I recently broke ties with my beekeeping mentor and want to make a go of it on my own. I already aware of the registration requirements with the FL Department of Agriculture but I am unsure of which type of business formation is best for me. My estimated annual gross sales should be less than $10K. I will not have any employees. The business will not own any property. I plan on using property that requires a general liability insurance policy in place prior to land use.
Look into setting up a corporation or a "limited liability company" (LLC) through the Florida Department of State as either are a good way to limit your personal liability in the venture. Each has benefits but you shoudl talk to a lawyer and an accountant as to which is best for your situation. Smaller ventures tend to use the LLC but it depends on your circumstances.
The costs and efforts to set up an LLC are relatively minor and provide a level of protection to your personal assets that a sole proprietorship does not. New small businesses should think forward and anticipate growth and its complications. Plan for success.
This response is not legal advise.
It would be a good idea to consult with a business attorney in your area to discuss your business plan, formation, and execution. Usually, a sole owner, will choose to form a LLC for the numerous benefits including: ease of formation, limited liability, tax benefits, and others. Search for a business attorney in your area using Avvo to assit you with starting your business.
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Contracts / Agreements Lawyer
Your situation is very common, and a perfect of example of how "an ounce of protection can be worth a pound of cure." I would never suggest that anyone ever enter into a business endeavor individually (e.g. without using legal business entity such as a corporation or an LLC). There is simply no good reason to expose yourself to personal liability when it is so cheap and easy to avail yourself of a separate business entity. Any business attorney can assist you with this if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. Best of luck with your new venture!
Any answer(s), and/or comment(s) provided are not legal advice, should not be relied on in lieu of consulting with an attorney, nor are they intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Those readers and / or posters who believe that they may have legal claim(s) should seek the advice of an attorney who is licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.