LLC in Florida: Everything You Need to Know
Before committing to ta name, check the Florida website to ensure it is not taken by another company5 min read
2. Registration Process
3. LLC Forms
4. Documentation Process
5. Registered Agent
6. Operating Agreement
8. Hiring Employees
9. Business Bank Accounts
10. Accounting Measures
11. Operating Procedures
13. Certificate of Good Standing
14. Dissolving Your LLC
15. Foreign LLC
LLC in Florida
To begin LLC in Florida, you must first choose a business name. Before committing to ta name, check the Florida website to ensure it is not taken by another company. Further, reserve the domain name to prevent others from using your business name online, even if you do not plan to operate a website. Be aware of restricted words that may require additional licensure:
Licensed professional such as lawyers and doctors may need to part of an LLC with such a specialized name. In addition, you must take into consideration prohibited words:
- Secret Service
To file an LLC in Florida, you must first register using an online credit and download the necessary PDF forms. From there, print and complete the forms and mail to the Division of Corporations with the necessary payment. Complete the form using black or blue ink. In addition, make any checks out to the Florida Department of State. Payment for fees must be in U.S. currency from a domestic bank. You can pay using a Discover, MasterCard, American Express or Visa card. The online process takes 2 to 3 business days while mailing your registration could take 3 to 5 business days.
The most important document you’ll need is the Articles of Organization. Articles of Organization is a crucial document you must submit to officiate your LLC. In addition, you’ll need the following:
- Statement of Registered Agent
- Registration of a Registered Agent
- Resignation or Dissociation of Member or Manager
- Articles of Dissolution
- Notice of Dissolution
- Articles of Domestication
- Interest Exchange
To avoid potential application rejection, ensure that your papers are in order and free of mistakes. Avoid typing someone else’s name on the application to avoid forgery. You can go online and review your guidelines for filling out your Articles of Organization. Once the paperwork is submitted, authorities will send you a confirmation letter detailing the name of the LLC, filing date, case number, etc. A Certificate of Status will be included if you chose to make additional purchases. You will receive email confirmation as well. If an application is rejected, it must have failed to meet the minimum standards.
A registered agent is an appointed representative of your company who receives and sends official paperwork on your company’s behalf. An agent can be an individual or company, or you can hire a professional company to act as a registered agent. For example, registered agents would receive any legal papers from lawsuits and would file counter-lawsuits if necessary. Regardless, registered agents must be authorized to conduct business in Florida. LLCs choose the appropriate agent.
Operating Agreements are not mandatory, but it is a vital document that outlines the structure of your business. Operating agreements determine such features as:
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Roles of Each Member
- Compensation Methods
- Rules and Regulations
Moreover, operating agreements provide a guideline in case of an emergency, such as if or when a member dies or leaves the organization.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is an important number, especially if you plan to hire employees. An EIN is used by the IRS to identify your LLC. It is used to file federal and state taxes, and it is a crucial number in setting up a business bank account. You can go to the IRS website and get one for free.
If you hire employees, you need to register for the following programs:
- Florida Re-employment Tax
- Florida Sales and Use Tax (If you plan to sell goods and services that are taxable
To remain compliant with state law, you must ensure that all of your workers can work in the U.S. legally. Further, you must report new employees as “new hires” to state authorities. Moreover, you need to provide work compensation insurance in case any injuries or emergencies arise on your worksite. When it comes to taxation, you need to withhold the necessary taxes.
Business Bank Accounts
Business bank accounts are important for several reasons:
- Separating your personal and business assets
- Obtaining a business credit card
- Tax and Accounting Measures Rendered Easier
Note: Business cards raise your credit profile and will be of immense help if you need to look for business financing.
Your business bank account will help you remain organized, but you need a separate accounting system to keep track of bills, expenses, invoices and more. In addition, a good accounting system will aid in simplifying the tax process. Look for accounting software which:
- Syncs to your business bank account
- Aligns invoices, bills, purchase orders, etc.
- Has phone access.
Before operating your LLC, you must obtain the necessary permits and licensure. For instance, you’ll need health, building and signage permits to operate a restaurant. Moreover, you need a federal license if you are in the firearms trade. To learn more about permits and licenses, you can contact the U.S. Small Business Administration on the federal level and your local Department of Business & Professional Regulation for more information on statewide regulations.
Further, you can go to your local Chamber of Commerce for county licenses in the form of signage permits or business licenses. You can also use professional services that will guide you accordingly. The fees for each license or permits varies on the type of business you’re in.
Under state law, you must file various documents annually. For example, you need to file an annual report at your Department of State office. Florida levies a $400 penalty for any report that is late, and failure to do in I the third week of September results in your LLC being disbanded. The best to prevent this is to have your registered agent remind you of the necessary filing deadlines, or he or she can file on your behalf.
A Certificate of Good Standing confirms that your LLC was created legally has is up-to-date in terms of documentation and filing. You may need such a document if:
- You are looking for financing
- You are forming a Foreign LLC in other states
- You need to renew licenses or permits
Dissolving Your LLC
If you wish to dissolve your LLC, you must do it the legal way to avoid additional taxes and possible legal woes. You can take two steps in dissolving your LLC:
- Closing all tax business accounts
- File an Articles of Dissolution
Articles of Dissolution are the forms that you file to voluntarily dissolve your LLC. The Articles of Dissolution automatically disbands your LLC once it is processed. Such a document can be filed via mail or online. You can also hire professional services to file an Articles of Dissolution.
If you have an LLC in another state and wish to expand into Florida, you must apply for a Foreign LLC. You can conduct business as a single entity in a variety of jurisdictions under a foreign status. However, you will be subject to additional fees and taxes in each state where you operate.
To learn more about LLC in Florida, post your legal need on the UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel will guide you along the way as you establish your LLC in Florida and will help you get the necessary permits and licenses you need to operate legally. UpCounsel’s top lawyers will use their expertise to help your business thrive.