Florida is one of the most popular states for small businesses. Its business environment has many benefits, including tax flexibility and legal protection for its owners.
Forming an LLC in Florida can be done online by filing articles of organization with the state. This will allow you to get an EIN and apply for business licenses.
Choosing a business name
Choosing the right business name is one of the first steps when starting a Florida LLC. It is important to choose a name that will be memorable and will help you stand out from other companies in your industry.
You should also consider a name that has potential to be a domain name. This will make it easier to establish an online presence for your company.
Before settling on a name for your LLC, it is essential to do a business search to ensure that no other entity is already using the name. The Division of Corporations has an online database that you can use to conduct a business search for free.
Depending on your state, you may have to follow certain naming rules when selecting an LLC name. For example, in Florida, you cannot use language that implies your LLC is connected with the government or that it’s organized for a stated purpose.
Creating an operating agreement
An LLC operating agreement is a document that governs your business. It differs from the Articles of Organization that you file with the Florida Department of State, but it still needs to be drafted and signed by all members.
This document spells out who is a member, what their ownership percentage is, and how they are treated by the company. It also details the LLC’s management structure and other rules and regulations.
Depending on your business, you may want to customize the content of your operating agreement for a number of reasons. You can do this by using online legal services or by hiring an experienced attorney to draft a customized agreement.
Some online resources, such as RocketLawyer and LawDepot, offer free downloadable operating agreements that walk you through specific state and legal questions to help you get an agreement tailored to your needs. You can also find attorneys in your area who specialize in LLC formation to help you with the process.
Getting an EIN
The IRS requires any business that has multiple members or employees to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you want to file taxes, open a bank account or apply for business loans, an EIN is necessary.
The process to get an EIN for a Florida LLC is relatively simple, and the cost is very affordable. Companies like Incfile offer inexpensive packages that take care of all the steps to get your LLC’s EIN.
You can either file online or by mail. The online method is the fastest and easiest.
To file online, go to the IRS’s EIN application portal and click the blue “Apply Online Now” button. You can only complete the application once, so make sure you have enough time to complete it.
After you’ve completed the application, you’ll see a page that will ask you how you’d like to receive your EIN confirmation letter. Choose the option that best fits your needs. You’ll need this letter in the future, so make sure you save it!
Getting a registered agent
Florida law requires all LLCs to have a registered agent, and it’s easy to get one online. You can be your own registered agent, appoint another person, or hire a registered agent service to do it for you.
A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal mail (service of process) on behalf of your business and for forwarding these messages to you. They can be an individual, a company, or an attorney.
Typically, a company will default to using its own employee or manager as the agent, but it’s important that this person is reliable and always available at the address provided during normal business hours.
A registered agent is also responsible for ensuring that all of your business’s filings are filed in compliance with state requirements. Having a professional service handle this for you can help to keep your company in good standing and avoid costly penalties.