Forming an LLC is a great way to protect your personal assets from your business liabilities. It also limits your tax liability and allows you to choose how you pay taxes at the federal level.
To register your Florida LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the state. The process is simple and can be completed online.
Articles of organization
Articles of organization are the first step in registering your business as an LLC. They tell your state key details about your company, including your name and address, registered agent, authorized managers/members, and effective date.
While filing these documents can be a daunting task, they’re relatively straightforward to complete if you follow the requirements specified by your state’s business laws. However, you may want to get help from a business lawyer before starting.
Once your articles of organization are filed, your LLC becomes a legal business entity and is protected from personal assets and liabilities. It also establishes limited liability and offers tax advantages for owners and their businesses.
After you file your articles of organization, the Florida Secretary of State will send you an Acknowledgement Letter and a link to download your stamped approved Articles of Organization. Depending on how you submitted your document, you will receive the Acknowledgement Letter and Articles of Organization in one or two business days.
Every LLC must have a registered agent in Florida, which accepts legal documents (service of process) on its behalf. They also need to receive tax notifications and annual reports from the state on behalf of the business.
A registered agent in Florida can be any person or entity, as long as they meet the necessary requirements and have a physical street address in the state. Some businesses choose to use a member of the company as their registered agent.
Another option is to hire a full-service registered agent. Some offer services like help with your Articles of Organization, annual reports filing, mail forwarding, service of process notifications, compliance alerts etc.
Some also offer services that help you keep your information private. For instance, some will scan and upload important documents on the day they’re received, provide identity theft protection and alert you when your annual reports are due.
After you have established a Florida LLC, you will need to apply for an EIN number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This nine-digit identification number is similar to our Social Security number and is required for federal taxes and reporting.
You should also open a separate business bank account. This will help you keep personal assets out of your business and ensure that only business-related expenses are paid.
Once your LLC is established, the next step is to file Articles of Organization with the state. These documents establish your LLC by identifying its name, address and other information.
You can file this form online or by mail. The state will send you a certificate, acknowledgment letter and/or other confirmation document after they approve your filing.
If you are running a limited liability company (LLC) in Florida, you will need to file an annual report with the state. This document will give the Department of State, Division of Corporations information on how your LLC is doing, including any changes in registered agents, addresses, and other important business details.
You will be given an LLC number by your Secretary of State that you can use as a reference on the Annual Report. It is similar to a driver’s license number and is given to every LLC in Florida.
The state will also require you to list the Florida registered agent’s name, physical address and electronic signature. The registered agent will be responsible for receiving official legal documents and notices on behalf of your LLC.
The annual report is due on May 1. If you fail to file it by that date, your LLC can be administratively dissolved by the Florida Department of State. You can avoid late filing penalties by hiring a registered agent service to prepare and submit your report on your behalf.