Your Florida LLC will need a registered agent, which is an individual or company authorized to receive legal and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. This person or entity should be located in Florida and may not be a member or manager of your LLC.
You’ll also need to obtain a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is used to identify your LLC for tax purposes. This can be done online, by fax or by mail.
How do I know if I need to register my LLC?
In Florida, you can start an LLC in a few ways: do it yourself, hire an incorporation service or work with a business attorney. However, whichever route you take to form your LLC, it’s important to do a Florida business name search before filing to ensure your proposed business name doesn’t infringe on another company’s trademark.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to draft an operating agreement that establishes the roles of each member and helps avoid conflict. If you need help drafting an operating agreement, we suggest working with a lawyer or using an online service like Incfile.
Finally, you’ll need to appoint and continuously maintain a Florida registered agent (also known as a “doing business as” name). We recommend using Northwest Registered Agent who provides fast, reliable service and keeps your address off public records. Their services start at $39 and include the state fee. BizFilings also offers this service as part of our incorporation packages.
Do I need a registered agent?
When registering your Florida LLC, you must list your registered agent on the Articles of Organization filed with the state. This is the person or service that will be responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your company, such as lawsuits or statutory notices. They must be able to accept service of process during regular business hours and forward these important documents to you.
The registered agent must have a physical address in the state of Florida, and it cannot be a P.O. box or mail drop service. You can be your own registered agent, or you can hire a qualified professional service for a small fee.
Using a service keeps your personal address off the public record and protects you from embarrassment should you be served with a lawsuit. You can also use a professional service for many other valuable services, including reminders to file annual reports and helping you find legal professionals and accountants that specialize in Florida businesses.
Do I need to file an annual report?
Whether or not your LLC needs to register in Florida, there are certain ongoing steps it will need to undertake to remain compliant and preserve the limited liability protection it received upon formation. These include the following:
An operating agreement. This outlines how your company will be run and helps you avoid conflict among members. Sunshine Corporate Filings LLC(r) provides a free customized operating agreement with every Florida LLC order.
A registered agent. This person or business must be physically located in Florida and be available during normal business hours to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. A service like Northwest Registered Agent can act as your LLC’s Florida registered agent for a small fee, and can keep your personal address off public records.
A business license. Florida requires business owners in certain industries, such as real estate and insurance agencies, to obtain a business license before conducting business. There are also a variety of other permits and licenses your LLC may need, depending on its industry and location.
Do I need a business license?
The state of Florida does not require you to have a business license to register your LLC. However, you may need to obtain one to operate in the cities, towns and counties where your company does business. Also, you may be subject to the state’s corporate income tax and sales/use tax.
When deciding on your LLC’s name, you should keep in mind that the state of Florida has naming rules (including certain restricted words). You can check your proposed LLC’s name for availability with the Division of Corporations by doing a preliminary search online.
In addition to registering your LLC, you’ll also need to appoint a registered agent in Florida. This can be you, someone you trust, or an entity that offers registered agent services. The agent must have a physical address in the state of Florida and be on-site during normal business hours to receive service of process and other legal documents. For more information, see our page on registered agents in Florida.