Oh, that is so incorrect... 'the worst market'. There are plenty of opportunities in this market. We may have situations as far as being one of the worst with mortgages and stuff but that encourages people to purchase in the down market. My area is quite brisk and so is Orlando. They are vacation and second home desinations, so don't write us off.
I've PM'd the OP on how to find the costs for the tests and her MLS.
She does not need to carry E&O insurance...her broker will do that, but if she chooses to do so it's something like $150 per year. Again, her broker will carry it so she doesn't need to. She will need to pay for her supra (or whatever they use in her area) key but not pay for the lockboxes. Her broker will supply those. She obviously already has a computer and does not need a laptop in addition. I have one and don't use it.
She doesn't need to have virtual tour software that costs anything, she just needs a website that includes it and those can be very inexpensive, I've told her to let me know when she's ready. She doesn't need to pay for signs, just riders if she wants her name and phone number out there (which she should), her broker will supply the signs. Business cards she can get free at vistaprint. She's not going to be the broker, so she doesn't need a logo...they will give her their logo. She doesn't need a new smart phone, she needs a cell phone and the right plan. She can get an excellent fax/scanner/copier for home use (if she's going to work from home) for $125 and if she doesn't work from home she can use the one at the office. To receive faxes she can use one of the online fax options for what..$15 a month. Our contracts are sent as a link to a buyer, so that's done online through the FAR website. She has a husband that is supporting the family so she doesn't need 6 months living expenses.
Go forward, pass the test, figure about $1K to get you in a position to start marketing yourself effectively (from course to marketing) and then each sale you make pull a certain amount out of it to put back into yourself and slowly upgrade/expand. You'll be fine. And, again, once you have your license, PM me. I'll send you the website info.
Oh. And don't forget. You'll need to prepare to send in money to the IRS at the end of the year.....you'll be 1099 with no taxes taken out. Get a VERY good accountant that knows how to do taxes for the self employed.