There has never been a better time to start a business in Sebring than right now! Careful planning prior to launching your business is one of the keys to success, and we’re here to help you become a prosperous member of our community. This information may prove to be helpful for your new business ventures.

Prepare a Business Plan
Developing a business plan is one of the most important steps in making your decision to start a new business. Fortunately, there are resources to assist you in creating your business plan. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can assist you with creating your business plan, which is often a requirement for securing business financing.

Come Up with a Business Name
Our friends at the SBDC at USF created this awesome video outlining "7 Mistakes When Naming Your Business"

Determine your Business Structure
LLC, Incorporated, Sole Proprietor…which is the right decision for your business? Making the decision on how to legally structure your business is important, and we suggest that you consult a professional. Fortunately, we have many attorneys and financial service companies that can assist you with the process.

Get your Federal Employer Identification Number
All businesses must register for an Employer Identification Number, commonly called an EIN. Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. Beware of Web sites on the Internet that charge for this free service. Click here to apply for your EIN.

Decide on the Location
Sebring offers new land that’s ready to develop, as well as existing office space to fit almost every budget. One of our commercial real estate agents can assist you with the entire process, from selecting a location and negotiating the terms of your purchase or lease. More information on properties that are currently available can be found on the Highlands County IDA/EDC’s website.

Secure Financing for your Business
Starting a business takes capital, and no one is better suited to assist you than on of our local banks. The SBDC can also assist you in capital access.

Understanding Planning & Zoning Requirements
Prior to purchasing or leasing property for your new business, you’ll need to verify that the zoning restrictions in the area are properly designated for your type of business. Contact the appropriate zoning department, based on your property’s location:

You may also need permits if you plan to remodel, demolish or build new structures. Contact the appropriate planning department, based on your property’s location:

Understand the Labor Force in Highlands County
Career Source Heartland publishes a yearly workforce report. This report presents the results of a retrospective and prospective analysis of existing data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, to identify the mix of industries, industry growth trends, occupational mix, current employment gaps, and the annual projected demand for regional occupations through the year 2021. Where possible, the data shown is for the Heartland Region - DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties.

Once you’re ready to begin hiring your staff, there are a number of employment agencies that can assist you in finding the right employee. They can assist with everything from posting the positions, pre-screening the candidates, and more!

Obtain Business Insurance
You may be required to carry general liability, workers compensation insurance, or other types of insurance coverage (depending on the nature of your business). We’ve got some great insurance companies that can assist you with your options.