Florida is a great state for starting an LLC because it has low tax rates and a strong labor market. However, the process of forming an LLC can look slightly different from state to state.
The first step in the Florida LLC formation process is choosing a business name. Besides being a great way to brand your company, a good name also helps prevent legal disputes from developing.
Choose a business name
Choosing the right business name for your LLC is important because it helps your company stand out from the competition. A unique and memorable name can also help customers find your business when searching online.
When brainstorming possible names for your LLC, be sure to check early and often whether similar titles are already being used. This will help you avoid legal issues with other entities that use the same name as you do.
The Florida Division of Corporations provides free use of its entity database to assist with this process. This search tool will show you if a name is available or not, as well as the status of other registered Florida businesses.
Using a name that is distinguishable from other Florida entities is critical for your LLC to be accepted by the state. This may be accomplished through small differences such as the use of “L.L.C.” instead of “Corporation” or “Incorporated,” or through the addition of an appropriate abbreviation, such as “LLC” or “L.L.C.” Depending on the type of business you run, some states require that certain words are used in your LLC’s name.
File Articles of Organization
When you’re ready to start your LLC, the first step is to file articles of organization. These documents lay out the structure of your LLC and give you a legal record that will help your business grow.
Your state will require you to include a few details in your filing, including an address and start date. You can choose to file your articles online, by mail or in person.
You will also need to provide the name and address of a registered agent for your LLC. A registered agent accepts service of process on behalf of your business and liaises with third parties and the government when your LLC needs to handle official correspondence.
Creating an LLC requires a lot of time and effort, so it’s important to get it right the first time. Luckily, BizFilings is here to make the process easy and hassle-free for you.
Designate a registered agent
Choosing an LLC registered agent is the first step to filing your paperwork to establish your business in Florida. The state requires all LLCs to have a registered agent.
A registered agent is responsible for receiving and forwarding important documents on behalf of your company. These include tax documents, annual reports, legal notifications, and service of process.
Your LLC’s registered agent can be you, a friend, or a family member. However, they must be a Florida resident and maintain a physical address in the state.
You can choose a professional registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent to help you meet all your Florida LLC filing requirements. They will provide you with a Florida business address and mail forwarding, receive any service of process notifications, and alert you to any upcoming compliance deadlines.
File an operating agreement
An operating agreement for an LLC sets out the company’s organizational structure, policy details and how it will be managed. It can also be used to specify who will take over the business in the event of an owner’s retirement or death.
It may also include provisions to handle profits and losses, how disputes will be resolved and how your business will be dissolved.
The Operating Agreement should list each member’s contribution to the LLC, whether in cash or non-cash assets (shares, real estate, equipment, intellectual property and services). You should also establish their percentage of ownership based on that amount.
Once an LLC has been formed, it must be registered with the Florida Department of State to receive tax benefits and become a legal entity. This includes filing Articles of Organization and appointing a registered agent.
Apply for an EIN
As soon as your LLC is formed, you’ll need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. This is required for many purposes, including opening business bank accounts and obtaining federal business loans.
Whether or not your LLC needs an EIN depends on several factors, such as tax classification, number of members, and number of employees. Generally, LLCs with two or more members and those that are taxed as partnerships or corporations must obtain an EIN.
You can apply for your EIN online or by phone. Both methods will require some information, including your business structure, formation date, responsible party, and address. Once you submit your application, it will take the IRS up to four weeks to fax or mail back.