Forming an LLC in Florida provides business owners personal asset protection, great tax rates, and flexible management options. It is crucial to understand the steps that need to be taken before launching an LLC in Florida.
The next step is obtaining an EIN, a federal tax information number for your LLC. You will need this for filing taxes, opening a bank account, and applying for credit cards.
File Articles of Organization
Before you can open a business bank account, obtain an EIN, or hire employees, your LLC must be officially registered with the state. To do so, you must file Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State’s division of corporations.
Your articles must contain basic information on the new company, including its name and location. They also must list the owners of the company and their roles.
Some states require additional provisions on your articles of organization, like the LLC’s purpose or par value for authorized shares. Others only allow certain types of language to be used in the articles.
When filing your articles, you must select an effective date. This is the day your LLC will begin to exist. The default date is the day Sunbiz receives your filing, but you can choose a date up to 90 days prior to or after that. You must also specify a registered agent, a person or business that accepts service of process and liaises with third parties and the government on your behalf. Our registered agent service can help you fulfill this requirement.
Obtain a Registered Agent
Florida law requires all LLCs and other business entities to have a local registered agent. A registered agent is responsible for receiving service of process on behalf of the LLC and other legal papers. They must have a physical address in the state of Florida and be available during normal business hours. You can serve as your own registered agent or hire a professional service.
When you file your Articles of Organization, you must include the name and address of your registered agent. This information will become part of public record, so it is important that you use an address where the State can reliably reach someone during business hours.
If you want to protect your personal privacy, you can choose to use a professional registered agent service such as SunDoc. We also offer a virtual address for LLC correspondence that keeps your personal address private. This is a great option for small businesses that are just starting out.
Obtain an EIN
If your LLC has employees, or is taxed as anything other than a sole-proprietorship or a single member LLC taxed as a disregarded entity, it must obtain its own IRS employer identification number (EIN). Your EIN will help the IRS correctly track your business’s filings and payments. It is also necessary for some businesses, such as those applying for business credit cards or seeking federal contracts.
The first page of the online EIN application asks for your business’s name and address. Your registered agent information is required, as well. You can either serve as your own registered agent or hire a professional service to do so. Next, you will need to indicate your LLC’s purpose and provide a list of its authorized managers or representatives. Finally, you will need to select an effective date. This can be up to 90 days in the future, if desired. After double-checking the information, click “Continue.” It is a good idea to save this confirmation page for your records.
Open a Business Bank Account
Florida is a great place to start a business, as the state keeps business taxes and regulatory requirements low. However, it’s important to work with a legal and financial advisor to ensure that all necessary steps are taken.
One of the most important is to open a bank account for your company. This helps keep personal and business expenses separate, which is crucial for tax purposes. Having an EIN is also beneficial, as banks will usually require it to open a business account.
Different banks have different documentation requirements, but you will likely need your articles of organization, an EIN and proof of identity for each owner or person in control of the entity. Having these documents ready will make the process much easier for you and your banking representative. Also, be sure to select a bank that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This will help protect you in case of an unforeseen disaster.