How to form an LLC in Florida
LLCs have become hugely popular across the whole of the U.S. They’re the fastest growing business type, for many reasons – they provide limited liability, pass-through taxation and give your business the extra professional feel to it that it may need.
And forming an LLC specifically in Florida is an even better idea: Florida is the fifth most popular state to form one in. Forming an LLC has never been easier – just follow the short steps below.
Create a name for your LLC
Names are a very important part of forming your LLC. You want it to attract lots of customers, while also meeting all the legal requirements. Legally in Florida your business needs to contain the words limited liability company or some abbreviation of this, not contain restricted words or phrases like ‘university’ without proper approval first, and be distinguishable from any other business registered in the state.
If you’re struggling to come up with a name you can always use a business name generator to help you start off, or you can come up with a temporary one, and work with a DBA (doing business as) in the future.
Get a Florida registered agent
Registered agents are important as they are responsible for receiving important legal documents like service of process notices and tax forms on behalf of your LLC. You can hire a registered agent service to do this for you, or a company that’s legally authorised to do so. Florida does, however, give you the option to be your own registered agent, but there are lots of reasons why many people do not choose to do so, with one of the only real perks being saving some money. If you use a formation service most of them give one year of registered agent for free anyway.
If you’re still thinking of being your own registered agent you’ll need to keep these few things in mind:
- You need to maintain normal 9-5 business hours at an address that you’ll provide
- If you work from home your private address will be made public
- You have a responsibility to keep up on notices, dates and deadlines
- You could be served in front of people you know
File the Articles of Organisation
Filing an Article of Organisation in Florida is easy. It’s been made even easier by giving you the option to do so online – although you can file by mail or in person too.
Here are some of the key things you’ll need to legally have on it:
- The full name of your company and the date it was formed
- The addresses of your principal office location and your registered agent’s location
- The name and signature of every member
- Your own name and email address, for additional authentication
Create a Florida LLC Operating Agreement
Another great thing about being in Florida is that you aren’t legally required to submit your operating agreement. But, it’s still a great idea anyway: having an operating agreement is the only proper way for you and your members to define your roles, and be able to lock down how the LLC is owned and managed. Having an operating agreement gives you physical evidence of things in case an argument ever arises.
Your operating agreement should outline each member’s responsibilities, how existing members can transfer or terminate membership, how new members can join and how dividends are to be distributed. Remember to keep in mind Florida law when doing this.
Get an EIN
This is the last step! And getting an EIN (Employer Identification Number) can be as easy as going onto the IRS website and applying for free. You can also apply through mail, fax or phone. An EIN identifies your business and helps state agencies to track your business activity. With an EIN you can open a business bank account, hire employees and file taxes.
TRUiC provides more information and some useful tips on how to set up an LLC in Florida. Visit their site for more.
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