LLC Florida Cost: Everything You Need to Know
The state of Florida, in the southeastern corner of the United States, is often a good choice for a business that wants to incorporate or form a limited liability company (LLC).7 min read
LLC Florida cost refers to how much an individual would pay in fees to form a limited liability company in the state of Florida. In general, the cost to file articles of organization is $100, and if you would like to register an agent for the LLC, then that is an additional $25. All payments by credit card must be done online.
Cost of Forming a LLC in Florida
Florida LLC Fees are a key part of filing to incorporate an LLC in the State of Florida. A limited liability company, referred to as an LLC, is a flexible, tax efficient, and less-liable way to operate a business in the state of Florida. It offers business owners the flexibility of partnerships and sole proprietorships, with the legal protection and tax benefits of corporations. LLC members can include individuals, corporations, and foreign entities. There isn't a limit on the number of members an LLC can have. There are two types of Florida LLC fees. There is the fee to register the LLC with the state of Florida, such as to file legal business forms. There are also annual fees.
Florida has a Division of Corporations within the Department of State. Registration with the Florida State Division of Corporations entails:
- Filing appropriate forms.
- Paying fees ($100 for articles of organization and $25 to register an agent).
- Meeting formation and naming requirements.
There are some requirements in the state of Florida for limited liability companies.
Naming the Florida LLC
Deciding on a name for a new company is an important step. The name should tell customers what the business does (i.e. plumbing) and possess short words that are easy to say and spell. Florida does have some requirements for the name:
- The name must end with “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation of it such as Ltd. Co. or L.L.C. or LLC.
- Must not contain restricted words (i.e. Attorney, Doctor or Bank) without the appropriate licensure and additional paperwork.
- Must never contain misleading words connecting the company inappropriately to the government or a government entity (i.e. Treasury, FBI or Secret Service)
- The name must be distinguishable from already registered LLCs in the State of Florida.
In addition, the name of the LLC should be checked for availability. You can accomplish this, one of two ways.
- Go to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations website to check to see if the name you have selected is already in use.
- Begin filling out an online articles of organization for Florida on their website and if your name is already in use then the system will tell you. You may have to select another name if your desired name is already in use or is significantly similar to another registered name.
It is also highly recommended that you check to see if your desired name is already being used on the internet. You can do search through a vendor to find out if it’s already in use. You may not even want to have a website right away by registering the name so that no one else does.
Additional Details to Form an LLC in Florida
- An operating agreement will outline business' structure and covers aspects such as the owners' information and the terms of operation for your LLC. In Florida, LLCs can be either be managed by a manager or by its members. If your LLC is already registered in another state, you extend your business into the state of Florida and form a foreign LLC. Doing so allows you to operate out of multiple jurisdictions under the same LLC.
- Forming an LLC in Florida can take up to two weeks if filed on paper and up to two days if you file online. After you make sure your intended business name is available, immediately register your LLC to avoid unnecessary fees and processing delays.
- A physical address is required to complete the LLC application. You must also have a registered agent, a person (or a business) that is responsible for sending and accepting legal papers for your LLC. These could include state filings and paperwork as well as service of process papers, should your business be sued. A registered agent must be a resident of Florida or a registered corporation within Florida. Otherwise, you can choose to be your own registered agent, or a member of your LLC can act as the registered agent.
- Your application should include the names and contact information of each person who is eligible to manage the company. You can choose to fill in today's date (or the date of your choosing) as the effective date for your LLC. If this section is left blank, the effective date will default to the date when your filing is processed by the Division of Corporations. Lastly, you will be asked if there are any other provisions you request for your business. Generally, this section should be left blank.
- A printed signature is required from at least one member or authorized representative. Online filers can submit and pay for their application online and print out a copy for their records. Paper filers should submit a check along with the printed copy of their filing. Once the Divisions of Corporations receives the paper copy in the mail and processes it, they will send back a filed copy of the Articles of Organization.
- When the paper copy is returned by the Divisions of Corporations, the filing is considered complete and the LLC has been formed. The next step is to acquire a federal tax ID number and employer identification number (EIN) for the LLC. You can do both on the IRS' website, or you may submit an SS-4 form and receive these numbers by mail. Both numbers serve as identification for the LLC, and they allow the IRS to track income and expenses.
