Having a Florida LLC is a better and cheaper option than having other business structures. A limited liability company (LLC) reduces the owners’ personal liability and protects their personal assets. One can start an LLC in two ways, domestic LLCs or foreign LLCs (LLCs in more than one state). By following some basic steps, you can easily form an LLC in Florida.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Florida
- After Starting your Florida LLC
- Florida Foreign LLC
- Why an LLC in Florida
- Top Businesses in Florida
- Florida LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Florida
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection. This section gives you a step-by-step guide on how to start a Florida LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC
Deciding on a business name is the first step to start an LLC. In Florida, before you name your LLC, it is important to note a few things. Firstly, make sure the name is available to use. If the name is available, then check if the name complies with all the Florida business naming requirements. Once you pass through them, you can successfully name your business.
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.
Requirements when deciding a name for your LLC
LLC Name Search: A business name search is required to check if the desired name is available or not. If the name is available then the business owner has to fill up a name reservation form and send it to the Secretary of State, Florida. To do the name search, one has to visit the Business Entity Search page on the official Secretary of State website. Send the name reservation form to the below address by mail to reserve your LLC name in Florida. The cost of a name reservation is $50.
Important Quick Links:
Fictitious Name Registration
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, Florida 32314
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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 a Florida registered agent 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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Note that availing of the services of professional registered agents would be your best option since you are guaranteed that whoever is handling your legal affairs knows their stuff well. You will enjoy peace of mind and focus only on running your business, as the ‘professionals’ take care of all legal matters.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business 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 to file your Florida formation certificate or what is also called an Articles of Organization. this will cost about $125, which makes up the majority of the LLC cost in Florida. That is topped with other expenses, of course.
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. To know more about online filing, visit the Florida Certificate of Formation.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Florida 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. You may also file in person by visiting the office on business days.
Mail To: New Filing Section
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
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.
You are not required to have a comprehensive LLC operating agreement in Florida when starting an LLC, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. This document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Florida LLC later.
Step 5: Filing a Florida LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify types of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. It is like a Social Security number dedicated to a business’ taxes. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Before sending the form, ask for EIN Assistant. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Note: You don’t 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.
And that’s all! Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Florida LLC. If you still haven’t used a professional service from here, I strongly recommend having one to handle the remaining tasks.
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 bank account
- File Florida business permits & licenses
- Get liability for business and professional 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 Florida foreign LLC.
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Florida Foreign LLC
To register a Florida foreign LLC, one has to file the foreign LLC formation certificate with the Secretary of State, Florida. Forming a foreign LLC allows you to operate your business in more than one state in the USA as a single business entity. Check Florida Foreign LLC to know more about having a foreign 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: 5 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 thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a registered agent
In Florida, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. You can check out the list of the 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.
If you are a resident of Florida, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $125 (domestic LLC) and $125 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Florida include $138.75 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 6% every year.
It takes 2 to 4 weeks to get a Florida LLC if you file it online or via mail.
Every year all the LLC have to submit an Annual Report and pay $138.75 to the Florida Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start their LLC in Florida at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, leave a comment below.
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