Start An LLC In Florida
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company.
If you’re thinking of creating an LLC in Florida, you’ve made the right call! It’s affordable, comes with tax advantages and liability protection, and is easy to establish and run.
However, there’s a bit more to forming an LLC in Florida than just benefits. If you’re sure about starting an LLC in Florida and want to know how to start an LLC in Florida for free, read on.
|LLC Filing Fee||$125||$100||$200||$50||$130.38|
|LLC Annual/Biennial Fee||$138.75 (every year)||$50 (every year)||$100 minimum (every year)||$0 (however, an information report must be filed every year)||$89.34 (every year)|
|Corporate Tax Rate||5.50%||5.75%||6.50%||4.00%||5.60%|
|Nominal GDP per capita||$56,301||$63,271||$49,027||$42,411||$64, 773.08|
Before You Set Up an LLC in Florida
The main benefits of setting up an LLC in the Sunshine State come down to being able to operate with funds separate from your personal ones and essentially protect your individual finances from any potentially unsuccessful business ventures.
LLCs are simple and quick to establish and are most suitable for small and small-to-medium businesses.
They tend to be cheaper while also lending credibility and preventing you from paying extra taxes that you usually would by establishing other types of corporations. LLCs are manageable as both single-member LLCs and companies that are looking to hire.
How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in Florida?
If you’re wondering how much it’ll be to start an LLC in Florida, the principal cost of the articles of organization is only $125.
There may be some extra expenses, though:
- Articles of Organization – $100
- Mandatory registration fee – $25
- Registering fictitious or DBA name – $50 (optional)
- Foreign LLC in Florida – $125 (optional)
- Annual reports – $138.75
- State tax – 6%
- Changing registered agent – $25 (optional)
- Certificate of status – $5 (optional)
- Filing amendments – $25 (optional)
- Conversion to corporation fee – $25 (optional)
- Certified copies of documents – $30 (optional)
The minimum amount you’ll spend for starting an LLC in Florida is $125 (for articles of organization and registration fee). Annual reports ($138.75) and state tax (6%) are continuous expenses and are not necessary to start the LLC.
Steps to Start an LLC in Florida
Pick a Name for Your LLC
The principal thing to do is find a name for your LLC. There are several laws regulating your choice of name in Florida:
- It needs to be an original name, not used by any other company. You can check name availability on the Sunbiz Division of Corporation website.
- It needs to have the suffix Limited Liability Company, LLC, Limited Company, Ltd. Company, Ltd. Co., Limited Co., LC, L.C., or L.L.C. included in the name.
- It cannot contain certain restricted words without special permission – bank, university, attorney, treasury, lawyer, etc.
- It mustn’t contain words like CIA, FBI, etc.
Unlike in other states, you cannot reserve your name in Florida. Our recommendation is to check URL availability before deciding on a name so that your LLC’s website can have the same name as the company itself.
Florida allows you to use a different “trade” name for your business, which would have to be registered separately as a DBA (Doing Business As) name with the Florida Division of Corporations. You can do this by registering online directly, or by filing the Application for Registration of Fictitious Name in person. The filing cost is $50.
Find a Registered Agent in Florida
The following step is to find a registered agent since you will need one. A registered agent is an official entity (a company/business or individual) that can accept official documents, tax notices, legal papers, and lawsuits on behalf of the LLC.
You can even appoint yourself, a company employee, or the co-owner as the registered agent for your LLC. The only prerequisites for the entity to be named a registered agent are as follows:
- They need to have a physical address in Florida;
- They have to be authorized to provide registered agent services;
- They must be of age (at least 18 years old if they’re an individual);
- They need to be available on-site during regular business hours in order to receive official documents.
There are also official companies that you can turn to in order for them to act as or provide a registered agent for a certain fee.
|ZenBusiness – $49 + state fees to register your LLC (read review)|
|Incfile – $0 + $50 state fees to register your LLC (read review)|
Articles of Organization
Arguably the most important step in the process of creating an LLC in Florida is registering and filing the Articles of Organization, which provide basic information on your business and enable your LLC to be officially registered. The Articles of Organization need to include the following:
- Name of the LLC;
- Official physical and mail address of the LLC;
- Name, signature, and official address of the registered agent;
- Names and addresses of all managers and members of the LLC;
- The LLC management structure – member-managed or manager-managed;
- Effective date and duration of the LLC (unless specified, the effective date is assumed to be the date of submission of the Articles of Organization, and the duration is assumed to be perpetual);
- The business purpose of the LLC in the form of a general statement;
- Signature of a member or authorized representative.
The Articles of Organization can either be filed online or by filing Form LLC-1 – Articles of Organization by mail or in person to the Florida Division of Corporations. The filing fee is $125, which isn’t the cheapest filing cost compared to some of the other states but it is relatively affordable.
A notable exception to this is if you’re registering your LLC as foreign, in which case you would need to pay $125 extra. For more information on registering a Foreign LLC in Florida, visit this page.
As in most other states, creating an operating agreement is not mandatory in Florida either – but is very much recommended. This is a legally-binding document outlining the business purpose of your LLC, its structure, and the essential ways of its operation.
The operating agreement will serve as a basic reference point for any future legal matters concerning the LLC.
The operating agreement is expected to contain the following information:
- Names and addresses of owners, members, and managers of the LLC;
- Ownership rates and stakes;
- The financial investment of members into the founding of the LLC;
- Division of profits;
- Voting rights of members;
- Procedure for admitting new members;
- Procedure for company exits;
- Procedure for manager election;
- Procedure for the dissolution of the LLC;
- The business purpose of the LLC;
- Clauses on liability and indemnification;
- Additional information, such as meeting schedules, etc.
