Sunshine Tax: Taxes for Small Business in Florida
Florida is among the most tax-friendly states in America. If you have a small or midsize business in the state of Florida, you may be shielded from many typical forms of small business taxes. But how can you know which tax laws apply to your business? This post will cover some of the more common tax questions related to taxes for small businesses in Florida.
What Types of Tax Liabilities Are There for Florida Small Businesses?
Florida business owners should be aware of the following:
- Corporations that do business in Florida must pay a 5.5% income tax
- Florida has a sales tax rate of 6%
- S Corporations are exempt from paying state income tax
- Sole proprietorships, partnerships, and most LLCs are exempt from state income tax
- Florida residents do not pay a state income tax
- Business owners should expect to pay federal income tax on business earnings
- Business conducted in other states may be subject to additional state laws
Because so many businesses are exempt from Florida state income tax, many small business owners can benefit from having their business shielded from traditional tax liabilities. Below, we’ll go into greater detail regarding the rules for taxes for different types of business entities in the state of Florida.
What Kinds of Taxes Can an S Corporation Expect to Pay in Florida?
In Florida, S Corporations are not treated as traditional corporations when it comes to taxes. Thus, S Corporations do not pay the state’s 5.5% corporate tax. S Corporations are also exempt from federal income tax.
How is this possible? With an S Corporation, the income earned by the business goes directly to the business owners. The owners are then expected to pay federal income tax based on the income they receive from their company. However, this income is not subject to Florida state tax.
How Are Small Business LLCs Taxed in Florida?
An LLC can be classified in one of two ways. Typically, LLCs are designated to be partnerships or disregarded entities. However, in this case, the LLC does not pay Florida income tax simply because it is not classified as a corporation.
However, some LLCs can be classified as incorporated. If they are classified as an incorporated business, the LLC must pay the standard 5.5% Florida state income tax—or at least the 3.3% alternative minimum tax. LLCs classified as corporations will file Form F-1065 if one or more of its owners is a corporation.
The actual business owner does not have to pay tax to the state of Florida for the income they personally receive from the business, except in those cases in which the LLC is incorporated.
How Are Small Business Partnerships in Florida Taxed?
Business partnerships can be classified as general partnerships, limited partnerships (LPs), and limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Regardless of these specific designations, none of these partnerships are required to pay state income tax in Florida.
However, the partners of these businesses are required to pay federal income tax on the money they receive from these businesses, based on standard income tax rates. But because Florida does not tax ordinary income, business owners of partnerships are not required to pay Florida state income tax.
What Tax Obligations Are There for Sole Proprietorships in Florida?
Florida treats a sole proprietorship like a partnership. The only difference is that the state looks at the distributed income to one proprietor instead of many partners. Thus, like partnerships, sole proprietorships are shielded from traditional state income tax.
This also means that the proprietor is expected to pay tax on any business income he or she receives, though only to the federal government. Since it is considered to be personal income, the individual does not pay state income taxes.
What If You Have a Multi-State Business? How Are You Taxed?
For most organizations, there are no required taxes for small businesses in Florida. However, if you own a business in Florida but earn money from another state, you are considered to have a nexus in those states. Therefore, in these situations, your business may be subject to the tax laws in those states.
Because different states have different state tax laws, this can be confusing. If you earn money in multiple states, it may be prudent to review nexus rules to see how they may impact your business.
Let Xendoo Help You
Looking for Florida bookkeeping services? Xendoo can help. We understand the rules regarding taxes for small businesses in Florida and help you keep your books up-to-date. We can even help with Florida tax preparation. When you have questions, contact the experts at Xendoo.