If you’re looking to start a small business in Florida, an LLC may be a great option. These business structures are easy to form and offer tax flexibility, plus legal protection for their owners.
To begin, you’ll need to decide on a name for your Florida LLC. This will be the name your business will use to market itself.
Articles of Organization
A Florida LLC is a legal entity that offers many benefits, including flexibility in management and taxation. To start an LLC in Florida, you need to file Articles of Organization with the state.
You can submit your articles of organization online, by mail or in person. Depending on your filing method, the process will take between ten days and two weeks.
After you form your LLC, you need to register a business name and choose a registered agent. These two steps will help you formalize your LLC and keep your business separate from your personal assets.
The next step is obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN is often required to open a business bank account and get tax filings.
You should also create an operating agreement to outline the way your LLC will operate and how managers and members will interact with each other. This is not mandatory to start a Florida LLC, but it can save you money and headaches in the future if disputes arise between members or managers.
If you’re forming a Florida LLC, you’ll need to name a registered agent. This person will be responsible for receiving legal papers and government notices on your behalf.
The requirements for a registered agent include that they be at least 18 years old, have a physical address in the state of Florida and be available throughout typical business hours to sign for documents. You can choose to have an individual act as your registered agent or you can hire a professional service to do the job for you.
A registered agent is a valuable asset for any LLC, regardless of the type of company it’s running. In addition to helping your company receive official correspondence, registered agents also make sure you’re complying with all corporate and legal requirements.
The main reason a registered agent is important is to help your company stay in compliance with the law. This means that they’ll receive any legal papers, government notifications, or tax forms from the state on your behalf and bring them to your attention as soon as possible.
To operate your business in Florida, you need to get a number of licenses and permits. The requirements and fees for these depend on your type of business.
Before you begin the process of forming an LLC, check your local and state regulations to find out which licenses and permits you need. For example, restaurants will need health permits and other city or county licensing.
Once you have an idea of what licenses and permits your Florida LLC needs, you can start the application process. The process is easy and takes less than a day to complete online or by mail, depending on your preferences.
Once you have the necessary paperwork in place, apply for credit cards and loans to start your new company. Remember to shop around for a lender that doesn’t require a personal guarantee on loans, so you can keep your new business separate from your finances. Additionally, if you plan to hire employees, you’ll need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance and a business liability policy.
Florida does not levy any personal income tax on the profits of LLCs. However, some businesses are required to pay franchise taxes and transaction taxes for their rights to operate as a legal entity in the state.
Depending on your business’s line of business, you may also be responsible for paying local and state sales taxes on products or services you sell to customers in the state. If this is the case, you will need to register with the Department of Revenue and make periodic payments.
The first step in registering an LLC in Florida is to file Articles of Organization with the Division of Corporations. These documents provide information about your company, including its official name and address.