If you’re starting a new business in Florida, you might want to know how long it takes to form an LLC. The process can be a long one, but it’s necessary to ensure your company is regulated properly.
Getting your LLC formed is the first step toward becoming a legal, tax-paying business entity in Florida. It involves submitting articles of organization and paying a $125 filing fee to the state.
Articles of organization
The Articles of Organization are the documents that formally establish your limited liability company. They include important information about your business such as the name, address and purpose of your LLC.
You can create your own articles of organization or get help from an attorney. You can also access the forms from the Florida Sunbiz website (registration required).
An LLC can be a great way to protect your personal assets and operate as an independent legal entity. However, you should do your research before forming an LLC.
One of the first things you need to do is choose a unique LLC name that isn’t already in use. Once you’ve settled on a name, file a Name Reservation Request with your state.
Once the name is approved, it’s time to draft your LLC’s Articles of Organization. These must be submitted to the state office where you’re forming an LLC and will establish the structure and rules for your new business.
Certificate of formation
The certificate of formation is the first official document filed with state authorities when forming an LLC. This document outlines the LLC’s purpose, principal place of business and initial members or managers.
The process of forming an LLC can take several weeks, depending on the state and how quickly it can process filings. For instance, in Florida routine processing takes up to seven days and can take four weeks if you pay for expedite service.
In addition, most states require business entities to file annual reports to maintain good standing with the secretary of state. Managing and filing these reports can be time-consuming, which can lead to accidental lapses.
A registered agent can help you avoid these lapses by sending and receiving legal paperwork on your behalf, including filing your annual report. They can also assist you with finding state-specific accounting professionals and legal advice.
When you create a business entity, such as an LLC or corporation, you’re required to designate a registered agent. This individual or business will receive legal and official mail on your behalf.
In Florida, the registered agent must have a physical address in the state. They must also be available during regular business hours to sign for and accept legal documents served on your LLC or corporation.
A good registered agent will help you maintain compliance with the state, which can help you keep your LLC in good standing and avoid a fine or suspension of your status. They will also provide you with a convenient online account where all your files and documents are securely stored.
An excellent registered agent will also be able to provide you with other services like filing and operating agreements. These services can take a lot of the hassle and stress out of forming your LLC in Florida, allowing you to focus on building your business.
If your business is formed as an LLC in Florida, it will be required to file an annual report with the Division of Corporations. This document will keep the state’s Department of State, Division of Corporations updated on your company’s current information.
The Annual Report is due by May 1 each year, so it’s a good idea to start filing now. Failure to file by this deadline will result in a $400 late fee that can’t be waived.
The State of Florida sends courtesy reminders via email and mail to the address on your registered agent’s record. We recommend putting this email address on your calendar and setting a reminder to file your next Annual Report.