If you’re planning on starting a Florida LLC, there are some important steps to take before you submit your filings. This will help you ensure your business is legal and avoid common pitfalls that can cause your LLC to be rejected by the state.
The first step is to file the Articles of Organization for your LLC with the Department of State, Division of Corporations. You can submit your filing by mail, in person or online.
Articles of Organization
If you want to establish a limited liability company (LLC) in Florida, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization. These documents will establish your business’s identity and limit your personal liabilities.
They include basic information about the LLC, such as its name, principal place of business, and the list of members or managers. You’ll also need to designate a registered agent.
This person or company is legally tasked with receiving mail and other legal documents on your behalf. You can choose an individual Florida resident or a corporation authorized to do business in the state.
You can file your articles of organization online through the Florida SunBiz portal on the Secretary of State website. You’ll need to register and pay the filing fees, but it’s a quick and easy process.
Choosing a registered agent to receive court documents on behalf of your LLC is one of the most important things you can do when forming an LLC in Florida. This person or entity must be a resident of the state, and it’s essential they have an address in Florida where they can accept legal paperwork.
In addition, the person or business must be available to accept documents at the address during all normal business hours. This ensures that they can be reached if legal action is filed against your business or important tax forms are received by your company.
You can serve as your own registered agent, appoint another person, or use a registered agent service. By using a registered agent service, you can free up time to work on your business instead of dealing with incoming official mail or lawsuits.
Once your articles of organization are approved, you’ll need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN). This nine-digit number identifies your LLC for taxes and annual reporting with the Internal Revenue Service.
Every year, Florida LLCs must file an annual report to keep up with their status as a business entity. This document is an important part of ensuring that the state has current information about your company’s management or membership, addresses and registered agent.
An LLC’s annual report can be filed through the Department of State’s Sunbiz website using your 6- or 12-digit Document Number. The document can be changed if there is a material change to your information, but it must be filed by May 1 to avoid a late payment penalty fee of $400.
Your annual report is a chance to share your company’s financial results and highlight your successes, as well as give feedback to leadership on the direction of the business and chart a course for the coming year. But it’s also an opportunity to tell a human-readable story that your stakeholders will find inspiring and engaging.
If you’re registering a Florida LLC, you’ll have to pay a number of taxes. These include income tax, state and local tax, and payroll tax.
You may also need to get business licenses for some activities. For example, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation licenses businesses in architecture, real estate and other skilled trades. The agency also regulates certain insurance agencies and day care providers.
To form a Florida LLC, you’ll need to file a form called Form LLC-1 – Articles of Organization with the Division of Corporations. You’ll need to include a filing fee and the name, address and signature of an authorized manager or representative.
When you’re forming an LLC, it’s important to choose the right tax treatment for your business. Whether you’ll be taxed as a C corporation or an S corporation will have an impact on how your business operates, which is why it’s critical to consult with an experienced attorney before deciding.