This guide to starting a Florida LLC provides step-by–step instructions for filing paperwork, obtaining tax IDs, setting up company records, and obtaining formation documents.
LLCs are the most common business structure. They are cost-effective, flexible, and easy to operate. The legal formation of an LLC allows you to establish your business, limit your personal liability, and gives you tax flexibility. You will find the steps below helpful as you complete this process.
Step-by–Step Florida LLC Directions
Check Name Availability
Your LLC’s legal title may not conflict or be confused with any other registered name. Conduct a name look to verify availability.
Name Search Florida Department of State Division of Corporations Name Reservation Optional Suffix: “(1) A limited liability company’s name must contain the words “limited company” or the abbreviation L.L.C./LLC so that it can be identified as a limited company, not a natural individual, partnership, corporation, or any other business entity.
Select a Registered Agent
Before you can officially file to form your Florida LLC, you need to choose who your Florida registered agency shall be. Registered agents are appointed to notify a business of any lawsuits or other legal or government notices.
A registered agent is required by law in every state. When you file Florida articles of organisation with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations (Florida Department of State), the registered agent is identified.
Florida Certificate for Formation
Register the articles to form a limited liability corporation.
Agency: Florida Department of State Division of Corporations Form:
Articles from Organization
Filing Method Mail or Online Agency Fee $125 Turnaround: It takes about 1-3 business days to order online. 8-17 business days by post Law:
2013 Florida Statues. Chapter 621 – Professional Service Corporations and Limited Liability Companies
Notes: For filing by post, include the state-prescribed letter of cover, the original articles and a duplicate of the articles.
Establish Company Records
Your LLC must maintain accurate records and books. Your LLC’s documents begin with your filed articles. Your LLC will produce other official records like:
- Minutes of a meeting
- Operating agreement
- EIN verification letter
- Amendments and other filings made during the LLC’s lifetime
Sign the Operating Agreement
You can draft an Operating Agreement by using a template. This is the governing document that governs the LLC. It describes the details of how the LLC operates, such as the holding of an annual meeting. You will discuss and approve the agreement at your organizational meeting.
Host the Organizational Meeting
The organizational meeting is a first meeting of LLC members. For this meeting you will need your operating agreement and filed articles of organisation. Keep a log of the meeting, and save it in your company’s record book.
Get a Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN).
EINs must be obtained if your LLC employs more than one person or has multiple members. EINs are also required to open bank accounts.
Agency: Internal Revenue Service Form:
Filing Method Mail, phone or fax IRS fee $0 Turnaround: Instantly online or by phone 4 business day by fax. 4-5 weeks by postal mail Notes: The IRS website can only be accessed during specific hours. Before closing your session you should print your EIN. For more guidance, refer to IRS Publi 1635: Understanding Your.
Get Florida State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts
Florida offers a state-wide tax registration application.
- Submit to
- Florida Department of Revenue
Form DR-1: Florida Business Tax Application
Florida Department of Revenue. Start-up Kit to New Business Owners
- Filing Method
- Mail or Online
- $0 + $5 to register for sales tax (if applicable).
Consider Electing C-Corp taxation or S-Corp taxation
Your LLC automatically receives pass through taxation. The vast majority of LLCs however, keep this tax category. Some LLCs have the option to choose S-Corporation or C-Corp tax treatment.
- S-Corp may be able to help owners who earn more that $75,000 per calendar year in saving on self-employment taxes.
- C-Corps have double taxation. Members pay taxes on the profits of the corporation, while members pay taxes when they receive their distributions. C-Corps can offer lower tax rates to retained earnings.
Get business licenses and permits
The necessary licenses or permits to operate your business legally are required. Searching by business type and location using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit search tool is the easiest way to navigate the vast array of federal, state, or local requirements.
Florida Business License
Florida does not require the licensure of general business licenses at the state level.
Florida doesn’t have a general business license. However, local licenses are sometimes required.
Keep your LLC afloat with ongoing filings
Federal and state tax returns must be filed.
For good standing with the secretary, many states also require business entities that file an annual return. See the table below for information on Florida LLCs.
Florida Corporation Annual Report Requirements:
Agency: Florida Department of State Division of Corporations Form: Online filing is mandatory Filing Method Online. Agency Fee $150 Due: Annually, May 1. Law:
Florida Statutes SS607.1622.
Penalties: $400 late fees Notes:
- Anyone may file if they have authority.
Jeff Beckley is a business expert, journalist, book author, and founder of the website Best Inc Services. Jeff can be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org