1. LLCs in Florida
2. First Steps to Forming an LLC
3. Additional Steps to Take

Updated October 30, 2020:

Adhering to Florida LLC requirements is important when forming and operating an LLC. By sticking to all requirements (involving taxes, fees, deadlines, etc.), your business will maintain its active status.

LLCs in Florida

Before forming an LLC, you might first want to understand if the LLC business structure is the appropriate one for the business you want to form. LLCs enjoy flexible organization, have some tax benefits, and offer the owners (or members) limited liability protection.

An LLC's members may include any of the following: 

  • Individuals 
  • Other LLCs 
  • Corporations 
  • Foreign entities

There's no maximum number of members an LLC can have. Your LLC can have just about any name, but it must end with one of the following: 

  • Limited Liability Company
  • LLC 
  • L.L.C.

First Steps to Forming an LLC

Start with a name search at the Division of Corporations to make sure your desired LLC name is available. Don't start using an LLC name until you know it's approved. When you file, you'll have to list some key pieces of information. This includes the address for your business, including street and mailing (if they're different). P.O. boxes are acceptable. 

You must choose a resident agent, which may also be called a registered agent or agent for service of process. This is a party or company that must maintain an address in the state of Florida. They accept legal mail and documents for the LLC and forward these important papers to the LLC members. An LLC can't be its own agent, but an individual associated with the LLC can fill this role. 

The registered agent has to sign the application, noting his or her acceptance of the role's obligations. If a business entity acts as the registered agent, an individual associated with that business has to provide a signature. For online filings, the registered agent types his or her name in the appropriate space. 

You'll also need an Employer Identification Number or EIN. If your LLC has two or more members, for tax purposes, you must get an EIN from the IRS.

It's not a requirement in Florida for LLCs to have an operating agreement, but it's still a good idea to have one if your LLC has more than one member. Operating agreements are recognized in the state as governing documents for LLCs.

You'll also complete an Entity Classification Form with the IRS.

Additional Steps to Take

You'll need to open a bank account for your LLC; this is a state requirement before you can start conducting business. Your LLC is considered active when the state files your Articles of Organization, unless you've specified another effective date. 

Make sure you're familiar with any ongoing legal obligations for your LLC. This includes filing annual reports. You must file an annual report between Jan. 1 and May 1. If you fail to file your report, your LLC can lose its active status. The filing fee is around $138, and you can pay it using any of the following methods:

  • Debit card 
  • Credit card 
  • Money order 
  • Check 

You'll have to pay late fees if you don't file your report by the deadline. You can see what the current fees are at the Division of Corporations site.

If you file online, you'll get a complimentary copy of the “Florida Business Guide.” This 75-page book offers a lot of detailed information about forming and running your business. If you don't want to file online, you can fill out a paper form by downloading and printing a PDF file. Once you fill it out and sign it, you can mail it in with the appropriate fees. 

When you form a professional LLC, you have to specify one professional purpose for your business, such as a law practice, accounting service, or medical practice. Companies that are non-professional don't have to list a purpose, but may still choose to.

By following all required steps for your state, you can form an LLC rather easily. Make sure you adhere to ongoing requirements so that your business remains in compliance and active. You can visit the Florida Department of State website for additional information and requirements.

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