Starting a Florida LLC is a great way to protect your personal assets from business liability. However, forming an LLC comes with a few fees and expenses you should know about.
One of the first costs you’ll encounter when forming your LLC is filing fees. These can vary from state to state, but generally include a filing fee and an agent fee.
1. Articles of Organization
To form a Florida LLC, you must file Articles of Organization with the Division of Corporations. These documents state your LLC’s name, the state and physical address where it is located, registered agent name/office address, who LLC members or managers are, and its effective date.
The filing fee is $125 and it can be done online or by mail. The Division of Corporations typically takes ten days or more to process a filing.
A Florida LLC can be managed by members or managers, and it can be taxed as a pass-through entity. Its flexible structure makes it a good choice for new businesses, and it offers strong liability protection.
When you’re choosing a name for your Florida LLC, don’t choose a name that is similar to another registered name in the state. If you have a name in mind, it’s best to register it as a fictitious name with the state before filing your articles of organization.
2. Certificate of Formation
An LLC certificate of formation is a one-page document that the state issues to confirm your LLC has been formed correctly. It lists your LLC’s name, its address, and the registered agent that it has chosen to serve as its legal point of contact with the state.
Depending on the state, you can apply for the certificate online or print and mail it in. It is important to ensure the information is correct before submitting it to the state.
A certificate of formation is a necessary part of forming an LLC in Florida. It proves that your business is formed properly and has filed for all relevant taxes.
It also proves to banks, loan officers, and investors that you have filed all the necessary paperwork for your LLC. You can request a certificate of status from the Corporations Division for a $5 fee.
3. Annual Report
Every limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, and limited liability partnership (LLP) must file an annual report with the Florida Division of Corporations. This document keeps the state up to date with the most recent information about your business.
The annual report is required by law and must be filed by May 1 of each year. It contains a lot of information about your company.
It also includes the name of your LLC, its principal place of business, and a mailing address. It’s important to keep these details updated because these information can be used by the state for tax and legal purposes.
Failure to file your report before the deadline will result in a late fee of $400 and administrative dissolution. Fortunately, most companies appreciate the convenience of hiring us to handle compliance issues, including this critical annual report filing.
4. Registered Agent Fee
Every LLC in Florida must have a registered agent. This person or business is responsible for receiving legal papers on behalf of your business and then forwarding them to you, as the LLC owner.
You can be the registered agent yourself, hire a registered agent service or appoint another individual. Having a registered agent is important because it makes it easy to receive important legal mail and serve process, such as if you get sued.
If you choose to be your own registered agent, you must be at least 18 years old and have a Florida street address (P.O. Boxes are not acceptable).
Alternatively, you can use a registered agent service, such as Northwest. When you sign up with a registered agent service, they’ll be your Florida LLC’s registered agent and will also receive all of your mail. It’s a more reliable set up that offers more privacy. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to get started with an LLC and doesn’t want to worry about changing their Registered Agent address.