How to Form an LLC in Florida

How to form an LLC in Florida is quite straightforward but can be complex as well. You will need to name your LLC, choose a registered agent, file your articles of organization and pay the filing fee, and get an EIN from the IRS.

Filing Options

You can file online using a credit card. Fill out online the fillable PDF, print it, sign it, and then mail the form with the filing fee to the Division of Corporations.

After printing it, be sure to complete the form with black or blue ink and to sign it. Make sure to include the required payment.

Payment Options

Ensure that your checks or money orders are in U.S. dollars from a U.S. bank and are paid to the Florida Department of State. You can use Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or Discover for paying online.

Processing

It will take roughly 2-3 business days for processing an online application. Processing mail applications takes usually 3-5 business days or more during breaks.

Name your LLC

The initial and most vital step is choosing your LLC’s name. Do research to ensure your name is appropriate for your business and can be easily searched for by possible clients.

The naming guidelines need to be followed.

  • Your need to include “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, or “Limited Liability Company” in your business’ name.
  • Some words (ex. Bank, Attorney, University, etc.) are restricted and can need more paperwork and/or a licensed person (doctor, lawyer, etc.) as part of the LLC.
  • Words that would confuse the LLC with a government agency (federal or state) are prohibited (ex. FBI, Treasury, etc).
  • Ensure the name hasn’t been already claimed searching on the Florida’s state website.
  • Look to see if the LLC’s name is free so that you can get a domain name for it. Even if not immediately, you may in the future wish to acquire the domain name to stop others from taking it.
  • Also consider how your email address will look when picking your LLC’s name.

Choose a Registered Agent

You have to choose a registered agent for the LLC. The registered agent consents to receiving and sending legal papers for your LLC. These papers could be for service of process (lawsuits) and filings with the state. Your registered agent has to be a Florida resident or a business allowed to do business in Florida. The agent can be part of the LLC.  

File the Articles of Organization

You have to submit articles of organization to the State of Florida to register the LLC. You can do this online, in-person, or through U.S. mail.

When registering, you have to decide if your LLC is to be manager-managed or member-managed.

For domestic LLCs there is a $125 fee to the State of Florida to file. You are a foreign LLC if you are expanding an existing LLC to Florida.

Create an Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are not needed in Florida, but it is useful to utilize one. The operating agreement outlines your LLC’s ownership as well as operating processes.

Obtain an EIN

Your Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as Federal Tax Identification Number, identifies your business.

  • Your EIN is basically a social security number for your company and is required when filing federal and state taxes.
  • Furthermore, many banks need an EIN for opening a business checking account.

The IRS gives EINs free of charge when requested by a business owner after creating the business.

You can apply for an EIN in two ways:

  • Online
  • Printing the form and sending it by mail.

Separate Personal Assets from the LLC

You ought to have a bank account just for your business. In order to protect your personal assets from liability, you need to keep a barrier between your own assets and your business’ assets.

Getting a business bank account also makes accounting and filing your taxes easier. A business credit card also permits you to differentiate personal expenses from business expenses. Business cards also help the company’s credit history, which can be helpful for raising money.

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