The Complete Guide to Starting an LLC in Florida
Most people see Florida primarily as a vacation and recreation state. However, it is also a great choice for entrepreneurs. Florida has about 2.5 million small businesses, most of them in agriculture, science, and tourism.
When starting a business in the Sunshine State, one of the first things to determine is the type of entity of your business. Because of the many benefits that an LLC offers, you should seriously consider setting up one in Florida. The LLC or limited liability company has been the most common business structure in Florida for the past two years.
SARLs are simple to form and maintain, they come with fiscal flexibility and offer legal protection to their owners. If you want to take advantage of everything an LLC has to offer, continue reading below.
Choose the name of your LLC
The first step in forming an LLC in Florida is choosing a name for your business. As in other states, Florida law requires you to choose a name for your LLC that must be different from other business names filed under the Division of Corporations. This obligation is intended to avoid any confusion between clients and members of the community.
Before starting your business, it is crucial to check if your desired name is available. You should do a preliminary search of the Register of Business Names under the Companies Division.
Unlike almost all states, Florida does not allow the reservation of business names. This means that you should submit your organizational articles as soon as possible to prevent another company from claiming your business name.
Obtain a business license and insurance in Florida
To operate a business in Florida, you will need to obtain a business license. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues permits to entrepreneurs in cottage industries, such as real estate or architecture.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services manages industries such as consumers or agriculture. The minor agencies manage the fields of health, child care providers and nursing homes. The Florida Department of State authorizes authorities by profession. Therefore, you should check out their website and find out what licenses you need for your business.
Plus, do your research and get adequate business insurance. Today, you can even get Florida-based business insurance online with just one click, quickly and easily. There are many types of business insurance, but most of them come in the form of general business insurance or BOP. Insurance will cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent insurance policy costs as little as $ 300 per year and offers a significant level of protection.
Choose a registered agent
Every business operating in Florida must appoint a registered agent who can receive legal and official mail on behalf of the business. A registered agent for an LLC in Florida can be a single person or a corporation.
The agent will notify you if your business is sued or receives a government notice. Once you have formed an LLC in Florida, you must choose a registered agent who is a resident of Florida. If you choose a business to serve as a registered agent, it must be licensed to operate in Florida.
Likewise, the registered agent must have a physical address in Florida. Note that your company cannot be its own registered agent, however a manager or company member can. Many businesses find it appropriate to hire a legal service as a registered agent.
Decide how you want to be taxed
Since your business is an LLC, you have the choice of taxing it as a corporation or flow-through entity.
If you choose to tax it as a flow-through entity, it won’t need to file separate tax forms. Rather, each member of the LLC will have to report their income and losses on their personal tax returns. If you choose to tax your LLC as a corporation, it will need to file separate tax forms and be responsible for federal business taxes.
At the federal level, LLC members must pay 15.3% self-employed tax. This rate is the sum of 2.9% for health insurance and 12.4% for social security. If your LLC has employees, you must withhold Medicare and Social Security taxes from them and pay the employer’s share of those taxes.
When you finally decide to start a business in Florida, you have to go through the Florida Division of Corporations. It sets out all of the regulations, conditions, and costs for forming an LLC in the Sunshine State. You must follow their laws if you want to operate an LLC in Florida.