First Step to Forming an LLC in the State of Florida

what is the first step to form an LLC in the state of Florida

The first step to forming an LLC in the state of Florida is choosing a legal name for your business. Make sure your chosen name satisfies the naming requirements for LLCs in Florida, such as including the word “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC”.

Next, select a registered agent. This individual or company will receive important tax forms, notice of lawsuits and official government correspondence on behalf of your LLC.

Articles of Organization

Your articles of organization are the public organic record that establishes your LLC at a state level. They include information like the company name, address, type of business and more. It’s important that these documents are filed correctly, as mistakes can result in the rejection of your articles by the secretary of state. If your articles are rejected, it’s usually because of a problem with the proposed LLC name or because they don’t follow state-specific guidelines.

To file your articles of organization, visit the Sunbiz website and fill out the online form. On the landing page, you must agree to the disclaimer and click “Start New Filing.” On the next page, you’ll need to enter your company name, statement of purpose and other basic information. You also need to designate a registered agent (this can be you or someone else). You’ll need to pay a filing fee of $125 using a credit card or your Sunbiz account.

Registered Agent

Florida requires all LLCs to submit a statement of address (also known as a registered agent) with the state. The registered agent must be a person or business entity with a physical address in the state of Florida and must be available during normal business hours to receive service of process and other important documents for the LLC.

Most entities choose to use their own company as the registered agent. This can be expedient but should only be done if the company or individual will be available to accept service of process and other important documents on behalf of the LLC. Otherwise, it is best to hire a professional registered agent to ensure your assets are protected.

The Florida Division of Corporations will also need to be provided with the LLC’s principal business address. It is common for companies to use their own offices as the primary business address but this is not required by law.

Certificate of Status

A Certificate of Status is the State department’s confirmation that your LLC has been formally recognized as a business entity. This document also lays out basic information about your business and lists its registered agent.

A registered agent is the person or entity that Florida law requires to receive service of process and official legal documents for your business. You may choose to serve as your own registered agent, or you can hire a professional registered agent service.

You must also include your LLC’s purpose, whether it’s to practice law, provide accounting services or market marketing strategies, and its duration (indefinite or a specific date). You must indicate how your company will be managed by members or managers and specify their roles. Finally, you must include your principal business address. You must also pay a state fee and registered agent fees. You will have to file an annual report between January 1 and May 1 to maintain your LLC’s active status in the state of Florida.

Operating Agreement

Florida law does not require LLCs to write an operating agreement, but it is strongly advisable. The document establishes how your company will conduct business, including its management structure, voting rights and profit share. It also clarifies which assets are personal and which are the company’s, helping protect members’ personal assets from business liabilities.

The document will list your LLC name, address (cannot be PO Box), daytime telephone number and the name and address of your registered agent (this cannot be a PO Box). It will also specify whether your LLC will be open for an indefinite duration or for a specific period of time, and it will state the reason you are forming the entity.

While it is possible to work through the registration process on your own, enlisting the help of an experienced Florida LLC formation service is often easier and more convenient. These professionals know the ins and outs of each state’s laws, allowing you to complete the registration process quickly and accurately.