If you’re considering forming an LLC in Florida, you may be wondering if you have to register your business. Answer: Yes, you must register your LLC to legally do business in the state of Florida.
To register, file Form LLC-1 – Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. You can apply online or by mail.
Articles of Organization
Florida LLCs must file articles of organization, which establish a corporation’s basic structure. The documents provide basic information about the business, including the entity name, address, registered agent, authorized managers/members and effective date.
The Articles of Organization can be filed online, by mail, or by fax. Regardless of how you choose to file, the articles must be prepared and signed by an authorized representative.
To make filing easier, the state provides a set of fillable forms and templates for you to use. These can be downloaded and completed on the Florida SunBiz portal, or you can print them out and send them in-person or by mail.
You can choose to list the principal business address of your company (a street address or a P.O. Box). If your LLC has members or managers, you can also specify who they are and how they will be managing the business.
Running your business requires regular communication with a wide variety of people. Your bank, accountant, lawyer, and financial advisor are all key players in the success of your company.
You probably also receive a lot of correspondence from the state, including important tax and legal documents like business license renewals, annual report reminders, and more. These tasks can be difficult to manage without help.
Florida law requires that all LLCs and Corporations have a registered agent, which is an individual or business that is available during normal business hours to receive legal mail and service of process notices. The address for the agent must be in Florida and can’t be a PO Box.
A registered agent can be you, a family member or friend, or an independent company. Make sure that any person you choose agrees to act as your registered agent before appointing them in the Articles of Organization.
If you’re starting up a business in Florida, it’s important to understand how the state will tax your business. You’ll need to register your LLC with the Florida Department of Revenue for corporate taxes, sales tax, withholding, and other taxes depending on your specific business situation.
Florida LLCs are usually taxed as Sole Proprietorships (Single-Member LLCs) or Partnerships (Multi-Member LLCs). They’re considered a pass-through tax entity and avoid the double taxation that most corporations experience.
However, some LLCs choose to be taxed as C corporations. This can be a good choice for many small businesses because it allows them to take advantage of more tax breaks than a regular LLC, but it does require higher taxes.
Regardless of which tax status your LLC elects, you’ll need to file your federal tax return and your state income taxes every year, no matter what. The best way to know what your taxes are going to be is to hire a professional accountant.
Every year, Florida LLCs must file an annual report to update the Department of State on any changes in their information. This allows the state to keep accurate records of all business entities registered in Florida.
You can update your information online or by mail. You will also need to pay your annual report fee at the time you file it.
Remember, if you fail to file your annual report, Florida will assess a $400 late filing penalty. In addition, if your company fails to file it by the third Friday in September, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC.
You should also make sure your Florida registered agent has a physical address in the state. This is important because it’s the address where the state will send reminder notices to.