If you’re thinking about forming a Florida limited liability company, there are a few steps you need to take. The process is easy and offers many benefits for your small business.
You can form an LLC yourself, or you can hire a third party to do the work for you. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to consider all of the costs before you make your decision.
Choosing a business name
Choosing a name for your Florida LLC is one of the most important parts of launching a new business. It should be memorable, easy to use and pronounce, and tell people what your business is all about.
You should also choose a name that doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks. That’s why it’s crucial to be familiar with the state’s naming rules before you choose your business name.
To find out if your desired LLC name is available for registration in Florida, search the state’s register of business names online. Most states maintain a database of business names that’s searchable by name.
Choosing a registered agent
The registered agent you choose is responsible for receiving important legal documents like service of process notices and correspondence from the state. This person must be available during business hours to accept the papers and forward them on to you, the business owner.
You can use a friend or family member to be your registered agent in Florida, or you can hire a company that offers registered agent services. Either way, the person or company must have a physical address in Florida so they can be contacted and receive any legal documents served on the business.
Getting all your business licenses and permits is one of the most important things you do for your new LLC. Fortunately, we can help you find every federal, state, and local licensing your business needs to get started.
Creating an operating agreement
Whether you’re creating a single-member LLC or multiple-member Florida LLC, it’s always a good idea to write an operating agreement for your business. It helps to clarify your LLC’s ownership structure, establishes the responsibilities of each member, and prevents disputes among members.
The operating agreement also allows you to define important disclosure limitations for protecting your members’ personal information. This can help you protect the confidentiality of your company’s finances and avoid a potential lawsuit for violating privacy laws.
It’s a good idea to draft an operating agreement for your Florida LLC before filing the Articles of Organization. Otherwise, your Articles of Organization may be rejected by the state.
A Florida LLC without an operating agreement will be governed by default rules outlined in the state’s Revised Limited Liability Company Act. These are often generic and may not suit your business or the way your members want to manage your LLC.
Filing your Articles of Organization
The most important step in establishing an LLC is filing your articles of organization. These documents officially establish your LLC’s authority to operate in Florida.
You can file your articles online with the Florida Department of State or you can print and mail them. The process typically takes a few weeks to complete, but you can expect to receive your approval within one week if you file online.
During the filing process, you may need to provide additional statements depending on your state’s requirements. These statements typically include your LLC’s name, address, and start date.
In addition, you will need to specify a registered agent. The registered agent accepts service of process on behalf of your business and liaises with the government when needed. You can choose to have an individual or entity provide the registered agent service.