Florida law allows for the organization of a business as a limited liability company, or LLC. An LLC is a type of business that includes both the limited liability protections of a corporation, and the pass-through taxation and less stringent annual filing requirements of a partnership. The Florida Secretary of State regulates the formation of LLCs. To create a Florida LLC, you must file a document, called an Articles of Organization, with the Florida Secretary of State.
Fit your business needs with the right LLC package
Pick a name for your company. Florida law requires all companies organized as an LLC to indicate their status by including the phrase “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. You may choose to shorten “limited” as “Ltd.” or "company" as “Co.” The name of your company must also be distinct from the name of any business association registered or reserved with the Florida Secretary of State. The Florida Secretary of State maintains an online searchable database of all business organizations registered in Florida, which you can use to pick a distinct name for your corporation (see Resources).
Pick a registered agent and office. Florida requires all LLCs to designate a registered agent and office. A registered agent is the business or individual that, if your business is sued or subpoenaed, will receive service of process. A registered office is the street address of a registered agent, which must remain open during normal business hours to sign for service of process. If you are a Florida resident with a Florida street address, you may serve as the registered agent and office. If you are not a Florida resident, or do not want to have your name and street address associated with your company in a public filing, you may hire a registered agent service, which is a business that will receive service of process on behalf of your business.
Choose a method of filing. The Florida Secretary of State accepts LLC filings over the Internet and by mail. If filing over the Internet, use the Florida Secretary of State’s online application (see Resources). If filing by mail, download and print out the Florida Secretary of State’s Articles of Organization form (see Resources).
Fill out the Articles of Organization. On the attached Cover Letter form, provide the name of your company, your name and contact information, and whether you want an optional Certificate of Status or a Certified Copy. On the Articles of Organization form, provide the name, principal office and mailing address of your company. Provide your registered agent's name and registered office's address, and have your registered agent sign the form. Provide the name and address of all managing members, or company owners who will be making day-to-day business decisions, and members, or persons making day-to-day business decisions without an ownership stake. Print your name and sign the Articles of Organization.
File your Articles of Organization. As of 2010, the filing fee is $125. If filing online, pay by credit card. If filing by mail, pay by check made payable to the Florida Department of State. The mailing address for filing is Registration Section, Division of Corporations, Clifton Building, 2661 Executive Center Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
- Articles of Organization form
Tips & Warnings
While becoming a Florida LLC is easy, check with an attorney about the tax implications of operating a business as a Florida LLC.
References & Resources
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