If you’re thinking about starting a business in Florida, you may want to consider setting up an LLC. These companies offer liability protection and tax advantages, among other benefits for small businesses.
However, you’ll need to get your Florida LLC set up correctly before you can start trading. In this lesson, we’ll cover the key steps you need to take.
Articles of Organization
To set up a Florida LLC, you must first file Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State. These documents can be filed online or by mail.
The Articles of Organization require you to provide a number of pieces of information about your business. These include your LLC’s name, registered agent, authorized managers/members, and effective date.
When filing your articles of organization, you must also disclose the primary business address for your company. This is the address your customers will see when they call you or send you letters.
You can also include optional information like your LLC’s management structure and whether it will be member-managed or manager-managed.
Filing your LLC’s articles of organization is a straightforward process. Once you’ve completed your form, submit it with a filing fee of $125 through the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations website or Sunbiz online portal.
In Florida, every business entity is required to designate a registered agent. This person must have a physical presence in the state and be available during normal work hours to accept legal notices and tax forms on behalf of the business.
A registered agent will collect and organize important legal documents on your behalf, including government notifications, service of process notices, tax forms, and lawsuits. They can also help you maintain compliance and ensure you remain in good standing with the state.
When choosing a registered agent, make sure to choose one that offers privacy and convenience. If you operate your LLC from home, you might want to use a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent instead of using your address on record.
The benefits of a registered agent are numerous, but the biggest ones are privacy and reliability. Having a reliable registered agent can protect your business from embarrassment and prevent lawsuits from being served at your place of business.
Forming an LLC in Florida provides several benefits to the owners, including liability protection. Owners of active businesses and passive assets (such as vacation homes or boats) can establish a separate legal entity, reducing risk from lawsuits that might affect the value of the business or its assets.
One of the most important documents for a Florida LLC is an Operating Agreement, which describes how profits and losses will be distributed among members. It also outlines the process for admitting new members, removing existing ones and handling changes in the company’s management structure.
When deciding whether to form an LLC in Florida, it is important to consider the type of business you plan to operate and your goals for the company. For example, a single-member LLC may be the best choice for a business that sells products, while an S corporation might work better for a more complex company. Regardless of the business type, an LLC is a good option for those who want to enjoy pass-through taxation.
The Operating Agreement is a legal document that sets out the structure and operation of your Florida LLC. It defines who owns what, how profits and losses are distributed among members, and how the company is managed.
This type of document can be a great way to prevent disputes and misunderstandings in the future. It also lays out clear expectations for the LLC members.
A strong Operating Agreement will also address issues like how capital contributions are allocated, and how managers are appointed. It will also outline how the company is managed, how taxes are paid and what happens in the event of a dissolution or amendment.
While not legally required, a well-drafted Operating Agreement is a smart choice for any limited liability company set up in Florida. It can protect an LLC owner’s personal assets, strengthen the LLC’s liability protection and provide other advantages.