State law sets out the procedures for running for office at the municipal, county, or state level. For municipal offices, you would see your town clerk. If you want to run for a county office, the County Supervisor of Elections will guide you. For state-wide or multi-county districts, you would qualify with the Division of Elections in Tallahassee.
The first step is to file a designation of treasurer and depository (bank) (DS/DE 9). You may not collect or spend money on your campaign before you do this, but, of course, you may talk to people about it at any time. Once you have filed your designation, you are a candidate and should follow Chapter 106 of the Election Code, which the Supervisor of Elections will give you, or which you can download at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0100-0199/0106/0106.html
"Qualifying" is the official process of getting your name on the ballot. The Secretary of State's Office will set the qualifying dates which occur approximately six weeks before the first election. The Supervisor of Elections will tell you when the exact dates are, and you must file all your papers and pay your fees by noon of the last qualifying day, or your name will not be put on the ballot. The Supervisor of Elections will give you a packet of all papers to file, including a financial disclosure form.
The fees to run for office are based on a percentage of the salary of the office. You must pay the fees out of your campaign funds. As an alternative to paying the fee, candidates may get petitions signed. You may begin collecting signatures at any time after you have filed your designation of campaign depository/appointment of campaign treasurer. The Supervisor of Elections will provide you with the format required by the state for your petitions. It is your responsibility to have the petition cards printed. Any registered voter in the jurisdiction of the office sought may sign your petition. The number needed is equal to 1% of the total number of registered voters in that jurisdiction. The signatures must be collected in time for the Supervisor of Elections to verify them. There is a charge of ten cents (10¢) per name for the Elections office to verify each signature.
If you run as a Democrat, Republican, or minor party candidate you will have to run in a Primary Election if there are others running for the same office in the same party. Only one candidate from each party can run in the General Election. If you run as a candidate with no party affiliation, you will only run on the General Election ballot.