LLC Florida – How to Start or Form an LLC in Florida Today!!
Florida LLC’s are not difficult to form and don’t cost as much as you may think!
Knowing what you need for your Florida LLC formation and how much it will cost will help you be on your way to forming your Florida LLC.
Today we are going to review the costs of forming your LLC in Florida so that you can make sure you know how much it costs and what it will entail.
If at the end of this article, you still don’t feel confident in forming your own Florida Limited Liability Company, there are LLC formation services that will form them for you so that you don’t have to worry about missing a step.
Some of them are free + state fee while others cost a little more and take care of all of your legal paperwork and annual filings so you don’t have to miss a deadline.
Here are the top two LLC Formation Services that we recommend for starting your Florida Business:
|ZenBusiness||$39 + State fee|
They charge one of the lowest rates and are an overall best value.
Their formation packages are loaded with features for a great price!
|IncFile||$0 + State fee|
For those on a strict budget, this is your cheapest LLC service.
You can add on features as needed.
We will talk more about this towards the end of the post.
Bare Minimum Cost to Start a Florida LLC:
Here we are going to share a quick at-a-glance outline of of the costs associated with forming your Florida LLC and then we will break them down in more detail as we continue through the post.
- Articles of Organization Fee: $100 + $25 registered agent fee for online or mailed forms
- Business licenses in Florida: $50 – $150 and most companies are required to obtain a business license in Florida and the cost varies depending on the city in which the company is based.
- Annual Report: $138.75
- LLC Name Reservation Fee: $25 for online or paper handling
- LLC Formation Service: These range from $0 + State Fee and go up from there
Florida LLC Cost – Everything You Need to Know
Limited Liability Company Name Reservation Fee
Most entrepreneurs that are ready to form their LLC already have a name for their business.
If you already have a name but aren’t filing your LLC this very moment, we highly recommend that you apply for a name reservation.
Florida does not require you to reserve a name before starting your business, but if you are afraid someone else might use the name, then you may want to consider paying the $25 fee.
The $25 fee gives you name exclusivity for 30 days so that you have time to form your business without worrying about the name you’ve already chosen.
However, if you are ready to start your LLC now and create your Articles of Organization, then there is no need to reserve the name.
Florida LLC naming guidelines require that you use the phrase “limited liability company” or LLC or L.L.C in your business name.
You are also not allowed to use words that could confuse your Florida LLC with a government agency such as the FBI, Treasury, etc.
The Articles of Organization are what officially form your LLC and are perhaps the most important part of forming your business.
Once accepted, the Articles of Organization is what officially registers your LLC and locks in your business name and you as the llc owner.
The Articles of Organization is a certified document and you should receive a certified copy.
The Florida Articles of Organization fee is $125 for hard copy or online applications.
Your Florida LLC Articles of Organization are filed with the Florida Divisions of Corporations.
Operating agreements are sometimes confused with Articles of Organization but they are not the same thing.
The Articles of Organization are what legally form your business while the operating agreement is an optional document to outline certain roles or aspects of your LLC.
Creating a Florida LLC operating agreement is recommended, especially if you have more than one llc member, also known as a multi member LLC.
Business License Fee
Not all types of businesses require a license, but many of them do, and each business license has its own set of fees.
Your LLC may require one business license or multiple licenses depending on the type of business you will be running.
Furthermore, depending on the type of business, your LLC may require licenses at both the local and federal levels.
You can find what business license requirements there are in your area on the Florida License website here.
Whether you like it or not, there are fees to form a Limited Liability Company.
Each state has their own LLC formation Fee, even if you go the DIY route and file your own documents directly with the IRS, you still have to pay the state fee.
The most affordable option is to figure out the formation process on your own and just pay the state fee.
However, missing a step or doing something incorrectly could end up costing much more.
So if the DIY route doesn’t sound like the route you want to take, you may want to hire an LLC formation service.
These services take care of the registration process for you, so you don’t have to spend the time on research, paperwork, and filings.
Most of these services (like LegalZoom or ZenBusiness ) offer basic LLC formation service like Articles of Organization filing, and employer identification number, legal document libraries,LLC operating agreement, tax consultations, and phone/email support for a flat rate, with options to pay more for premium packages with premium services like expedited filing.
A registered agent is simply a person or entity appointed to accept any official mail or important documents on your business’ behalf.
You can appoint yourself, or in many states, you can appoint your business to be its own registered agent.
While you can serve as an agent for service of process for your own LLC, this puts pressure on you to keep up with business filings and potential legal disputes.
Sometimes it’s better to hand off that responsibility to a professional.
Furthermore, being the registered agent and the business owner means that your personal information and business address are made public.
A Registered Agent service ensures that your annual reports and other forms are filed efficiently and on-time, saving you from the penalties of delinquent filings and the stress of having to do it yourself.
