Florida LLC Formation Guide

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.

Overview

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

  1. 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 search

    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.

    FS §605.0112

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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

     

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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:
    IRS 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.
  8. Get Florida State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

    Florida offers a state-wide tax registration application.

    Submit to
    Florida Department of Revenue

    http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/

    Form:

    Form DR-1: Florida Business Tax Application
    Guidance:

    Florida Department of Revenue. Start-up Kit to New Business Owners
    Filing Method
    Mail or Online
    Fee:
    $0 + $5 to register for sales tax (if applicable).
  9. 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.
  10. 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

    NOT REQUIRED

     

    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.

  11. 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.
Save 80% off LLC Formations with NorthwestNorthwest Discount
+