All concerned parties are expected to sign the operating agreement.
Get an EIN
The next step is to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). The EIN, FEIN, or FTIN is a 9-digit number assigned by the IRS with the purpose of allowing you to open bank accounts, hire employees, and fulfill tax duties.
It is essentially the ID of your LLC.
In order to apply for an EIN in Florida, you first need to be issued a State Certificate for the existence of your LLC after the Articles of Organization have been processed.
Moreover, if you create your LLC as a sole-ownership, you don’t need an EIN, unless you plan on hiring employees, or you decide to register it as a corporation for tax purposes. For more information regarding whether you need an EIN, click here.
Other Required Documents
Most additional documents and paperwork to consider are optional business licenses. Not all businesses would need one, and that mainly depends on the type of product or service your LLC will be doing. For instance, selling alcohol or firearms would definitely require a certified business license issued by the Secretary of State.
You can check if your LLC needs a license by searching through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida State Agencies, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and Other Florida Licensing Agencies.
Additional things to consider include filing mandatory Annual Reports, starting the year after establishing the LLC, in order to keep its status active. The annual report can be filed either online or in person, between January 1st and May 1st every year – for a fee of $138.75.
If you file it later than that, the fee will rise up to $400. For more help with the annual report, click here.
The Forms You Need to Register an LLC in Florida
These are the necessary forms that you need to fill in order to register an LLC in Florida:
- Filing articles of organization
- Registering a DBA (Fictitious Name)
- Applying for EIN
- Filing Annual Report online
- Statement of Registered Agent/Office Change
- Resignation of Registered Agent
- Resignation or Dissociation of Manager or Member
- Articles of Dissolution
- Notice of Dissolution
- Revocation of Dissolution
- Articles of Domestication
- Interest Exchange
Did You Know?LLCs are quite popular in Florida. Ever since their introduction, as in other states, they’ve been a convenient alternative, allowing owners to have the flexibility of organizing small businesses and the credibility to pass through taxes of larger corporations. While creating an LLC in Florida isn’t the cheapest compared to some other states (being at least $125), it definitely veers on the more affordable side, making it quite advantageous.
LLC Taxes in Florida
LLCs in Florida have quite a beneficial position, as they aren’t liable to pay taxes at all. Neither state nor federal tax. Florida does have a corporate tax rate of 5.5%, but that doesn’t apply to LLCs. Florida has an individual tax rate of 6%, so owners of LLCs don’t have to pay anything more than that.
- LLC tax in Florida – 0% / Corporate tax in Florida – 5.5%
- States with the lowest LLC tax – Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada – 0%
- State with the highest LLC tax – California – 13.30%
- Average LLC tax – 2.9%
Judging from this, Florida is one of the best and most convenient states to start an LLC in, due to its significant tax advantage, in addition to other benefits inherent to LLCs.
How Long to Form an LLC in Florida
The length required to form an LLC in Florida mainly depends on the length needed to process the Articles of Organization, which, in turn, depends on your filing methods. With online applications, the average time is between 2-5 business days, even though it can be done in 1-2 business days.
Filing the form in person takes about 3-4 weeks in order for them to be processed. At worst, it would take around a month for the LLC to be established, or a day in the best-case scenario.
How Much Does it Cost to Run an LLC in Florida?
Aside from the mandatory $125 that you need to pay when forming the LLC, the only yearly cost is for the annual report.
If you cover it in time (between January 1st and May 1st), the maintenance of your LLC in Florida will only cost you $138.75 per year. If you submit the report later than May 1st, it will cost you $400 per year.
Of course, other outstanding expenses related to the business itself aren’t considered here, but those depend on multiple factors related to the domain and industry of the LLC.
What to Do After Formation?
Establishing your LLC in Florida is just the beginning of your small or small-to-medium business venture. There are many other beginner steps that you’d need to take in order to properly set it up for future success.
We will outline some to give you a general idea of what you should focus on based on the nature of your business:
- Make a logo that’s going to set your brand apart
- Focus on making a quality online website or eCommerce store to attract customers
- Advertise it on social media and other internet platforms for better exposure
- Open a bank account
- Focus on investing in quality business insurance to protect your LLC
- Look for partners and start working on preliminary projects
These steps can give you a good sense of the general direction in which you should be heading in order to successfully maintain your LLC.
Resources to Start a Successful LLC in Florida
In case you need more official resources to find more information on starting an LLC in Florida, feel free to go through any of the following links:
Start Marketing Your LLC in Florida
There are different ways to market an LLC, and these mainly depend on the type of product or service that you’ll be offering.
While many LLCs will benefit from physical advertisements, the most effective strategy is to invest in online marketing – social media campaigns, SEO, and keyword-rich advertisements.
How to Dissolve an LLC in Florida
In order to dissolve your LLC in Florida, all you have to do is file your Articles of Dissolution – online or by mail – with the Florida Division of Corporations.
The filing fee is $25, and it can take up to 120 days from the dissolution date before the LLC is available to others.
Time to Launch Your LLC in Florida: The Verdict
With around 2.5 million small businesses in the state, forming an LLC in Florida is one of the smartest decisions you could make in order to ensure your financial security.
And considering the overall spending of only $125, with no state or federal taxes included, both smaller and big LLCs can harvest the fruits of this offer and scale on in the Sunshine State.
If you need additional assistance, feel free to resort to this article for all resources in one place!