There are a lot of Registered Agent services out there but we always like to recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
They handle everything you need to form your business entity and they include a free registered agent for a year!
If you have questions or concerns about the LLC formation process or if it’s the best business structure for you, sometimes it’s best not to take chances and consult an attorney.
A law firm is not cheap, but they can provide essential business advice, professional filing assistance, and peace of mind.
Attorneys fees can range anywhere from $150 – $350 per hour or more while others might offer flat rate from $500 – $2000 to form you LLC and answer questions.
Of course, this all depends on the experience and location of the attorney as well as their specialties.
Foreign Limited Liability Company
A Florida Foreign LLC is an LLC that has already been formed in another State and is expanding its business to Florida.
The word “foreign” does not refer to another country, but rather another State.
If you already formed your LLC in another state and are now expanding to Florida, then you will be completing an “Application for Authority” rather than the Florida Articles of Organization.
In Florida, the foreign LLC fees for an Application for Authority are as follows:
- $125 Filing Fee for the application
- $25 Registered Agent
- $30 for an optional Certified Copy
- $5 for an optional certificate of status
All foreign business entities are required to foreign qualify in Florida before conducting business in the state or they could incur some severe penalties.
Annual LLC Fees
The state of Florida requires all businesses submit an annual report on January 1st an May 1st of each year in order to maintain an active status.
The filing fee for the annual reports is $138.75.
If you submit your annual Florida LLC fees late (after May 1st), there is a $400 penalty.
You can file your annual reports with the Florida Division of Corporations .
LLC’s are “pass-through” entities, meaning that the business itself doesn’t need to file federal or state tax returns ( read more about that here ).
However, there may be certain circumstances where your LLC will owe taxes.
For more information about taxes and business requirements in the State of Florida, visit the Florida Department of Revenue page .
Should I use an LLC Formation Service?
As you can see, there are several steps required to make sure that your LLC is formed correctly.
Hopefully this article helped you better understand what it takes to form an LLC in Florida as well as understand the associated costs.
If this all still seems overwhelming, then this is where using a formation service comes in handy.
If you have a little bit of flexibility in your budget or you know that the DIY route is not for you, then we strongly recommend hiring an Business entity Formation Service.
An LLC formation service will make sure everything gets filed properly and expediently and they will make sure that all of your annual maintenance deadlines are not missed.
LLC formation services specialize in just that, forming businesses of all types including LLC (limited liability company), C Corporation, S Corporation , foreign LLC, Sole Proprietorship, limited partnership, general partnerships , and non profit organizations.
They streamline the process for you and are there to answer questions, fix mistakes, and help with legal advice and needs.
Many of them even take care of your yearly maintenance and filings for you and offer Florida registered agent service as well.
Here are three popular LLC formation service options to give you an idea of what they offer:
$39 + State Fee
ZenBusiness is one of the most affordable options and a great value.
They are a little smaller and newer than the other two mentioned below, but have excellent customer reviews and overall features.
Learn more about ZenBusiness in our review here.
$225 + State Fee
Northwest Registered Agent also included a year of registered agent service with any LLC formation package. They also offer premium customer support that is unmatched to their competitors.
If you anticipate questions or more complex LLC formation, they are the top choice. You definitely get what you pay for and more with Northwest.
Northwest is our best overall value option.
Read our Northwest Registered Agent review here .
$0 + State Fee
IncFile will form your LLC for free and include a full year of registered agent service with any LLC formation package.
IncFile is at the top of our list of the best LLC formation services, year after year.
If you decide to go the DIY route and form your own LLC but need help with the Annual Reporting, checkout the following services:
For $49, MyCompanyWorks will make sure you don’t miss a deadline.
They are the most affordable annual report service out there and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Their price varies depending on the service package that you choose, but their fully-managed services take care of everything so you don’t have to.
And if you want it all done for you, LLC formation and Annual Reporintg, then you may want to look into MyCorporation:
For $99 MyCorporation will form your LLC and also include a full year of their managed annual report service.
Now you are ready to form your Florida LLC or Florida Foreign LLC.
Your first step towards success is the formation of your Florida LLC and like we said before, if you don’t feel confident to do this correctly, simply use a formation service to get it done for you.
Here are a few Highlights from today’s post:
- Now that you know the cost to for your Florida LLC, you can budget accordingly
- If you already have a business name, file a Name Reservation so you don’t risk losing the name to someone else
- New LLC’s must file the Articles or Organization to legally be formed and recognized as a Florida LLC
- Existing LLC’s registered in another state are called “Foreign LLC’s” and must file an Application for Authority to conduct business in Florida
- All LLC’s must file annual reports on time or they will incur a $400 late fee
- Formation services setup your LLC for you for a small fee so that you don’t have to worry about doing it correctly. Some of them are Free + Florida State Fee
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