Florida offers business owners a diverse economy, a large workforce, and several large cities to choose from to open a business. Starting an LLC in Florida can be a wise decision, but there are a few steps involved in the process. 

There are also a few fees to know about and other important details you should know before starting the process. Here’s how to start an LLC in Florida.

How to form an LLC in Florida

Forming an LLC in Florida comprises a few steps, but you’ll work with one department. The Florida Division of Corporations is where you’ll apply for your LLC, send your documents, and wait for updates about your LLC application.

How long does it take to form an LLC in Florida?

It can take up to two weeks to form your LLC in Florida. The exact time will vary because you have two options of filing to form your LLC. 

You have the option of e-filing to form your LLC, which offers several advantages: 

  • You’ll receive your filing confirmation by email at the address provided. 
  • Your confirmation will be sent to you once the document is approved by the Division of Corporations. 
  • If you file online, you won’t receive a confirmation by mail.

If you file by mail instead, you’ll receive your confirmation by mail to the mailing address provided.

How much is it to start an LLC in Florida?

If you want to start an LLC in Florida, it’s essential to know the costs for different aspects of an  LLC. To form a new LLC in Florida, you’ll pay at least four fees. Two of the fees are optional, while the other two are required:

  • There’s a required Filing Fee of $100.00.
  • There’s a required Registered Agent Fee of $25.00. 
  • There’s a Certified Copy fee of $30.00, which is optional.
  • There’s a Certificate of Status fee of $5.00, which is also optional.

The total fee of starting an LLC in Florida is $160.00.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Florida?

LLCs in Florida are pass-through entities that protect most LLC owners from paying individual taxes. Many LLCs in the state pay taxes as either disregarded entities or as a partnership. 

State income taxes for incorporated LLCs are either 5.5% or the alternative minimum tax of 3.3%. 

List out steps to start an LLC in Florida

Forming an LLC in Florida will take five steps.

Step 1: Name Your LLC

The first step in forming your LLC in Florida is with your name. There are a few requirements for naming your business in the state of Florida: 

  • Your business name must be distinguishable if you search in the Department of State Records. You’ll want to search by name before submitting your Articles of Organization document.
  • Your business name must include the terms: Limited Liability Company, LLC or L.L.C. 
  • You won’t be able to use your LLC name until you receive a filing acknowledgment from the Florida Divisions of Corporations.

Finding a unique brand name and (normal-looking) domain to go with it can be a bit of a time-sink for new business owners. This free tool from Business Name Zone generates name and domain combos for you based on your input – and it only takes a few minutes.

Step 2: Get an EIN

The second step in starting your LLC in Florida involves getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN

An EIN is free, and the IRS offers it to companies for tax purposes. There are several ways to apply for an EIN, but you’ll receive your EIN immediately by applying online. 

Step 3: Choose a Registered Agent 

Next, you’ll need a Registered Agent. Choosing a registered agent is one of the most essential parts of starting an LLC in Florida. The state has several recommendations and requirements for registered agents: 

  • An entity can’t serve as its own registered agent, but an individual or principal associated with the business can serve as the registered agent.
  • The registered agent must have a physical address in Florida.

Step 4: File Articles of Organization

Whether you file online or pay by check or money order, it will take the same time for your Articles of Organization to be posted and processed. The state will process your order according to when it was received. 

The registered agent must provide their signature on the Articles of Organization. If you’re planning on submitting the Articles of Organization online, the registered agent will provide their name in the signature in the signature block of the form.

After your Articles of Organization are accepted, you’ll receive a confirmation. You can receive it online or by mail.

Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement

The last step in creating an LLC in Florida is to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement will contain information about your LLC, which will cover many aspects of your LLC.

An operating agreement may contain six sections: 

  • Introduction information
  • Membership information
  • LLC management information
  • LLC dissolution or member departure
  • Liability Clause
  • Other Provisions

The first section of the operating agreement will contain introduction information, such as the name, Articles of Organization, LLC duration, and Registered Agent information, LLCs in Florida aren’t required to list their purpose in the Operating Agreement, but they may do so if they choose.

The second section will contain information about members. This includes the names of initial members, their ownership, how new members will contribute, how new members are added, how members receive profits and losses, and tax allocation and distribution.

Third, you’ll provide information about LLC management. There are two options: a member-managed LLC (with a single managing member) or a hired manager that also works as an employee.

Fourth in the operating agreement, you’ll provide information about what the LLC will do if a member departs the LLC. This information will cover: 

  • How and when members can leave and how they can leave
  • Liquidation procedures
  • Processes of buying back a member’s interest
  • Transferring member’s interest, including transfer restrictions

Fifth, the liability clause will cover limited liability for members. Finally, other provisions within the operating agreement will detail how the agreement can change over time. You may provide your members: 

  • A conflict of interest policy
  • A non-compete agreement
  • A non-disclosure agreement

We Can Help You Form Your LLC 

Forming an LLC in Florida can be a wise decision that can lead to success. It’s an easy way to provide liability protection while also ensuring your business grows in a thriving economy.

If you encounter difficulties forming your business entity, we’re here to help. Work with the experienced professionals at 1-800Accountant for help with forming your business entity today.

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Written by Joshua Meller

Josh Meller is Sr. Manager of Accounting Services in the Pacific zone at 1-800Accountant. Before shifting into tax & accounting, he work...