Our picks for LLC formation services

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FAQs

What is an LLC, and how does it differ from other business structures?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business structure that combines elements of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. It offers the limited liability protection of a corporation, which means that the personal assets of LLC members (owners) are generally protected from business debts and liabilities. LLCs are also known for their flexibility for tax purposes.

What are the advantages of forming an LLC in Florida?

Some key benefits of an LLC in Florida include personal asset protection, minimal formalities and paperwork, no requirement for a board of directors, and the ability to choose between member-managed or manager-managed structures. Additionally, Florida does not impose state income tax on individual income, its main tax benefit.

How much does it cost to file the LLC Articles of Organization in Florida?

The filing fee for the Florida LLC Articles of Organization is $100, and there is an additional $25 registered agent fee.

What is a registered agent, and do I need one for my Florida LLC?

A registered agent is a person or entity designated to receive legal documents, official notices, and service of process on behalf of your LLC. In Florida, appointing a registered agent is a requirement for LLCs. The registered agent must have a physical address (not a P.O. box) in Florida and be available during regular business hours to accept legal documents.

Can I reserve a company name for my Florida LLC before filing the Articles of Organization?

Yes, Florida allows you to reserve a business name for your LLC before officially filing the Articles of Organization. This name reservation can be done. Name reservations typically last for 120 days and can be extended for an additional fee. Reserving a name ensures that no one else can use it while you prepare your LLC formation documents.

Are there annual fees for maintaining an LLC in Florida?

Yes, Florida LLCs are subject to an annual filing fee known as the “Annual Report” fee, which is currently $138.75. This fee is due each year by May 1st, starting in the year following the LLC’s formation. Failing to file the Annual Report by the deadline can result in late fees and administrative dissolution.

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An LLC is an uncomplicated business structure that affords business owners legal protection by separating personal assets from business debts. Moreover, LLCs often enjoy a lower tax rate than corporations. Nevertheless, creating an LLC can get complicated depending on where you are based, with the formation process, filing fees, and continuing legal obligations differing from state to state.

1. Select a name for your Florida LLC

Perform a name search at the Florida Division of Corporations’ business name database to confirm that your chosen name is available for use in the state.

Follow naming requirements

There are two major guidelines to follow when naming your LLC in the state of Florida:

  1. An LLC’s name must be clearly distinguishable from the names of existing business entities on file with the Florida Division of Corporations.
  2. An LLC’s name is required to contain one of the following phrases or abbreviations: “Limited Liability Company”, “Limited Company”, “L.L.C.”, or “L.C.” The words “Company” and “Limited” may be substituted with the abbreviations “Co.” and “Ltd.”, respectively.

Need help coming up with a business name? Check out our free business name generator.

Reserve your LLC name

Unlike in most states, Florida does not allow people to reserve a business name prior to legally organizing an LLC.

2. Designate a registered agent

As in every U.S. state, forming an LLC in Florida requires the appointment of a registered agent service to handle state and federal legal documents and service of process on the business’s behalf.

Florida registered agent requirements:

  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Have a physical street address in Florida
  • Be available during regular business hours

Our picks of the best registered agent services

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Starting a business requires a lot of state-mandated paperwork, which can be confusing for new business owners. Northwest offers business services that can help entrepreneurs find the right documentation, fill it out, and file it on time with the right government agency. In addition to helping you set up an LLC, Northwest has a host of additional services, like registered agent services, that new owners will find useful too.
  • ZenBusiness: There’s no need to stress about filing paperwork when you work with ZenBusiness. This company offers a great variety of LLC services, the focus of which is to ensure your business is set up correctly with the proper paperwork filled out and delivered to the right branch of your state government. Of course, ZenBusiness does charge for their services, but customers say they get the most bang for their buck.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

FAQs

What is an LLC, and how does it differ from other business structures?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business structure that combines elements of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. It offers the limited liability protection of a corporation, which means that the personal assets of LLC members (owners) are generally protected from business debts and liabilities. LLCs are also known for their flexibility for tax purposes.

What are the advantages of forming an LLC in Florida?

Some key benefits of an LLC in Florida include personal asset protection, minimal formalities and paperwork, no requirement for a board of directors, and the ability to choose between member-managed or manager-managed structures. Additionally, Florida does not impose state income tax on individual income, its main tax benefit.

How much does it cost to file the LLC Articles of Organization in Florida?

The filing fee for the Florida LLC Articles of Organization is $100, and there is an additional $25 registered agent fee.

What is a registered agent, and do I need one for my Florida LLC?

A registered agent is a person or entity designated to receive legal documents, official notices, and service of process on behalf of your LLC. In Florida, appointing a registered agent is a requirement for LLCs. The registered agent must have a physical address (not a P.O. box) in Florida and be available during regular business hours to accept legal documents.

Can I reserve a company name for my Florida LLC before filing the Articles of Organization?

Yes, Florida allows you to reserve a business name for your LLC before officially filing the Articles of Organization. This name reservation can be done. Name reservations typically last for 120 days and can be extended for an additional fee. Reserving a name ensures that no one else can use it while you prepare your LLC formation documents.

