How to Start a Florida LLC
Florida is a great place to start a business. A rich culture, beautiful cities like Miami and Orlando and access to the world’s 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. One of the world’s largest entertainment companies, Disney, 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.
Briefly, 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 FL LLC, registering your business, getting a Florida Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, FL business taxes and much more.
Start your Florida LLC in Six Steps
This guide has plenty of information on how to form your Florida LLC, but you can break down the basics of forming a business in FL into just a few simple steps.
STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members
First, you’ll need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.
STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Florida LLC
You will need a distinctive and original name for your Florida LLC that’s not used by any other business in FL. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out a Florida business entity name search on the FL Department of State website.
There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Florida LLC.
Learn about Florida LLC business naming rules.
STEP 3: Provide an Official 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.
STEP 4: 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 FL 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.
Learn more about Florida Registered Agents.
STEP 5: Get an Employee 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: File Articles of Organization With the Florida Department 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:
Your business name and address
Details of your Registered Agent
Names of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
Addresses of managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing
You can file your Florida LLC Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Florida. You only need to file your Articles of Organization once.
Form Your LLC Now
Review Information From the Florida Department of State
The FL Department of State has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Florida.
Special Types of Florida LLCs
A regular Florida LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Form a Florida Series LLC
In Florida, you also have the option to set up a “Series LLC” — these are specialized LLCs designed to allow you to manage multiple separate LLCs under one master, umbrella LLC. These can be very useful if you don’t want to set up a separate Florida LLC for every individual business you run.
Decide if a Florida Series LLC is right for your new business.
Form a Professional Florida LLC
Some states, including Florida, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of business typically have special requirements and licensing. Here are some of the occupations that the FL Department 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
Form a Foreign LLC in Florida
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Florida, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC.
More information on Florida filing and licensing requirements can be found here.
Detailed Information for Your Florida LLC
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 Department 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 Employee 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.