How to buy a yacht charter in Florida

When a person who has never owned a yacht before signs up for a charter, he or she will likely receive a “quick start” program, which will give them access to the boat’s owners’ home, and the charter operator will be able to book the boat for them on a pre-booked date, with a minimum of $500,000 upfront, per charter operator.

But this quick start program will only work for charter operators who are registered with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, or FDEP, which has been under a state of emergency since August of last year.

This means that for the most part, charter operators in Florida will need to prove their residency and residency documents, and a few other criteria.

If you want to learn more about Florida chartering, check out our guide to Florida’s chartering opportunities. 

The key to becoming a charter operator in Florida is to have the right documents and meet the requirements of the Florida DPE, according to a post on the Florida Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs website. 

However, if you are new to chartering in Florida, or are just looking to make your own little adventure, the first step is to get your paperwork in order, according in a post from the Florida State Office of Cultural Affairs, which oversees chartering and tourism in the state. 

Before you get started, you should have a few things in mind. 

You must have a business license or a valid Florida business ID, which is required to operate a business. 

If you are unsure whether or not you need a business ID or license, you can find out if you need one here, or check out this article about obtaining a business card or license from the Department of Business Regulation. 

When you do get a business permit, you must also have the necessary documentation to operate your business.

For instance, if your business is a real estate company, it must show proof that it has a valid real estate license from one of Florida’s seven county licensing boards, as well as that the license was issued by the county board of licensing. 

Additionally, you will need the following documents to operate in Florida: a certificate of deposit, if the owner does not have a bank account, which must be made payable to a Florida bank, as listed on your business license; a certified copy of your operating agreement, which you will also need if you plan to operate under the Florida Business Corporation Act, a business chartering contract signed by the owner, and an affidavit signed by a registered agent, who must be the owner of the business and who will be the responsible person for keeping the company’s financial records; your business’s most recent tax returns, which show all income and expenses for the past three years, and which you must make public, unless the owner decides to keep them private. 

These are the requirements that will be on your application. 

Once you are ready to go, you’ll have to register your business with the DPE. 

To register your company, you need to fill out the forms, which are available online, and then mail them to the DPO. 

Each charter operator has a minimum requirement for their charter, according a post at the Florida Tourism Department. 

For instance, in order to operate as a charter company in Florida without a bank, you may need to have: at least $2 million in cash; an investment account with a net worth of $100,000 or more, as outlined on your license; and the following documents, as noted on your charter: an operating agreement signed by you, the owner or the registered agent; a certified copy or an affidavit from a registered representative of your company; and a business certificate, as detailed on your permit. 

According to the Department, it is important that your company maintains financial stability, as the DPUA has not been able to secure a bank loan for some time. 

It is also important to note that you must maintain a minimum balance of $1 million per year on your investment account, or you will be required to declare the balance on your corporate income tax return, according the DMEA. 

This is because the Department has been unable to obtain a bank guarantee, which means that you are subject to a penalty of up to $250,000 if you fail to maintain a sufficient balance on the investment account. 

So, if this sounds familiar, that’s because the DPP is still dealing with some of the same issues, as it is currently considering an amendment to the law that would make chartering easier. 

Read more about the Florida charter law here. 

There are also some other steps that you should take before you start your charter, as they will help you understand how the chartering process works and what you will do with your investment. 

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