Are there annual fees for maintaining an LLC in Florida?

Yes, Florida LLCs are subject to an annual filing fee known as the “Annual Report” fee, which is currently $138.75. This fee is due each year by May 1st, starting in the year following the LLC’s formation. Failing to file the Annual Report by the deadline can result in late fees and administrative dissolution.

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3. File Articles of Organization

An LLC is officially organized in Florida by filing Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. This can be done online or by postal mail. The filing fee is $125; payment can be made by check, money order, or credit card.

Your Articles of Organization must provide the following details:

  • LLC name
  • LLC principal address
  • Registered agent’s name, address, and signature
  • LLC manager’s names and addresses
  • The date the LLC was formed
  • Members’ signatures
  • The duration of the LLC
  • The LLC’s Purpose
  • The name and signature of the person forming the LLC

4. Create an operating agreement

Although not a legally mandated step for forming an LLC in Florida, drafting a comprehensive LLC operating agreement is strongly recommended for all nascent limited liability companies.

The operating agreement should do the following:

  1. Describe the LLC’s business structure
  2. Establish the individual responsibilities and obligations of LLC members
  3. Detail how the LLC will be run

Without an operating agreement clarifying the specific duties of its members, an LLC may face significant legal and operational difficulties.

5. Obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN)

All newly formed LLCs in the United States must acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (with the exception of single-member LLCs). The nine-digit EIN is like a social security number for a business and is necessary to pay income tax, file tax returns, open business bank accounts, and perform many other important functions.

You can apply for an EIN online on the IRS website without paying a filing fee.

6. Fulfill your legal obligations

File Annual Reports

Florida LLCs and foreign LLCs doing business in the state are required to file an Annual Report to hold on to “Active” status. The initial annual report is due between January 1 and May 1 in the year following its organization. Filing can be completed online, and the fee is $138.75.

LLCs that file their annual report late will be required to pay a $400 late fee on top of the standard filing fee.

Obtain business licenses and permits

Some LLCs may be required to obtain one or more state or locally-issued business licenses, permits, or certifications depending on the nature of their business and the area in which they are located.

Visit the MyFlorida.com website for detailed information on state business licenses, and consult with a city clerk in your municipality for information on fulfilling local regulations.

  • Check with the local government: Various cities, counties, and other jurisdictions in Florida will have their own licensing requirements. This can include additional occupational licensing or general business licensing, as well as permits to collect local taxes.
  • Be prepared to pay for licenses and permits: Be prepared to budget for these licenses, as their costs can fluctuate based on your type of business and location, and non-compliance could result in penalties or even business disruptions. It’s an essential part of ensuring your Florida LLC operates within the bounds of the law and avoids any potential legal issues down the road.

Register to pay state taxes

Florida is a top choice for new LLC owners and other startups because of its tax-friendly laws. Check the Florida DOR website for a complete list of state taxes and fees that require businesses to register with the Department.

  • No state income tax: While LLCs are still a pass-through entity and owners will claim their income on tax returns, there is no state income tax in Florida. You will pay federal tax only. LLCs are also exempt from state income tax imposed on other Florida businesses. The only taxes your LLC must pay are the 6% sales tax charges on any business purchases.
  • Obtain a seller’s permit: You will most likely need to apply for a Florida seller’s permit in order to collect and remit these same sales taxes. The registration process can be completed online or by filing a paper application through the mail or in person at the Department of Revenue office, and there is no fee.

File BOI report

All LLC owners must comply with the Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) reporting requirement.). This regulation mandates that certain U.S. businesses report information about their beneficial owners. The application of this requirement depends on your LLC’s formation or LLC registration date.

  • When to file: For companies formed or registered before January 1, 2024, the initial BOI reporting deadline is January 1, 2025. Companies formed or registered in Florida after that date must report within 90 days of receiving their official formation documents; starting in 2025, this will be 30 days.
  • Information required: The information to be reported includes the name, date of birth, street address, and identifying details from a government-issued ID for each beneficial owner. While this reporting is not an annual requirement, it is crucial to file accurately and update when necessary to remain in compliance with federal law.

Learn more about BOI reporting.

LegalZoom can help you file a compliant and stress-free BOI Report for only $149.

FAQs

What is an LLC, and how does it differ from other business structures?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business structure that combines elements of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. It offers the limited liability protection of a corporation, which means that the personal assets of LLC members (owners) are generally protected from business debts and liabilities. LLCs are also known for their flexibility for tax purposes.

What are the advantages of forming an LLC in Florida?

Some key benefits of an LLC in Florida include personal asset protection, minimal formalities and paperwork, no requirement for a board of directors, and the ability to choose between member-managed or manager-managed structures. Additionally, Florida does not impose state income tax on individual income, its main tax benefit.

How much does it cost to file the LLC Articles of Organization in Florida?

The filing fee for the Florida LLC Articles of Organization is $100, and there is an additional $25 registered agent fee.

What is a registered agent, and do I need one for my Florida LLC?

A registered agent is a person or entity designated to receive legal documents, official notices, and service of process on behalf of your LLC. In Florida, appointing a registered agent is a requirement for LLCs. The registered agent must have a physical address (not a P.O. box) in Florida and be available during regular business hours to accept legal documents.

