The definitive guide to starting an LLC in Florida

With an untapped market of business opportunities and a wealthy economy, Florida is considered one of the best places to form and operate a Limited Liability Company. The Sunshine State has one of the 4th largest state GDPs in America, an educated workforce, and bountiful federal and state resources to help start-ups and small businesses.

Forming an LLC in Florida is relatively easy, as the formation process can be done by the business owner, or with the aid of formation services. Formation services will normally come with additional costs, but some urban areas of Florida boast with very affordable and trustworthy formation services. Below we will review the steps needed to be completed to form a new LLC in Florida.

Step One

Naming your LLC is the very first thing new business owners will need to do. This will help make the whole process a lot easier. With this, there are certain naming requirements laid out by the Department of State. New LLC’s will need to ensure the desired name is available or not already in-use.

Additionally, there are some restrictions, business names cannot include words that can confuse clients with a government agency like the FBI or Treasury. Restricted words such as Bank, Attorney, and University can be used, but there is additional paperwork and licensed individuals like those of doctors or lawyers need to be part of your LLC name.

Step Two

Once you have a name, you will need to choose a registered agent, this person will need to reside in the state of Florida. Registered agents are normally a registered body or liaison for your LLC between the business and government entities. This person will receive all notices, important taxation documents, lawsuits, legal paperwork, and official government correspondence for your LLC.

There are registered agent services available which you can make use of instead of having one specific person having to deal with all of these components.

Step Three

To officially form your LLC, owners will need to file Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporation. This will be a legal binding document between your business and state authorities, thus it is important to ensure all the requirements are being met throughout the filing process. The filing can be done online via Sunbiz or by mail, this will require you to list the individual(s) assigned to manage your LLC.

Step Four

In Florida, it is not required to have or file an operating agreement for your LLC. Although it is a good idea to have one, an operating agreement will declare and outline ownership of your LLC. Additionally, it will also give more information on shareholders, board members, and all the internal operating procedures.

This agreement will help business owners and other involved parties in the event of the LLC being dissolved, undergoing lawsuits, legal actions, or perhaps bankruptcy.

Step 5

Like in any other state, the final step requires business owners to register and obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. This identification number will help the Internal Revenue Services be up to date with your LLCs’ tax reporting. Although some businesses operate and trade without an EIN, it’s very helpful to have one, as it will help you to open a business bank account, hire employees and staff and most importantly comply with both state and federal tax regulations.

After the LLC formation is completed, the owner can then obtain the EIN for free via the IRS website or by mail.

Forming an LLC in Florida has a lot of perks, as the state offers a great pool of business opportunities for new start-ups and small businesses. More so, Florida is also a popular destination for tourists, both domestic and international, with easy formation procedures for foreign business owners looking to open an LLC in the state.

Written by