To file articles of incorporation Florida, you need to register with the Florida Division of Corporations. While this process is relatively straightforward, you have to make sure you include all the required information in your articles of incorporation. Filing errors can make the registration process more complicated or lead to future problems. If you are in doubt, it is a good idea to seek the assistance of an attorney.

Why You Need to File Florida Articles of Incorporation

In order to form a for-profit or non-profit corporation, the first thing you need to do is prepare and file your articles of incorporation. Once your articles of incorporation are approved, your corporate name will be secured and your business will be legally established as a corporation in Florida. You need to get this document approved before you can apply for tax identification numbers and business licenses, conduct business, and sign contracts.

Benefits of Incorporation

Incorporating your business is beneficial in many ways, including:

  • Fulfillment of the statutory requirement to register the name of your business
  • Limited liability for shareholders, directors, and officers
  • Better governance and credibility for your business

How to File Articles of Incorporation in Florida

The Division of Corporations is the state agency in Florida that oversees the process of incorporation. When you are filing your articles of incorporation, you have to make sure you use the right forms for a for-profit or nonprofit corporation.

The state of Florida only requires you to include a minimal amount of information in your articles of incorporation, but other government agencies may have other requirements. For example, the IRS requires you to meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for 501(c)(3) status. The state of Florida accepts both paper and online filings.

Do You Need an Attorney to File Florida Articles of Incorporation?

In Florida, you can file your articles of incorporation yourself, without the help of an attorney. Since the forms seem to be straightforward and easy to complete, many entrepreneurs choose to prepare and submit their articles of incorporation themselves. However, a large number of non-professional filers have their applications rejected because of a variety of common mistakes. In addition, non-professionals are more likely to miss information required for approval of 501(c)(3) status or compliance with other regulations.

How to Find Articles of Incorporation in Florida

While existing corporations may provide you with copies of their articles of incorporation upon request, the state of Florida also keeps copies of these documents in its collection of public records. It provides access to copies of articles of incorporation on its website.

If you are trying to find the articles of incorporation of a certain company in Florida, you need to collect as much information as possible before conducting a search. Since the search will generate multiple items, it is easier to locate the correct copy of articles of incorporation if you know the address of the company. The search results vary according to the search type. For instance:

  • A search by the name of the corporation produces a list of corporation names, along with document numbers and business statuses, such as active and inactive.
  • A search by the corporation's registered agent or officer produces a list of entity names and numbers.
  • A search by trademark generates a list of document names and business statuses.

After a list is generated, you have to click on a link and scroll to the bottom of the page to view the available documents. Then, locate the articles of incorporation you are looking for and click on the link to view the document. You can also save and print the document.

In the event that you fail to find your desired copy of articles of incorporation, you can call the Florida Division of Corporations to request assistance. Alternatively, you can send an email to the Division of Corporations to seek assistance in finding copies of articles of incorporation. If you decide to send a request via email, you should know that your email address will become a part of Florida's public records under state law. This means that it can be released to anybody who requests access to public records.

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