A limited liability company (LLC) provides many benefits for small businesses, including liability protection and tax advantages. It’s one of the most popular entity types for business owners.
To form an LLC in Florida, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the state. These documents establish your LLC’s name and principal business address.
1. File Articles of Organization
Florida LLCs are formed by filing articles of organization with the state. The state will review the documents and, if approved, your LLC is legally established.
When filing your articles, you must provide information about your company’s name and principal place of business. In addition, you must include a registered agent’s name and address.
A registered agent’s job is to accept official correspondence on behalf of your LLC, such as court papers. They may also be responsible for liaising with third parties and the government when necessary.
In Florida, all LLCs must have a registered agent who has a physical address in the state (no PO Boxes). This person must be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for your LLC.
2. File Annual Reports
Once you have formed your Florida LLC, you will need to file annual reports with the state. These reports are a way for the state to keep track of information about your business, like your company name and mailing address.
The process is fairly simple, and you can complete it online at Sunbiz. There are a few things you’ll need to provide, but they can be done using the same information you used when you created your LLC.
Include your business’s document number, or FEIN (if you have one), addresses and your registered agent. You’ll also want to list the names and addresses of your managers and members (owners).
3. File an Operating Agreement
Florida does not require that an LLC have a written operating agreement, but it is important to have a document outlining how the business will operate. This can help clarify disputes that may arise, protect the company from legal liability, and help keep everyone on the same page for future business ventures.
A Florida LLC operating agreement should also include the names and full addresses of each member, and each members ownership stake in the company. This can be very helpful for tax purposes, as it helps a member show proof of their ownership in the company.
If you choose to form your Florida LLC online, you will need to file Form LLC-1 – Articles of Organization with the Division of Corporations. You can do this online or by mail.
4. File a Certificate of Registration
LLCs are a popular business structure for Florida companies. They offer a variety of benefits, including tax flexibility and legal protection for owners.
Before starting a Florida LLC, you must file the appropriate articles of organization with the state. These documents contain all the necessary information about the limited liability company and must be filed before applying for permits and licenses.
Once you’ve filed your Articles, you can file for a certificate of registration. This certificate is a legal proof of your status and can be used to open a business bank account, apply for credit, and more.
You can request your certificate of status online or by mail. You will need to pay a fee and provide the name and address of your Florida LLC. Once payment is received, your certificate of status will be emailed to you.
5. File a Tax Return
Once you have formed an LLC in Florida, you must file a tax return each year. You can file the annual report online or in-person at the Florida Division of Corporations.
The first annual report is due by May 1st of the following year. If you don’t file by this date, the state will charge a $400 penalty.
Another important step to take after forming an LLC is appointing a registered agent. A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal notices on behalf of your business.
Your registered agent can be a Florida resident or a company that specializes in serving as an agent for businesses. They must have a physical address in Florida (no post office boxes) and be available during normal business hours to accept important legal and tax documents for your company.