How Long Does it Take to Register a Business in Florida?

how long does it take to register a business in Florida

Launching a new business requires meeting state, local and federal requirements. One of those is registering your business name.

Conduct a Florida business name search to ensure your chosen name is available. Additionally, your company must have a registered agent. A registered agent receives important legal, tax and government correspondence on your company’s behalf.

LLC Processing Time

An LLC is a fairly new business structure that combines some benefits of older structures like corporations and sole proprietorships. An LLC provides limited liability protection for its owners, allowing for tax advantages like pass-through income and simple bookkeeping. An LLC can have multiple members and may be owned by one or more individuals or other entities.

An online filing typically takes 1-2 business days to be approved by the state of Florida. This includes processing time, which is the amount of time it takes for documents to travel from the sender to the state and back again.

Before submitting any Florida registration paperwork, it’s recommended to make sure the preferred business name is available (check the internet domain name availability with Nolo). Also, review the list of Florida requirements for businesses to see whether your industry requires certain licenses or permits (steps 4 and 5 on Nolo’s site). You should also register for an Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (EIN) if required by your industry.

LLC Filing Time

If you’re forming an LLC, you’ll have to complete the Florida Articles of Organization online or by mail. This will include basic business information, such as your company’s purpose, owners and address. It’s worth checking with a legal professional to avoid any missteps in the filing process.

The state also requires a Florida registered agent, a person or company that accepts legal papers on your behalf. They need to be at the business address during regular work hours and can alert you if your company is sued.

You may also need to register a Fictitious Name (DBA) with the state. This will ensure your preferred business name is available and complies with trademark laws. Finally, you’ll need to set up a business bank account. Mixing personal and business finances blurs the line between your assets and those of the business, potentially putting you at risk in case of a lawsuit. Separating your finances helps you maintain the liability protections offered by Florida LLCs.

Sole Proprietorship Filing Time

Florida is one of the best states for starting a sole proprietorship, which is a type of business structure that allows you to operate as an individual. It offers the easiest start-up process and the lowest fees at the outset. However, you must follow state and local regulations.

For example, you must file a DBA if you want to operate under a name other than your own. You can do this online using the SunBiz Fictitious Name Portal. A DBA costs $50 and includes a certificate of status. Additional certified copies cost $30 each. You also need to obtain any required federal and state licenses.

If you have employees, you must also register for state employment taxes and sales tax. You should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you have more than one employee. This is an IRS-issued nine-digit number that distinguishes your business for tax purposes. You may also need it if you want to open a bank account.

Corporation Filing Time

If you form a corporation in Florida, it takes 11 days for the state to approve your articles of incorporation. This includes the time it takes for the state to process your documents and enter them into their system. It also includes transit time if you file by mail.

When you register a business in Florida, it’s important to list a physical address (not a PO Box) for your registered agent. This is the person or company that will receive service of process and official legal and government documents for your entity. You can use a residential address or a commercial registered agent service.

You’ll also need to register your business with the state for taxes and obtain any necessary permits. The required registrations will vary by industry and location, so check with the local city offices or a business compliance specialist like MyCorporation to avoid any missteps. Also, be sure to file annual reports on time.