Steps to Establish Your Florida LLC

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1. Choose Your Florida L.L.C. Name

Select a name for your Florida LLC that complies with the State’s requirements:

– The name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.”

– Ensure the name is unique and not already in use by another business in Florida. Check the Secretary of State’s website for name availability.

– Avoid using words reserved for government agencies (e.g., State Department, C.I.A., F.B.I., Treasury).

– Be aware of restricted words (e.g., bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union) that may require additional documentation and licensure.

2. Appoint a Registered Agent

Florida mandates the appointment of a registered agent for your L.L.C. who will receive legal documents on its behalf. The registered agent must meet these criteria:

– offers free registered agent services.

– The agent must have a physical address within Florida.

– The agent must be available during regular business hours to accept documents.

3. Prepare and File Articles of Organization

Create and submit the Articles of Organization to officially establish your Florida L.L.C. This can be done through a simple online form or by mail. The Articles should contain the following information:

– L.L.C. name and principal place of business

– Name and address of the registered agent (P.O. Boxes not accepted)

– Names and addresses of all L.L.C. members

– Name and address of the manager (if member-managed L.L.C.)

– Reason for forming the L.L.C. (a general statement is sufficient)

– Duration of the L.L.C. (usually perpetual, unless specified otherwise)

– Management structure (managers or members)

4. Receive the L.L.C. Certificate from the State

Once the Articles of Organization are filed and approved, the State will issue a certificate confirming the formal existence of your L.L.C. This certificate is essential for obtaining an Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.), business licenses, and a business bank account.

5. Draft an Operating Agreement

Though not mandatory in Florida, it is recommended to create an operating agreement that outlines how your L.L.C. will conduct business. This agreement can include:

– L.L.C.’s name and principal address

– Names and addresses of L.L.C. members

– Duration of the L.L.C.

– Name and address of the registered agent

– Information about the Articles of Organization

– Purpose of the business

– Members’ contributions and ownership stakes

– Profit-sharing and voting rights

– Dissolution terms and liability clauses

6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.)

Apply for a nine-digit E.I.N. from the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) to identify your L.L.C. for tax purposes, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account.

7. Obtain a Florida Business License

Check whether your industry or profession requires a business license on the Florida Secretary of State’s website. Obtain the necessary licenses for your L.L.C.

8. Establish a Bank Account

Set up a bank account within Florida to start conducting business operations.

9. Comply with Employer Obligations (if applicable)

If your L.L.C. has employees, adhere to the following obligations:

– Report all new hires or rehires to the Florida Department of Revenue within 20 days.

– Purchase workers’ compensation insurance after hiring the fourth employee.

– Pay unemployment taxes as required.

Remember to maintain compliance with state regulations and keep your L.L.C. in active status on the State’s website. You may need to make quarterly tax payments and file an Annual Report each year. Additionally, protect your business by obtaining necessary permits, licenses, insurance, and trademarks.