- Each year on May 1st, businesses must file annual reports with a fee of $138.75. Reports must be filed by this date no matter when you first formed the LLC in the year. For instance, if an LLC was formed on May 2, 2021, the members must submit their first report on May 1, 2022. Companies that miss the deadline are charged a $400 penalty. If you don't file the report by September 1st of the year the report is due, the LLC will automatically be dissolved.
- All LLCs must denote their entity structure within their name. For instance, "LLC", "L.L.C.", or the words "Limited Liability Company" must be included in the corporation's name. However, some words trigger additional scrutiny. Using "bank" or "attorney" in your business title, for example, will require extra paperwork. Other controlled phrases include those that could be confused with government agencies. Use of the words "treasury" or "FBI" in your title is a few examples.
- Once all of your paperwork has been filed, you'll receive a Certificate of Good Standing that proves your LLC is legally able to operate. This can be helpful when you need to get a loan, acquire funds from lenders or investors, register your LLC in a different state, or obtain additional licenses to legally operate your business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Florida LLC Fees
Which forms are needed to file an LLC?
Incorporating an LLC in Florida requires several documents, including:
- Articles of Incorporation.
- The appropriate LLC filing forms.
- A cover letter that includes the applicant's name, home address, email, a phone number where he or she can be reached during business hours, and the chosen name for the LLC.
How much does filing the forms cost?
There is a $125 filing fee, though there are additional fees based on the type of corporation and where it is located. Additional fees can include:
- An $8.75 certified copy fee for certified copies of forms.
- An $8.75 Certificate of Status fee.
- An $87.50 fee for a Foreign Name Registration if needed.
- An $87.50 fee for a Foreign Name Renewal if needed.
My corporation license expired; how much does it cost to renew it?
That depends on what type of corporation you have. Reinstating the license for a nonprofit corporation costs $175 plus the cost of the annual report fees for the years that it lapsed. A for-profit corporation reinstatement costs up to $600 plus the cost of the annual report fees.
My corporation is changing ownership, what will it cost to amend the filing?
The corporation will need to change the registered agent. Filing a Resignation of Registered Agent form costs $87.50 for an active corporation and $35 for an inactive corporation.
Are there any special paperwork requirements?
All forms must be filled out or printed in blue or black ink to be processed.
What is the general cost of the different forms that can be filed?
The fees that you will pay depend on the forms that you need to file. Common fees include:
- New Florida Corporation or Foreign Corporation Fee - $35.
- Registered Agent Designation (for New Florida Corporation or Foreign Corporation) Fee - $35.
- Amendments to any records - $35.
- Articles of Correction Fee - $35.
- Certificate of Conversion Fee - $35 plus applicable fees for filing new entities.
- Change of Registered Agent Fee - $35.
- Dissolution/Withdrawal Fee - $35.
- Merger Fee - $35 for each person or party involved.
- Filing for a Florida Limited Liability Company or Foreign Corporation - $100.
- Designation of a Registered Agent for a Florida Limited Liability Company - $25.
- Copies of Florida Limited Liability Company documents - $30.
- Copies of the Certificate of Status of Florida Limited Liability Company - $5.
What options do I have to protect my corporation's intellectual property?
You can file trade and service marks to protect your corporation's intellectual property. The costs of filing these forms are as follows:
- Registering a Trade/Service Mark - $87.50 per class.
- Assigning a Trade/Service Mark - $50 per class.
- Renewing a Trade/Service Mark - $87.50 per class.
- Canceling a Trade/Service Mark - $50 per class.
Steps to Pay Florida LLC Fees
1. Decide that it is time to start your LLC in Florida and submit the appropriate forms required to start your business.
- This includes filing your Articles of Organization, which includes your business's address.
2. File an annual report each year to update or confirm your business's information.
- This is required each year, even when there are not any changes to make.
- The report must include the LLC's name, address, registered agent information and signature, member titles and addresses, and the effective date.
3. When you submit your documentation, you'll need to pay the appropriate fee by credit card, check, or money order.
- Checks should be written to the “Florida Department of State.”
4. You can send the documents through the mail or upload them through Sunbiz.org.
5. Make sure to sign any documents before sending.
6. The State of Florida issues a letter of acknowledgment when the LLC is registered.
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