Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Florida is easy and affordable. The following are few procedural steps on how to start an LLC in Florida. LLCs can be formed in two ways–domestic or foreign. If you are planning to set up an LLC in states other than Florida, visit How to Start an LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start a Florida LLC
- After Starting your Florida LLC
- Why an LLC in Florida
- Top Businesses in Florida
- Florida LLC Formation Review
How to Start a Florida LLC
Suppose you’re planning to invest in some profitable business or corporation, or maybe about to set up your company in Florida. In that case, forming an LLC in Florida is the simplest option for you.
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. This section gives you a step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in Florida.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC
If you are to start an LLC in Florida, the first thing you do is decide on a corporation or company name. but how to name your LLC may be tricky. Thus, you have the option to choose a name that complies with the Florida business naming requirements. It must also be easily searchable for potential clients. Here is a step-by-step guide to follow when naming your Florida LLC.
Why do you need a proper business name?
If you want your LLC to have a special identification, your company name is essential. However, many people face lots of issues by avoiding focus on choosing a corporation name for their LLC business formation filings.
Here are some of the major benefits of choosing your LLC name.
- To help establish a company’s presence in the market, a proper form of business entity will help. This also creates a new identity that will resemble your LLC.
- After you’ve properly chosen the name for your LLC, you will have no problems finishing the registration process.
- You can only get the EIN number when you have your name registration certificate with you.
What are the requirements when deciding a name for your LLC?
A name search is vital to make sure the name of your corporation is unique. Check the availability of your name with the Business Entity Search on the Florida Secretary of State’s website. Reserve the name by completing the Name Reservation Request Form for Domestic Entities. Take note of the following requirements:
- Don’t include words that could confuse people about your company. Such words would be the likes of ‘treasury, state department.’
- You should also avoid restricted words like ‘bank, attorney, university’ because they may require a lawyer and more paperwork.
- As for a business website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for domain use with NameCheap.
Reserve a business domain
Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a domain to avoid others from using your name for their website. Visit NameCheap for your domain name and Kinsta for web hosting.
If you have decided on your URL name and have reserved it, set up a professional email account with Google GSuite.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Florida
A registered agent is a person or business entity responsible for working on your behalf. This person or corporation will receive significant tax forms, legal documents, notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondences, or conduct government filings in Florida. Choosing Florida-registered agents for your LLC is required.
Make sure your registered agents are residents of Florida. It could also be a business entity in this state. Here are some recommended agents:
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These LLC formation services are recommended registered agents for services as they are authorized to conduct businesses in Florida. Compare them to check the best yet cheapest option for you. Besides, they can guarantee you professional service because they have been in the business for years.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Florida
A Certificate of Name Reservation is needed when you file the Florida Articles of Organization, which costs $125. You need to make reports of this certificate with the Florida Secretary of State. You may file them online or by mail.
This Certificate of Formation is a legal document needed to form your corporation officially. It will indicate details about your LLC in Florida, like if it is a member-managed or managers-managed.
Before you start filing, you must already have your LLC name and registered agents or employees. You will attach a copy of your Name Reservation Certificate along with a list of the services that your Florida LLC will offer.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. Select “non-subscriber.” Fill out the online form. The website will alert you if your county does not support online filings after selecting your principal county.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Indiana LLC registration, then you can download the Florida Limited Company Certificate of Formation. Read the form thoroughly and fill it out. You will have to provide, among others, your name, city, state, zip code, and signature.
Step 4: Create Your Florida LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement (or company operating agreement) is an internal document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
Starting an LLC in Florida does not require you to have a company operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all details of your business operation.
Step 5: Filing a Florida LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify types of businesses for tax purposes. It is like a Social Security Number but dedicated to a corporation.
It is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). You will need this number for tax filing and to determine tax classification options.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
After Starting your Florida LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business account
- File Florida business permits & business licenses
- Get a business liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Florida LLC annual report or biennial report
- Already existing LLCs that wish to operate in Florida must register as foreign Florida LLC.
Why an LLC in Florida
If you are thinking of doing business in Floride, then you should consider a Florida LLC. It is a great option for starting a business. Here are there advantages of setting up an LLC in this state.
Easy taxation pass-through
Easy taxation means that the company’s profit is directly distributed to the members of the company across all employee levels. Moreover, there are no taxes deducted from the account of the members. Other than this, a person can include all of this money in the LLC’s federal income. In Florida, the profits of the LLC are not considered as business income by the government.
