If you’re looking to start a new business, one of the first things you’ll need to do is form an LLC. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your business, this type of business structure can help protect your personal assets and allow you to run your business more effectively.
Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization are one of the most important documents you’ll file when forming an LLC. They lay out the company’s structure and provide government officials with information they need to assess your business.
You’ll need to capture all of your business’s basic information in the articles, including its name, address, registered agent’s information, and its purpose. You should also include the duration or time period over which you’ll operate your LLC.
Once you’ve completed and submitted your articles, the Secretary of State will review them to determine if they’re valid. If they’re rejected, you can fix them by filing an amendment.
You can submit your LLC’s Articles of Organization online, in person, by mail or fax. Regardless of how you file, make sure you fill out your forms correctly. Otherwise, the state may reject your LLC’s formation documents.
The filing process for a Florida LLC can take a few weeks, depending on whether you file online or by mail. You can also speed up the process by paying a $100 fee for expedited processing.
You must pay the filing fees to the state before you can submit your Articles of Organization for approval. These fees vary by state, but you can save money by using an LLC formation service that knows the nuances of each state and can complete these tasks quickly and painlessly.
Once your LLC is formed, you’ll need to choose a registered agent for your company. A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents and state notices on behalf of your LLC.
You can appoint your own registered agent or use a professional registered agent service that charges between $100 and $300 per year. A registered agent service can save you time and money, as well as provide important business services that will keep your company compliant.
Once your LLC has been officially formed, you will need to designate a registered agent. This individual or entity will receive any service of process, legal notices, tax forms, official government correspondence and lawsuits on your behalf.
Ideally, you or another member of your business should serve as the registered agent. Alternatively, you can also appoint a company to act as your agent.
Florida requires all business entities to name a registered agent and have an address in the state. This address must be a physical location and not just a post office box.
Besides being a legal requirement, having an active registered agent keeps you in good standing with the state and helps to ensure that your company stays compliant. Additionally, having a registered agent provider helps you expand into other states more easily because their address is listed with the state and not yours.
The Operating Agreement is one of the most important documents to have in place for an LLC. It outlines the structure of your company, how it will be managed and how members will vote on important issues.
The operating agreement is also useful in laying out the initial tax status of your business. It can outline your business’s initial tax classification, which determines the way profits are taxed and whether you’ll file as a C-corporation or an S-corporation.
An LLC operating agreement can also address how owners will be able to transfer their interests in the company to other members, and what happens when a member dies or decides to sell his or her interest.
While Florida does not require LLCs to have an operating agreement, it is highly recommended that you create one. This can protect you from personal liability and prevent disputes among your partners. It can also provide you with something to refer back to if an issue arises.