If you want to start your own business in Florida, you’ll need an LLC. Forming an LLC is a great way to separate your assets from your personal finances and create a separate business entity.
You can form an LLC yourself or use an LLC formation service. Using an LLC formation service is often the easiest and most affordable option for new businesses.
1. Get an EIN
If you’re an entrepreneur interested in forming an LLC in Florida, it’s essential to have an EIN. An EIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS that companies can use to file taxes, hire employees, open a business bank account, and more.
To get an EIN for your LLC, you can apply online or by fax or mail. The quickest method is online, and your EIN will be issued instantly after the IRS validates your application.
You can also apply for an EIN by faxing or mailing your completed Form SS-4. Applicants by fax will typically receive their new EIN within four business days after submission.
2. Get a registered agent
A Florida registered agent is an individual or business whose duty it is to receive and forward important legal documents for a Florida LLC. They are also responsible for notifying the entity about state-required filings, such as annual reports.
You can be your own registered agent or hire a company that does the job for you. You should choose a registered agent service that offers privacy and focuses on helping you grow your business.
A Florida registered agent should be available to receive all legal deliveries of documents on behalf of your LLC during normal business hours. They should also accept tax and legal documents, such as notices of judgments or lawsuits.
3. File Articles of Organization
To officially form your LLC in Florida, you’ll need to file articles of organization. These documents establish the details of your business entity at the state level and must be approved by the Florida Secretary of State.
Your articles of organization will include information about your company’s name, address, management structure, and more. They’ll also list the registered agent for your company.
You can file your articles online, by mail, or in person. The cost is $125 and it should take about one week for Florida to approve your filing.
It’s best to work with a business lawyer to help you navigate the process of filing your articles of organization and avoiding legal mistakes that could delay the process or cause your LLC to dissolve. They’ll help you ensure that your business is legally formed and can protect your company from costly lawsuits in the future.
4. Get an operating agreement
Every business entity, LLC or not, needs documentation that outlines its rights and responsibilities. For a small business, it can be the difference between success and failure.
It’s also useful for avoiding legal disputes and court fees. It can be amended or updated as needed and should reflect each member’s wishes.
A good operating agreement will address the following:
Organization, management structure and responsibilities of members. This includes who will appoint managers and how they’ll be selected. It will also include how voting percentages and procedures are set, and how interests are transferred after a member’s death or incapacity.
Some states, including Florida, require LLCs to file an operating agreement with the state. However, many owners choose not to because they feel it’s unnecessary.
5. Get a business bank account
A business bank account isn’t a legal requirement for an LLC, but it’s an important step in establishing your company’s financial presence. It helps keep personal and business finances separate, which can help you preserve liability protections and make paying quarterly taxes easier.
A good business bank account offers a variety of benefits, from perks and rewards to tools for streamlined taxes and bookkeeping. It also often comes with a lower or no monthly fee, and some banks even offer cash back on your purchases.
Whether you are opening an LLC account at a larger or smaller bank, you should be prepared to bring all of the required documents with you. These vary based on the type of business you operate, but typically include your EIN, your operating agreement, articles of organization and other governing documents for an LLC or corporation.