What Is a Florida Registered Agent?

A Florida LLC registered agent is an individual or business that agrees to accept official mail and legal service of process on behalf of a Florida limited liability company. This person or business must have a physical street address in the state where certified mail can be received during regular business hours. The registered agent must forward legal documents and certified mail to LLC representatives promptly to ensure that courts and state agencies can get in touch with the LLC when necessary. The registered agent is sometimes called a resident agent, statutory agent, corporate agent, or agent for service of process.

Foreign Registration in Florida

Existing companies who want to do business in Florida but were formed elsewhere are considered foreign entities. These companies can register to do business in Florida by filing a certificate of authority along with a certificate of status from the state of formation. A foreign LLC must pay a $125 Florida filing fee, while foreign corporations are subject to a $70 filing fee. The required forms and fees must be submitted to the Florida Division of Corporations.

Florida Annual Reports and Taxes

Domestic and foreign Florida LLCs must submit an annual report within a specific time frame to remain eligible to conduct business in the state. If you fail to file the annual report, your company may be administratively dissolved or revoked. You must submit the report by May 1 each year along with a fee of $138.50. These reports will be processed within five business days. Domestic LLCs can file their annual reports online.

Designating a Registered Agent

You can serve as your own registered agent simply by listing your own name and address when you file your Articles of Organization with the Florida Corporations Division to form your LLC and signing as the registered agent. This form can be downloaded from the division's website.

After designating yourself as the registered agent, you assume responsibility for receiving service of process for your LLC. Your name and address will be listed on the state's website. If you do not want to serve as your own registered agent, you can designate a friend or family member or hire a commercial registered agent service.

Changing an LLC's Registered Agent

To change your registered agent from another individual or business to yourself, simply file a statement of change form with Florida's Corporations Division. This form can be downloaded online. You will need to enter the information for the previous registered agent and list your name and street address as the new registered agent, as well as sign the form.

Mail the completed form to the designated agency along with a cover letter and $25 filing fee. The address is Department of State Division of Corporations, Corporate Filings, P.O. Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314.

Why Does a Florida LLC Need a Registered Agent?

Florida LLC applications will be rejected without a registered agent. This role provides the public with a reliable way to deliver legal notices and other important mail to the company. If you do not maintain a registered agent, you may not defend, maintain, or prosecute any legal action without paying a fine of $5 per day you did not have a registered agent, up to $500. Without a registered agent, you will not be considered a legitimate business and your LLC may be dissolved.

The registered agent is responsible for receiving:

  • Correspondence from the Secretary of State in Florida.
  • Service of process notices if your business is sued or otherwise must appear in court.
  • Official state and federal government notices and correspondence.
  • Tax forms and filing requests.

Searching for a Registered Agent

If you need to contact a Florida business for formal notification, locate the name and address of the registered agent and send a certified letter directly to that individual or business. You can find this information by searching for the business on the Secretary of State website.

Fees and Requirements to Form a Florida LLC

The Secretary of State in Florida charges $125 for new business entity registration. When you file the articles of organization, they will be processed within seven business days or four business days for expedited service.

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