On the other hand, if a person faces some losses, they can claim it with the federation. As such, the tax amount that one has to pay can be lowered.
Flexibility in sharing profits
The Florida Limited Liability Company rules need to be harmonized by the government, making the laws easy and flexible for business owners to easily complete all formalities. It makes it easier for businesses to share profits and pay dividends to all stockholders and stakeholders.
Formalities are meager
It is a fact that registering a new business comes with tons of legal formalities. A bunch of paperwork, permissions, licenses, among many others, are associated with it. But when starting an LLC in Florida, formalities to be accomplished would be very few compared to other neighboring states.
Can easily form subsidiaries
When a business person is looking to increase profits and expand the business, he or she needs to form a subsidiary. It is not an easy task, but with an LLC in Florida, the formation of subsidiaries is not so difficult. One needs to go through a few paperwork and then start the process of subsidiary formation easily. Moreover, in some states, there would be double taxation applied to this case. Still, in an LLC, especially in Florida, business people can save themselves from this issue and pass all deduction processes.
Top Businesses in Florida
Every state will have a different set of business niches that thrives and drive the local economy. If you are about to start an LLC in Florida, here are the best business niches to explore.
Contributing around $131 billion to the state, agriculture is one of Florida’s oldest and well-developed industries. The state is famous for producing around 70% sugarcane and 90% of oranges grown in the country, making them the industry giant.
The number of people visiting this state for leisure and entertainment has increased to 126.1 million. This value is 6.2% more than the previous year’s visitors. This increasing rate of tourism helped the industry contribute $85.9 billion to the state’s GDP. Currently, 1.3 million people are working in the tourism industry out of a total of 9.1million.
Florida is known for the highest amount of international trade that happens around the country. Some 17% of the country’s export to Latin America and Caribbean countries is done through Florida. There is a total contribution of $56 billion made by merchandise industries to the state’s economy. Moreover, the state’s entire export business contributes around 5.5% to the GDP of the state.
The business-friendly environment of the state and its rules have helped many businesses flourish. Since many people would now tend to have financial troubles, it is unsurprising that they resort to financial institutions for help. There are around 135,000 finance firms in Florida that are making major job opportunities in the state.
Some of the small investment businesses in Florida are:-
- Frozen yogurt Business
- Tech support companies
- Specialty food services
Florida LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Florida. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Florida LLC
The first simple – but essential – step is to choose a company name, which should include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Choose a registered agent
In Florida, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. You can check out our list of our Best LLC Services in the United States.
- File a formation certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Florida LLC Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create operating agreement
A company operating agreement is not a strict requirement but something encouraged when you start an LLC.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Taxes Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
A “domestic LLC” is one that conducts business in a state where it was formed. Meanwhile, a “foreign LLC” is an existing LLC that extended business to another state.
For Domestic LLCs, it is vital to have a Certificate of Name Reservation and Certificate of Formation. For the foreign LLCs, you must have a Certificate of Good Standing.
The cost to form an LLC varies per state.
Seldom do L.L.C.s use D.B.A. or a ‘Doing Business As’ name nor a fictitious business name. However, if you want to have one, you make read more about DBAs here.
A comprehensive operating agreement is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
>Your name should have “L.L.C. or LLC” or the phrase “limited liability the business.”
>Do not include words that could create confusion between your LLC and any government business.
>Words like ‘bank, attorney, university’ are restricted as well.
>Lastly, your name should distinguish it from other limited liability corporations, limited partnerships, or registered limited liability partnerships.
Typically, you can file your LLC name online with your email address or by mail. Check with the state where you will set up your LLC name. Take note that the fees for business names may also vary per state.
As for a website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for URL use with NameCheap to see if your name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a URL. Buying it can help to prevent others from getting your name; check out WPEngine, Kinsta, and GoDaddy for hosting and building your website.
No. Never mail these documents or payments to the Secretary of State directly.
The reason you might need an E.I.N. is that it would help for three reasons:
>Opening a business bank account
>Filing and managing federal and state taxes
>All LLCs with employees or agents, or any LLC with two or more members require an EIN
You do not need a Social Security Number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
International EIN applicants do not need an SSN to get an EIN.
Thank You & Best of Luck
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