1. Business Structure
2. Using a Fictitious Name
3. Getting a Business License
4. Filing as an LLC
5. Operating Agreements

Getting an LLC business license Florida involves filing the correct documents and applying for the right license and permits for your industry. Once that is done, you can access all the advantages granted to Florida companies.

Business Structure

One of the first decisions you have to make is what structure your business will take. You can choose to operate as a sole proprietorship or partnership using a fictitious name or DBA, or you can choose to incorporate and function as a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Either way, you need to get a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will need this number to get a business license in Florida.

Using a Fictitious Name

If you decide to operate using a DBA or fictitious name, you must register the name with the state. Doing so gives you the ability to do business anywhere in Florida. Small businesses often choose this route because it's easier to start small and then work toward incorporation as they grow. The business has an identity separate from you as a person.

You can visit the website of the Florida Division of Corporations to research fictitious names and register yours. To complete the online process, go to www.myfloridalicense.com and select License. Choose to establish a new business license. Choose your profession and the kind of application that suits your business best. You can print it for mailing or you can complete it and pay the fee online.

One of the downsides of operating with a DBA is that your business name has no protection. Another company can use the same name. Also, you have no limited liability protections so if your company is sued, you can be held personally liable. Your personal money and property can be taken to pay a judgment.

Getting a Business License

Once you have established your fictitious name at the state and federal level, you have to publish a legal notice in a local newspaper and get a business license. In most counties, you need a license, also called a business tax receipt, to do business locally. If your location is inside the city limits, you may also need a municipal permit. This is true even if your business operates out of your home. Investment companies, brokers, and dealers all must have professional licenses. If you don't comply, your business can be fined or even closed down.

To get your business license, you will need to provide:

  • your name
  • the DBA of your business
  • corporate documents, if you have any
  • your federal tax ID number
  • a copy of your social security card
  • your industry code from the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)
  • certifications and licenses required for your business type

Since the rules and processes vary by location and type of business, you should always check with the county tax collector's office for the correct information. The fees you have to pay also vary depending on location, type of business, and other regulatory factors.

Filing as an LLC

If you decide to operate as an LLC rather than using a DBA, you still have to choose a name for your business. As an LLC, the name must meet the rules set out by the state. That means it must end with LLC or Limited Liability Company. You will also have to pay a filing fee. The basic fee for an LLC in Florida is $100. You also must pay a $25 registered agent fee. Other fees that you may have to pay include:

  • $30 for a certified copy of records
  • $25 to change a registered agent
  • $100 reinstatement fee
  • $25 for a certificate of merger
  • $25 to file articles of correction
  • $138.75 filing fee for the annual report
  • $400 late filing penalty if you file the annual report after May 1

These fees are subject to change, so always check for the most recent information. Florida allows you to complete this process online.

Operating Agreements

Having an operating agreement for your Florida LLC is recommended, especially if the company has more than one member, but not legally required. An operating agreement specifies the role of each party and helps you avoid disagreements and uncertainty later on.

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