1. How to File Articles of Organization in Florida
2. Why Form a Florida LLC?
3. Tax and Regulatory Requirements for Florida LLCs

Articles of Organization LLC Florida must be filed with the Florida Department of State. This document provides basic information about your LLC, and when it is successfully processed, your LLC is officially formed within the state of Florida.

How to File Articles of Organization in Florida

There are several things to keep in mind when filing Articles of Organization with the state. Follow these steps to file:

  1. Choose your business name. It must contain "LLC" or "Limited Liability Company." If you are forming a professional LLC, use “PLLC.”
  2. Run a search on the name before you fill out the Articles of Organization to make sure it's available.
  3. Make sure you include the full name of your LLC on the form.
  4. Include the street address and mailing address of your LLC's principal office.
  5. Choose a registered agent. This individual or entity will act on behalf of your LLC to accept service of process, acting as a contact for correspondence related to the administration of the LLC. Your registered agent can be yourself, another owner, or an outside individual. You can also hire a commercial registered agent to do this job.
  6. Provide the name and address of your LLC's registered agent. This must be an address within the state of Florida and may not be a P.O. box. Your form must be signed by the registered agent to verify that they are aware of their responsibilities and accept them. 
  7. Ensure that an authorized person signs the document. 
  8. If you are forming a professional LLC (PLLC), list a specific purpose for your business. LLCs that are not professional in nature do not need to do this, but they may do so if they choose.
  9. If desired, name each person who is authorized to manage the LLC and give their addresses. Currently, this is optional, but many Florida financial institutions require it. Simply being an owner/member of the LLC does not mean they have rights to management.
  10. If you wish the LLC to become effective on a different date than the filing date, list it. This date must be five or fewer business days before filing or up to 90 days after. 

One reason you may wish to choose a different effective date is that it affects the due date of your annual report. Annual reports are due on January 1 of each year. If you are forming your LLC after October 1, but do not expect to open your business before January 1, you may want to choose January 1 for your business's effective date. That way, you will not need to file an annual report until the end of next year. Reports are due each year between January 1 and May 1 in order for the LLC to maintain an active status.

It's a good idea to have your attorney review this document before you submit it to the state, because your Articles of Organization may need to be tailored to your specific business situation.

Why Form a Florida LLC?

Forming an LLC in Florida offers many benefits, especially regarding taxes and other financial issues:

  • LLCs limit liability for the owners of the company.
  • LLCs offer protection for the members from creditors.
  • An LLC has fewer formal requirements than a corporation does and affords more flexibility with business operations.
  • An LLC provides tax advantages for the business owners on both the state and federal level.

Tax and Regulatory Requirements for Florida LLCs

Administration of your LLC may involve other requirements. For example, an LLC with more than one owner needs to have an Employer Identification Number from the IRS, even if it does not have employees. A single-member LLC only needs to have an EIN if it will have employees in the future or if it wants to be taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship. An EIN may be obtained at the IRS website, and there's no fee for doing this.

Your LLC may also need to apply for other licenses from local and state agencies. This depends on your type of business and its location. You can visit MyFlorida.com to find out more information on what types of licenses you might need.

If you need more information or help with filing Articles of Organization for your LLC in Florida, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.