to use a friend’s address and then change it after you get there.

If you were planning on applying for an LLC or corporation in Florida, you will be required to have a physical address. In this case, you can use a registered agent which usually costs around $100 a year. The other nice thing is if you file an LLC or corporation personally, your name and address become public record. With a registered agent, that information is private.

Setting up a business to sell online is usually pretty simple, especially if home-based. It will depend on where you are in Florida, but most cities/towns/counties don’t require a home-based business license to operate. Be sure to check with your local municipalities before starting though. You will have to pick a business entity of which each has a different way to set up that you can read more on our site. An EIN may be needed depending on your entity too. Last, regardless of which entity you choose, you will need a Business Tax Application from the Florida Department of Revenue.  More information can be found on our Florida Business License page.