New Business Owner – STAY COMPLIANT

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Starting a new business is exciting but at times daunting.  There are numerous governmental agencies that require your compliance.  Over the past few years many of these agencies have tried to make up for their significantly decreased revenues by imposing penalties on business for not meeting deadlines.  Here is a brief list of the main penalty traps small businesses fall into.
Local municipalities:  you are required to be licensed by the county and by the city you live in and renew that license annually.  Your business must comply with zoning regulations and you may be required to take a short course in order to be licensed.  Check with St. Johns County Administration for information on this.
You are required to file and potentially pay a tax on your tangible property with the county.  You must fill out a form during your first year of operation that lists your tangible property.  The first $25,000 of property value is exempt but you must file the return by April 1st in order to get your exemption.
State Regulation:  Many professions are regulated by the State and you will be required to pay annual filing fees depending on your profession.  In addition, if you are incorporated or an LLC, you must file an annual report with the State.  This is essentially a $150 tax that is due before May 1st.  If you are late paying this tax there is a $400 fee.  If you do not pay the fee within a designated amount of time your corporation will be dissolved at the State level.
Federal Regulation: The federal government also regulates small business through taxation.  If you are an S. Corp or an LLC with more than one member you are required to file an annual information return.  The penalty for failing to file these information returns is $195 per month per shareholder/LLC member.

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