If you’re looking to establish a business in Florida, you may want to consider getting an LLC. These limited liability companies allow you to protect your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit while also providing a number of other benefits.
When forming an LLC in Florida, there are a few important steps to take. These include choosing a business name, filing Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State and opening a bank account.
1. Choose a business name
Before you start registering your LLC in Florida, it’s important to choose a business name. It should be unique enough to distinguish your LLC from other companies in the state.
There are many rules you must follow to make sure your business name is approved. One of the most important is to avoid a name that is too similar or identical to an existing company.
The state of Florida requires that all businesses entity names be distinct from every other business in the Department of State’s database.
The best way to find out if your business name is available is to conduct a search with the Florida Secretary of State (SOS). You can do this on your own or have Incfile perform it for you.
2. Form an operating agreement
An operating agreement is a legal document that details the financial and operational management of your LLC. It sets forth the rights and responsibilities of the members, how profits and losses are distributed, how decisions are made, and more.
A properly drafted operating agreement is important for preventing member disputes and other conflicts that can arise in your business. It also helps preserve your limited liability status.
Florida does not require an LLC to file an operating agreement with the Secretary of State, but it is strongly recommended. Without one, your LLC will be subject to a set of default rules.
A properly drafted LLC operating agreement can provide significant asset protection for your business. A customized operating agreement can include provisions to comply with S-corp taxation rules, protect members from judgment creditors, and more.
3. File Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State
Forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Florida is an easy process. It offers a number of benefits, including asset protection and tax advantages.
The first step is to prepare Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can do this online or by mail.
Depending on how you file, your articles should be approved in a week or less. You can then download your documents and store them in a safe place for future use.
After your filing is approved, you’ll receive a certificate or other confirmation document back from the Department of State. This document is a legal proof of your business status and can be used to open bank accounts and obtain an EIN.
4. Open a business bank account
If you are a business owner, you will need to open a business bank account. This is important because it keeps your business and personal finances separate and helps you maintain limited liability status.
There are many banks that can help you with this process. However, you should do some research before you visit a bank in person.
Most importantly, choose a bank that can meet all of your business’s needs. Look at what types of accounts they offer, what fees they have and whether they have any perks.
It is also important to find a bank that will help you with tax programs and payroll services, as well as business loans. A good bank will also be able to assist with cash flow management, merchant services, treasury management and insurance for your business.
5. Apply for a business license
A business license is a document that gives you permission to operate your business within a certain area. It’s often required by local, state or federal government agencies.
The process for applying for a business license in Florida varies depending on your industry, location and activities. It’s recommended that you get professional assistance to help you determine what licenses and permits you need.
If you’re in the foodservice industry, for instance, you may need to apply for a federal license. You can find this information by contacting your local government offices or checking out the Sunbiz website.
In some states, a business license can be approved right away; others might take longer to review. This is because there are many factors to consider, including department size and efficiency.