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How to Start an LLC in Florida

how to start a llc in florida

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In the last few years, Florida’s population grew by 3.0%, which makes it one of the top states with population growth. Whether you yourself have migrated here or are a longtime resident, there are opportunities abound. So why not take advantage of that?

One way to do so is to start a limited liability corporation (LLC). This type of business protects you from the company’s potential future debts and liabilities, so you’re on more secure financial grounds.

Are you now interested in becoming an entrepreneur? Then read on to find out how to start an LLC in Florida.


Select an Official Name

You may already have a few business names in mind already, which is great! However, there are some guidelines you need to follow to ensure you get to use one of them.

In the state of Florida, you need to have “limited liability company” in your LLC’s name. Its abbreviations are acceptable too, such as LLC or L.L.C.

There are also restrictions on what words you can use; for example, you can’t use government agency ones (i.e. Treasury or State Department). And if you want to use special restricted words, such as those reserved for financial or legal professionals (i.e. lawyer, attorney, bank, or credit union), you’ll probably need to file extra paperwork.

In addition, the business name must be free to use. You can log onto the Secretary of State’s site to do a Florida LLC search.

While you’re at it, make sure that the URL for your potential business is available. You might want to purchase it now so no one can snatch it up in the meantime.

In other states, you can reserve LLC names if you’re not ready to do so yet. Unfortunately, Florida is the only state that doesn’t allow this, so if you’re set on a company name, you should move fast.


Name Your Registered Agent

A registered agent is someone who can officially and legally receive your LLC’s legal documents and notices. This can be anyone you wish, so long as they are a full-time resident of Florida, or they’re a business that’s authorized to do business in the state. They also have to be available during regular business hours to receive these documents.

Based on the above criteria, you can be your own registered agent. However, there are several drawbacks to this, so you should use someone else instead. Even an employee or partner won’t suffice, as they’ll have existing responsibilities.

To ensure that your employees and partners can focus on your business’s success, use a registered agent service instead. For instance, we at Business Anywhere have affordable yearly-based services to help you out.


File Your Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization explain all the basic information about your LLC in Florida. Thankfully, there’s an online form, so you won’t have to write out everything on your own.

The information you’ll need include your LLC’s name and address, your registered agent’s name and address, all the LLC members’ names and addresses, and the manager’s name and address if you opt for a manager-managed LLC instead of a member-managed one.

Plus, you’ll need to give a short statement of why you formed the LLC and the time period it’ll exist. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, then your LLC will be perpetual (indefinite). Otherwise, you’ll specify on which date the LLC will be dissolved.

You’ll sign the Articles of Organization before sending it to the Secretary of State. After they’ve reviewed and approved it, you’ll receive a certificate that means your LLC legally exists.


Write Your Operating Agreement

Like in many other states, Florida doesn’t require LLCs to have operating agreements. But it’s in your best interest to create one since the court will reference it during legal disputes.

The operating agreement mostly contains information in the Articles of Organization, so there isn’t too much additional work. You’ll also need to include information about all the members, such as their:

  • Responsibilities
  • Ownership stake
  • Profit share
  • Voting rights
  • Onboarding and offboarding procedures

Include how your LLC’s profits and losses will be divided too, as well as your indemnification and liability clauses.


Apply for Your Employer Identification Number

Your Florida LLC will have its own “Social Security number”; this is the Employer Identification Number (EIN) and you’ll use it for tax purposes.

It’s free to apply for an EIN, so there’s no reason not to get one. Not only do you use it for taxes, but you also use it for opening a business bank account and hiring employees.

If you’re running the LLC on your own though, there’s no need to get an EIN.


Apply for a State Business License

This won’t apply to everyone, as only certain industries require LLCs to get state business licenses. For example, if you’re a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or barber, you’ll need to apply for one.

Check with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for more information.


Open a Business Bank Account

Before you can open your doors, so to speak, you’ll need to attach a bank account to your LLC.

You can use your personal bank account, but that’s not recommended. Having a separate business bank account can keep your personal and business finances separate, which will make tax reporting much simpler.


Now You Know How to Start an LLC in Florida

If you’ve been wondering about how to start an LLC in Florida, then we hope this article has shed new light. It might feel overwhelming, especially since there are so many steps involved. But in reality, it’s not a long or difficult process at all.

With that said, it’s always beneficial to have a professional’s assistance. For instance, we at Business Anywhere provide comprehensive business registration services, on top of registered agent and virtual mailbox services. When you have an expert’s guidance, your LLC will be up and running in no time.

Register with Business Anywhere today to get a helping hand. We’ll make creating a Florida LLC easier.

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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