Why Incorporate Your LLC in Florida?
Florida is a great place to start a business. A rich culture, beautiful cities like Miami and Orlando and access to many of the world’s best transport networks make the state home to some of the biggest businesses in the U.S. Companies like Publix, Tupperware, Burger King and more are proud to call Florida home. Disney, one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, is famous for its Disney World theme park in Orlando.
For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in Florida is by creating a Florida LLC. A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger Florida corporations, but with much simpler rules and regulations.
To summarize, the benefits of starting a Florida LLC include:
Separating and limiting your personal liability from your business liability and debts
Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulations and administration of your Florida LLC
Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment
There are no state taxes in Florida, so you get to keep more of your LLC earnings
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.
In this guide you’ll find information on starting your Florida business, searching for and naming your LLC, registering your business, getting a Florida Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, business taxes and much more.
Forming Your Florida LLC Yourself: 6 Main Steps
Complete a Florida LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name
You will need a distinctive and original name for your Florida LLC that’s not used by any other business in FL. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try out Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. There are also a few naming rules you’ll need to follow, which you can read about in detail on our section on Florida LLC Business Names.
To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, you can carry out a Florida business entity name search using Incfile’s comprehensive Business Name Search tool, or you can use the Florida Division of Corporation’s Sunbiz website.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your FL LLC
Every Florida LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of Florida, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
Assign a Registered Agent for Your Florida LLC
Every FL LLC must have a Registered Agent. This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Florida Department of State.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Florida and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.
At Incfile, all of our packages include a Florida Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
File Your Certificate of Formation (Form 205) with the Florida Secretary of State
Once you've gathered all the information for your Florida LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the FL Department of State. This document is known as your Articles of Organization, and filing the document creates your Florida LLC. Here’s what is typically included:
You can file your Articles of Organization online on the Sunbiz.org website, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf for free. The State of Florida charges a $125 fee to file and start an LLC in Florida, but you only need to file your Articles of Organization once.
You only need to file your Articles of Organization with the State of Florida once, but every year after you will need to file an annual report for your LLC, which has its own fees. This is also something Incfile can remind you to do or do for you if you choose to have us handle the paperwork.
Can I Expedite the Formation of My Business in Florida?
The State of Florida does not offer expedited filing for LLCs and will process online filings in the order in which they are received. Incfile can internally expedite your order to ensure the fastest delivery to the state for filing.
STEP 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You will need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Florida LLC business formation process.
STEP 6: Create a Florida LLC Operating Agreement
An Operating Agreement is a kind of “instruction manual” that outlines how you will run your business. It includes how decisions are made, how the business is divided amongst members and what happens if a member leaves the company.
Many states require that a company have an Operating Agreement in place — it isn’t legally required in Florida, but it’s a good idea to have one nonetheless.
Other Important Florida LLC Info
Special Types of LLCs in Florida
A regular Florida LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a couple other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Some states, including Florida, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of business typically have specialized requirements and licensing. Here are the occupations that the FL Secretary of State allows to form Florida professional LLCs:
- Certified public accountants
- Public accountants
- Chiropractic physicians
- Osteopathic physicians
- Physicians and surgeons
- Doctors of medicine
- Doctors of dentistry
- Podiatric physicians
- Attorneys at law
- Life insurance agents
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Florida, you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Read More Information from the Florida Department of State
The FL Department of State has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Florida.
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the Florida business registry of the FL Secretary of State and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Florida LLC name and more.
How to appoint a Florida Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Florida Registered Agents.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Florida rules. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), Florida and federal business licenses, Florida annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Florida government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment and Florida taxes like sales tax and income tax.