If you’re looking to start a business in Florida, you’ll want to form an LLC. Fortunately, the process is relatively straightforward.
To get started, name your company, select a registered agent and create an operating agreement. You’ll also need to file your Articles of Organization with the state.
1. Name Reservation
Name reservation is a process that lets you reserve your business name for a set period of time. This helps you avoid spending money on a business name that is already taken and prevents other businesses from registering the same name.
It also enables you to protect your name from other entrepreneurs before you go ahead and submit your formation documents. Some states require a name reservation before registering your business, so it is important to check with your state before filing.
You can find out more about name reservation by checking with your state’s website. Often, this will include a free public search of all active name reservations and registrations.
Once you’ve found a name that suits your needs, you can file a request to register the name. You’ll need to pay a $25 filing fee, and your request will be considered for 120 days. If the name is not available, you’ll receive a rejection notice and will be able to re-file without additional fees.
2. Registered Agent
A registered agent is the person or business that receives and forwards all legal documents on behalf of a limited liability company. Florida law requires that LLCs appoint a registered agent when they form their business.
Choosing the best registered agent service is key to maintaining your LLC’s compliance and preventing your company from being penalized. This is because an agent receives and forwards all government notices on your behalf, including tax and legal correspondence.
It’s important to choose a registered agent who offers nationwide services so that you don’t have to worry about submitting renewal payments separately in each state. This can be particularly helpful for companies that are expanding into a new state or that are looking to conduct business outside of the states where they have registered.
You can also get a certified copy of your LLC formation documents to use as proof at any time, including when opening a business bank account or applying for certain licenses. There are no additional costs involved with this.
3. Operating Agreement
One of the cheapest ways to form an LLC in Florida is by creating an operating agreement. This document is not required by state law, but it’s highly recommended because it gives you control over how your business will be run.
It also helps to protect your personal assets and avoid misunderstandings between owners. You can also use the operating agreement to define how profits and losses are distributed, what type of ownership structure you want and what will happen to members who leave the company.
You can also include a severability clause in the operating agreement to ensure that you don’t have to go through a court battle for every little detail of the contract.
The final step of forming an LLC is filing Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. These articles will officially establish your LLC in the eyes of the law, so you can get an EIN (Employer Identification Number), apply for business licenses and open a bank account.
4. Registered Office
Florida’s corporate tax rate is currently 5.5 percent, and it is one of the most affordable states to form an LLC. The state also offers a number of tax incentives for small business owners.
Having an LLC means that your profits pass through your company and are not double taxed as personal income. This makes it a popular choice for new business owners, and it is also easier to manage than a corporation.
However, you should always consider whether an LLC is the right structure for your business. For example, if you’re looking to split share classes or have a board of directors, you may want to look at forming a traditional corporation.
The cheapest way to form an LLC in Florida is to hire a registered office service that prepares and files your articles of organization at an affordable price. Zenbusiness provides this service for a reasonable fee and also offers a one-year free registered agent service.