When you’re ready to start your business, you’ll need to register your company with the state. This involves filing your articles of organization, selecting a registered agent, and getting an EIN.
A limited liability company (LLC) is a popular business formation in Florida. It allows owners to limit their personal liability.
Articles of Organization
The first step to registering a Florida LLC is filing articles of organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. These documents contain the full name of the LLC, its mailing address, a standardized cover letter, and more.
You can file these documents online, by mail, or in person. You can also choose to use the SunBiz portal, which lets you pay the filing fee by credit card.
Option 1: File online by reading and accepting the terms and conditions, filling out the required fields, and submitting. Turnaround Time: Processing time varies, but it can take two weeks or more depending on demand.
Before you officially register your Florida LLC, you’ll want to choose a name that is legally correct. This means it must be unique and not already in use by another business. It must also include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.) and cannot contain language indicating an unlawful purpose or one not stated in your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
When you want to register your LLC in Florida, one of the first things you need to do is choose a registered agent. This person or business will receive vital tax forms, legal documents, and government notices on behalf of your business.
The person or business you choose to be your registered agent will need a physical address in Florida (a post office box is not acceptable), and must be available during regular business hours to accept service of process on your behalf. In addition, your agent must be willing to liaise with government agencies and other third parties on your behalf.
The next step is to file your Articles of Organization and Certificate of Organization with the Department of State. You can do this online, by mail, or in person at the Division of Corporations’ Tallahassee office. The Department of State will also provide you with a confirmation letter after the filing is approved.
In Florida, you must obtain an EIN (employer identification number) before you can register your LLC. This nine-digit number is used to identify your business with the IRS, the same way a social security number identifies citizens.
Your EIN is the number that you’ll need when applying for a business license, opening a bank account, and filling out tax forms. It also serves as a unique identifier for your company and makes it easy to track your company’s finances.
Once you have your EIN, the next step in registering your LLC in Florida is to prepare your Articles of Organization and submit them to the state. You’ll need to include the name of your LLC, its principal place of business, and a registered agent who will receive legal mail on behalf of your company.
A registered agent is someone who agrees to accept legal mail on your company’s behalf, as well as to provide a physical address in the state of Florida (a PO Box is not accepted). This person can be you, a friend, or a family member.
Florida LLCs need to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The purpose of this report is to keep the Government informed about the company’s activities and provide information for filing franchise taxes.
It also helps the Department of State track changes in your business’s address or new appointments of managers and members. This way, they can ensure that your business continues to operate properly.
The process to file your Florida LLC Annual Report online is simple. Simply go to the Florida Department of State website and click on Corporations.
On the Manage/Change Existing Business tab, choose the File Annual Report option. Once you’re on that page, enter your 12 digit document number and select Submit.
Filing the Annual Report is required for all Florida LLCs, even those that are dissolved or revoked. Failure to file the report will result in a $400 penalty.