Getting started: fictitious name or incorporate?

I got my license application approved last week and now I’m itching to get started. I’m going to start off the first six months doing part-time - my day job pays too well for my wife to let me switch cold-turkey - and fortunately I have a large number of friends who happen to be real estate agents or insurance brokers.

I’m confident in my technical skills but my business acumen is lacking. I have a good name for my business in mind, but am not sure about Florida law and tax implications - as a sole proprietor, should I just register a “fictitious name”, or is there any real benefit to incorporating? I want to be able to do my own taxes, and I would like to take checks made out to the company name, and eventually get credit card processing as well.

Any advice?

Matt Thompson
Future inspector in Broward Co


And then you should plow through , especially the 2nd half.

Why not consider going the fictitious name route for the first year and see how it works out for you. You can do the credit card thing and everything else with the fit. name, get a bank debit card in the fit name when you open an account and use it to buy ALL business stuff. It will be easy to do the taxes as an individual and get max deductions with accounting already done for you when you file your ancillary paperwork. You can spend the funds to inc. later if this works out well.

Welcome to the already much over populated competition in Broward. You picked one hell of a time to start in this business :slight_smile: What did you do before you became a Home Inspector?

I have no answers for you on this but if you need anything else just drop me an email or call.

Thanks Mike. Yes, it does appear overpopulated to some degree, but then I look around at the websites and listings of many of these other folks offering inspections (so many franchisees, wow!) and think that many of these jokers will only make me look good, so no worries :wink:

I was a professional engineer in Toronto before moving down to Plantation five years ago. I’ve been stuck in an office writing software ever since and going a little nuts.


Now there’s a man who is thinkin’ right.

Well that office may not look so good now with this weather but just wait till June :slight_smile: Good Luck. What kind of software?

Back in 94 when I started my company, I was advised to incorporate, so I did. My company is a S Corporation.
I don’t know what if any advantages there are to being a sole proprietorship or any of the others.

Start with a DBA.
It is cheaper, there are no state of Florida annual reports or annual fees.
You just file for your fictious name with the state…I think its good for 5 years.
You can then open a bank account with dba name.
Your taxes will be filed as part of your personal 1040. ( no filing and paying for two separate returns ! )

You can choose to incorporate at anytime in the future.

lots of good stuff here…Small Business Development Center…scour the site.

Fantastic advice all, thanks. Registered my fictitious name with sunbiz late this afternoon and it’s already showing as ‘active’ in their search. Looks like I’m off and running.


You say your f-t job pays too good to quit. In this economy, WTF are you thinking, man!?!

Meeker is right. Half the year it’s miserable in attics.

Well looks like broward is a city with a lot of inspectors , I’m goin to be takin the internachi 40 hour class dec 12-15 my self and I’m also out of plantation fl . Ans I was also thinking about this issue thanks Matt Thompson for asking about it we both can now benefit from it and also if you have time sent me a email i like to ask you for some advise . Thanks Danny

There are more than you can shake a Realtor at.
Welcome one welcome all.:smiley:

Thanks Michael

*“You say your f-t job pays too good to quit. In this economy, WTF are you thinking, man!?” *

Watching those commercials :mrgreen:

I would listen to what others are saying .
90% of those who stared home inspection will not be here in three years .
This has been pretty constant for ever .
Sounds Like you have a very smart wife Listen to her.

Broward County Florida
454,000 Owner Occupied Homes.
Home sales have gone from 26,000 per quarter in 2006 to 10,000 to 12,000 this year.
New Construction Permits have gone from 9,100 in 2000 to 563 in 2009.

But I am sure you have researched all these numbers as a part of your future career search…

Set your goal to inspect 1,000 of them in 2012, then do whatever necessary to succeed.

Better chances of success at the Casino…

If your doing JUST home inspections…

I can see it now,

…HOME INSPECTIONS $175.00… :shock: