Forming an LLC in Florida is a big step towards becoming an independent business owner. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting or costly process.
To get started, you’ll need to name your business, choose a registered agent and file the Articles of Organization with the state. Luckily, most of these initial costs are one-time and can be deducted from your taxes as part of your startup costs.
Articles of Organization
The articles of organization are the founding document for any limited liability company (LLC). They provide an overview of the business and include information about owners, managers, and other important details.
Florida LLCs must file their Articles of Organization with the state. They can be submitted online, in person, or by mail or fax.
They are available for download from the state’s website. The filing fee is $125, and you can also purchase a certified copy after paying an additional $30.
When forming an LLC in Florida, it’s best to work with an attorney or lawyer who can guide you through the process. This will ensure that your LLC is formed legally and in compliance with all laws.
If you want to change the name of your LLC, amend its purpose, or remove members or managers, you will need to file an amendment with the Florida Division of Corporations. You can file an amendment in person, by mail, or by fax.
Registered Agent Fee
Every LLC that operates in Florida must have a registered agent, an individual or business who will be tasked with accepting legal documents on behalf of the company. These documents could include service of process notices, tax information, and communication from the Department of State.
A Florida registered agent must have a physical address that is listed in the public record, and they must be available to accept documents during normal business hours. This does not mean that individuals have to be in the office at all times, but it does mean that they should be present at the registered address to receive a document.
A Florida registered agent will cost between $35-$300 per year and will help your business stay in compliance with the state by providing a legal Florida address, mail forwarding, and service of process notifications. They also offer online account access so you can check your status and keep track of upcoming compliance deadlines.
Annual Report Fee
If you have formed an LLC in Florida, the state requires you to file an annual report. This report contains important information about your business, including your registered agent’s address and business ID number.
It also includes the name and address of the principals who are associated with your company, such as officers, directors, managers, and general partners. It must be filed by May 1 every year.
The State of Florida charges a $400 late fee for all businesses that do not file their annual reports on time. Nonprofits are exempt from this fee, but still need to file their annual reports by the third Friday of September to avoid administrative dissolution.
To file an annual report, go to the Department of State’s website and enter your 6- or 12-digit Document Number. You can also use the “Forgot your number?” link to search for it.
Florida is one of the most tax-friendly states in the US. It does not impose state income taxes, so single-member LLCs (disregarded entities), partnerships, and S corporations do not have to pay state income taxes in Florida.
However, some small businesses are subject to a business franchise tax in Florida. This is usually 5.5 percent of federally-taxable profits, but may be higher or lower depending on the type of business.
In addition, most companies that sell goods in Florida must register with the Department of Revenue and make periodic payments for sales tax on their goods. This can be done online or via mail and requires filing returns on a monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually basis.
Another tax that is important for small businesses in Florida is use tax. If you purchase taxable goods outside of Florida and bring them into the state, you owe use tax on them. In many cases, city, county and local jurisdictions will impose additional use taxes.