Can I reserve a company name for my Florida LLC before filing the Articles of Organization?

Yes, Florida allows you to reserve a business name for your LLC before officially filing the Articles of Organization. This name reservation can be done. Name reservations typically last for 120 days and can be extended for an additional fee. Reserving a name ensures that no one else can use it while you prepare your LLC formation documents.

Are there annual fees for maintaining an LLC in Florida?

Yes, Florida LLCs are subject to an annual filing fee known as the “Annual Report” fee, which is currently $138.75. This fee is due each year by May 1st, starting in the year following the LLC’s formation. Failing to file the Annual Report by the deadline can result in late fees and administrative dissolution.

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Post LLC tasks

Start a business bank account

Once you’ve successfully established your LLC in Florida, the next crucial step is setting up dedicated business bank accounts. These accounts serve as the financial backbone of your LLC and are vital for maintaining the separation between your personal and business finances, which is essential for preserving the personal liability protection offered by your LLC.

What you need to open an account: To open a business bank account, you typically need to provide your LLC’s Articles of Organization, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) obtained from the IRS, and any necessary business licenses or permits.

Banks to consider: It’s essential to shop around and select a bank that aligns with your business’s needs, considering factors like fees and whether they will offer you other services, such as credit cards. Some popular options for new LLCs include Found, Relay, and Mercury.

Obtain a certificate of good standing in Florida

To prove your LLC’s legal compliance and good standing with the state of Florida, you must obtain a Certificate of Good Standing. This document, sometimes known as a Certificate of Status, is frequently needed in order to sign contracts, obtain funding, or carry out other business-related activities. The Certificate of Good Standing is available upon request from the Florida Division of Corporations.

Build a website for your Florida LLC

In an era where consumers often turn to the internet for information and decision-making, a well-crafted website not only enhances your professional image but also provides a platform for potential customers to explore your products or services at their convenience.

While every LLC owner knows a website is necessary, you might not know where to start. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Search for and purchase a domain name.
  2. Sign up for web hosting.
  3. Pick a web builder like Domain.com or GoDaddy to create a site with no coding experience necessary.
  4. Tailor your site to your customers, adding appropriate pages, content, and images.
  5. If you’re selling goods, add an e-commerce section to your site.
  6. Review, test, and publish your site.

Consider additional setup costs

Average cost to set up an LLC in Florida: $263.75-$463.75

  • Incorporate fees: When it comes to forming your Florida Limited Liability Company, you can do so for as little as little as $125, which is the cost to submit Articles of Organization documents to the state. With these LLC formation papers, your business is legally approved to operate within state borders.
  • Annual Report filing fee: Florida, like many states, requires all businesses, including LLCs, to file an Annual Report. The cost to file this report is $138.75.
  • Registered agent service fees (optional): Some businesses choose to hire a registered agent. Professional companies exist to accept official documents on your company’s behalf. You’ll pay an annual fee for these services, but the company will collect any documents sent to your company and notify you of their arrival. The cost of this service ranges between $50 to $200 a year.

Foreign LLCs that intend to do business in Florida

File a Qualification of Foreign LLC with the Florida Division of Corporations and pay the $125 filing fee. When submitting the application, include a Certificate of Existence. The certificate must be dated within 90 days or less of the date of its filing with the Florida Division of Corporations. Foreign LLCs must also show proof of a bank account in Florida state.

FAQs

What is an LLC, and how does it differ from other business structures?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business structure that combines elements of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. It offers the limited liability protection of a corporation, which means that the personal assets of LLC members (owners) are generally protected from business debts and liabilities. LLCs are also known for their flexibility for tax purposes.

What are the advantages of forming an LLC in Florida?

Some key benefits of an LLC in Florida include personal asset protection, minimal formalities and paperwork, no requirement for a board of directors, and the ability to choose between member-managed or manager-managed structures. Additionally, Florida does not impose state income tax on individual income, its main tax benefit.

How much does it cost to file the LLC Articles of Organization in Florida?

The filing fee for the Florida LLC Articles of Organization is $100, and there is an additional $25 registered agent fee.

What is a registered agent, and do I need one for my Florida LLC?

A registered agent is a person or entity designated to receive legal documents, official notices, and service of process on behalf of your LLC. In Florida, appointing a registered agent is a requirement for LLCs. The registered agent must have a physical address (not a P.O. box) in Florida and be available during regular business hours to accept legal documents.

Can I reserve a company name for my Florida LLC before filing the Articles of Organization?

Yes, Florida allows you to reserve a business name for your LLC before officially filing the Articles of Organization. This name reservation can be done. Name reservations typically last for 120 days and can be extended for an additional fee. Reserving a name ensures that no one else can use it while you prepare your LLC formation documents.

Are there annual fees for maintaining an LLC in Florida?

Yes, Florida LLCs are subject to an annual filing fee known as the “Annual Report” fee, which is currently $138.75. This fee is due each year by May 1st, starting in the year following the LLC’s formation. Failing to file the Annual Report by the deadline can result in late fees and administrative dissolution.

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