If you’re a business owner looking to form an LLC in Florida, this checklist will help you get started. Follow this list to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements and avoid costly mistakes.
First, you’ll need to name your LLC and establish a registered agent in Florida. This person or company is responsible for receiving official documents from the state and delivering them to you as the business owner.
Articles of organization
If you want to start a Florida LLC, it’s important to file your articles of organization with the state. These documents are the founding document of your company, establishing the company’s legal identity and identifying its members and managers.
The Articles of Organization form varies from state to state, but typically includes your company’s name and address, and an explanation of the purpose of your business. Additionally, it must include your registered agent’s information.
A registered agent is an individual or business that’s designated to receive mail and other important legal documents on behalf of your business. Most states allow you to choose a principal member of your LLC as your registered agent, but any trusted employee can also hold the designation.
After you file your Articles of Organization and have your LLC formed, there are a few ongoing requirements that you should keep in mind to ensure that your Florida LLC stays compliant.
One of those requirements is to designate a registered agent. A registered agent is responsible for receiving important legal and tax documents and official government correspondence on behalf of your business.
You can choose to list yourself, a lawyer, an employee or someone else. The key is to make sure that they are physically present in the state and available during normal business hours.
If you decide to use a registered agent service, be sure that they are located in the same state as your business and that they can be reached at the address listed on your Articles of Organization. This will help to prevent the registered agent from missing important mail and legal obligations.
An LLC operating agreement is an essential document that outlines the financial and operational details of the business. It should provide information about ownership, profits and losses, how the business is managed, and who will pay taxes.
A Florida LLC should also set forth how members will contribute capital. This could be through cash, real estate, personal property or services.
It should also detail how the members will allocate profits and losses. This allocation can be a significant factor in income taxes.
The operating agreement should also detail whether the company will be member or manager-managed. It should also define the manager’s duties and responsibilities.
Whether you’re a domestic or foreign LLC, Florida requires all business entities to submit an annual report to the state before May 1. The information collected by this document includes your company name, principal office address, registered agent, member/manager names and addresses, and other critical details.
The report is filed electronically via the Department of State website. The information is then updated in minutes on the state’s public records system, Sunbiz.
Filing your annual report is a key compliance task, as failure to do so will result in a $400 late fee for businesses – including for-profit corporations, limited partnerships (LPs), and limited liability companies (LLCs). Furthermore, missing the filing deadline will lead to a penalty that could lead to your business falling out of good standing or even being administratively dissolved.
Creating a business plan is an essential step for any startup. Having one in place will keep you organized, define your goals and help you envision the future of your business.
Florida is a top choice for entrepreneurs, with a large population of small businesses in the tourism, agriculture and science sectors. If you’re planning to open a business in the state, consider the pros and cons of various types of business entities before making your final decision.
Choosing the right business structure will affect your company’s legal status, tax filing obligations and accounting methods. An accountant can help you assess these issues and determine which structure will best suit your company’s needs.