Once your articles of organization (often called statements of information or certificates of formation) are filed with the state, you need to register a business name. This name should be clear and memorable. It must also be unique, so you don’t run into any legal problems down the road.
You also need to appoint a registered agent. This is a person or firm that agrees to receive service of process and other official legal papers for your LLC.
Choosing a business name
You will need to choose a business name that is unique and distinguishable from other registered businesses in Florida. It should include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviation, LLC, and it cannot imply another type of business structure or a government agency. It also should not be misleading or deceptive in any way.
You will also need to make sure that your chosen name is available as a URL. This is important because most businesses today, even those with a physical location, need an online presence to market their products and services. A registered agent can help you navigate the name search process and find an available name. They can also assist you in filing the required paperwork to register your business.
Getting a registered agent
Choosing a registered agent for your Florida LLC is an important step in setting up your business. This is the person or company that will receive legal documents and other service of process on your behalf. It must be an adult person with a physical address in the state of Florida and be available during regular business hours. Many entrepreneurs choose to hire a professional registered agent service, which is an inexpensive way to ensure that important documents are received in a timely manner.
You can designate yourself as your own registered agent if you prefer, but it is not recommended. Your name and address will be public information and anyone can serve you with a lawsuit. A reputable registered agent service will provide you with a secure address, privacy protection and additional assistance.
Getting a business license
Obtaining a business license is an important step for any new Florida LLC. This process involves filing articles of organization with the state and paying a fee. It also requires that you have a registered agent and a principal business address.
When registering your company, you will need to submit the following information: Your LLC name; The name of your registered agent (an individual or a business entity authorized to do business in Florida); A statement of purpose (which can be simple); and An operating agreement if you are member-managed.
Your company will also need to register for sales tax if it has any taxable products or services. You can do this by filing an annual report online between January and May 1. You must also file an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, if you are a sole proprietorship or partnership.
Getting a bank account
Although it’s not required by the state of Florida, it is highly recommended to have a separate business bank account. This will ensure that your personal and business assets are kept completely separate, preventing any potential legal issues. It will also make it easier for you when you need to apply for a business loan.
Start by selecting a bank that offers LLC accounts. The bank doesn’t necessarily need to have branches in Florida, but it must be willing to work with your company. It should also accept your business’s EIN and provide a range of account types.
You should also reserve your business name. This will save you from having to change your business name later. You can do this online or through mail.
Getting a website
A website is the modern business equivalent of a business card and helps your customers connect with you. It also offers valuable content, shows your products or services, and can handle direct sales. In addition, a site can help you manage your online presence and keep track of your customer base.
Before you start a Florida LLC, be sure to know the state’s naming rules. This will save you time and money, as you can avoid choosing a name that violates an existing trademark. You can also reserve a name for up to 120 days before you officially register it.
When registering an LLC, you will need to pay a registration fee and a fictitious name fee. The latter is usually $50. You may also have to pay additional fees if you want to change your name later on.