How to Form a Florida LLC Online

Florida LLC online

A Florida LLC provides liability protection for your business and taxation flexibility. It also helps clarify the difference between personal and business assets.

It’s easy to create a Florida LLC online. You can file your Articles of Organization yourself or use a service to help you. Both routes are relatively quick and inexpensive.

Choosing a name

It’s important to select a unique name for your Florida LLC. This will help to prevent legal issues with other entities with similar names, which could potentially affect your business. You can use a search tool on the State of Florida website to make sure your desired name is available. The name must also be available as a URL and as an e-mail address.

You can reserve a name with the State of Florida by sending a letter to the Division of Corporations, or you can hire Northwest Registered Agent to do it for you. The name reservation will last for 120 days.

You should familiarize yourself with Florida’s naming rules for LLCs, as they may vary slightly for different types of business entities. Your name must end with “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC,” and if you are setting up a licensed professional LLC, it must include the words “Chartered,” “Professional Limited Liability Company,” or “PLLC.” You can use a business name generator online for inspiration.

Filing your Articles of Organization

Your articles of organization are what creates your Florida LLC as a legal business entity. They include information about the duration of your business, whether it is a perpetual or indefinite LLC, and management structure (members or managers).

You will need to provide a Florida street address for your registered agent (PO boxes are not accepted). You must also include the name and address of each LLC member. You can file your articles online through Sunbiz or by mail.

It takes about a week to process your articles when filed online and a couple of weeks when mailed in. Once the state approves your articles, you can download a copy for your records. At this point, it’s a good idea to open a bank account for your business and obtain any other permits or licenses you might need. You should also apply for an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the IRS. This nine-digit number acts like a social security number for your LLC and is required for tax filings and hiring employees.

Choosing a registered agent

A Florida registered agent is the person or service who receives legal papers and notices on behalf of an LLC. Florida law requires that all businesses have a registered agent. You can choose to be your own registered agent or appoint someone else to serve. If you use a friend or family member, they need to have a street address in Florida and be available during normal business hours. Using a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent makes things simpler and more reliable.

A professional service can also keep your private address off public records and provide a secure online account. They can even help you file your Articles of Organization, if needed. Plus, they can remind you of compliance requirements, so you don’t lose track of things. When you hire Northwest to form your LLC, they will include their registered agent service free for the first year. They will also scan and upload all of your mail into your online account.

Adding members

When you form a Florida LLC, you must decide if the company will have one or more members. You must also decide whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed and determine its purpose.

You may need your articles of organization to open a business bank account or obtain credit card merchant accounts, for example. You can order a certified copy of your articles from the Division of Corporations for a fee.

If you choose to create a Florida LLC, you must draft an operating agreement, which is the contract that governs how the LLC will operate between its owners. An operating agreement can help prevent disagreements and disputes, and it will spell out the rights and responsibilities of each owner. If you add a new member to your Florida LLC, you must amend the operating agreement to reflect the change. You can amend your operating agreement online or complete and submit an amendment form to the state.