Whether you’re just starting a business or have already established one, there are some key documents that need to be filed in order for your LLC to be registered and compliant with the state.
Florida has unique filing requirements for LLCs and you should make sure you know what you’re getting into. This guide will help you navigate the process of forming an LLC in Florida and ensure your business is set up properly from the start.
Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization are one of the key founding documents for your Florida LLC. They outline basic information about your company, such as its name and principal place of business, as well as the names and addresses of its members (if you have a manager-managed LLC) and registered agent.
The articles are typically filed online or by mail. They also require you to list your business’s purpose.
Your state may also require you to list your LLC’s effective start date. Your effective start date is the date you legally establish your LLC and begin doing business as an entity.
Once you’ve filed the articles, your LLC is officially established in the eyes of the law. However, the process is not complete until your state has approved the documents.
If you’re filing your LLC’s articles of organization for the first time, consider using a professional service that can help you with the process. This will save you a lot of time and hassle and ensure that everything is done correctly the first time around.
The operating agreement is an internal document that governs the day-to-day operations of your LLC. It details how members are voted, what their roles and responsibilities are in the company, and who manages the business.
It also details how members will share profits and losses, pay taxes, and make decisions. A well-drafted operating agreement can help ensure that your LLC is properly structured and that your rights are protected.
Many people are tempted to skip this document, thinking they don’t need one. However, this is a mistake.
Without an Operating Agreement, your business is governed by Florida’s default rules, which are likely not the best fit for your unique business needs.
An Operating Agreement will protect your limited liability status by defining what assets are personal and what are corporate. It also protects you from lawsuits by ensuring that your company’s assets are separate from your individual assets and are not subject to your creditors’ claims.
When you set up your LLC, the state will require you to appoint a Registered Agent. This person or company is responsible for accepting all official mail and legal service of process on behalf of your company.
It’s important to make sure you choose someone reliable, as a failed response to legal documents can result in financial penalties. In addition, a registered agent must have a physical address in Florida and be available during business hours to sign for important mail.
Some LLC owners take on the role of their own registered agent, while others appoint one of their employees or managers to act as their registered agent. If you decide to use a registered agent from within your company, ensure that this person is reliable and that they meet all of the state’s requirements.
A good registered agent will also provide additional services, such as business license reports. These can help you manage compliance issues and allow you to focus on growing your business.
Certificate of Good Standing
A certificate of good standing is a legal document issued by the Florida Secretary of State that confirms that your company is in compliance with state regulations. It’s usually required in situations like applying for a business loan or opening a bank account.
A good standing certificate also shows customers that you’re a legitimate business and haven’t violated any laws. It can help you win new clients and earn a higher level of trust with them.
Getting a good standing certificate in Florida is quick and easy. To order one, you need to provide the name of your business and its registration number (also called a document number).
For corporations and limited partnerships, the fee is $8.75. You can pay by check or money order payable to the Florida Department of State, or by credit card if you request it online with Sunbiz e-file.
To avoid administrative dissolution or revocation, LLCs and other businesses in Florida must file annual reports and filing fees on time. Companies that don’t keep up with the filings could be out of compliance by accident or on purpose.