Forming an LLC in Florida

by Joe Stone

Forming an LLC in Florida requires filing a document called articles of organization with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations. The articles of organization must include the minimum information required by Florida Statutes, Chapter 608. A sample form of articles of organization, which you can download and fill out to form your LLC, is available from the department of state website. Alternatively, you can file the articles of organization electronically through the department of state website (see Resources).

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Step 1

Select a name for your LLC that meets the two basic requirements of Florida Statute 608.406; that is, your LLC’s name must include the words “Limited Liability Company,” or end with the designation “LLC” and the name must be readily be distinguishable from the business names already on record with the department of state. The website of the department of state includes a feature that allows you to conduct a preliminary check of its records to determine if your LLC’s name is available (see Resources).

Step 2

Select a registered agent for service of process for your LLC. The registered agent is an individual or company responsible for receiving documents that must legally be served on your LLC such as notice of a lawsuit. Florida LLC law requires that the registered agent be a Florida resident or a company authorized to do business in Florida. The registered agent must sign the articles of organization to indicate his consent to act as registered agent. Under Florida LLC law, an LLC cannot act as its own registered agent.

Step 3

Download the form called "Articles of Organization for Florida Limited Liability Company" from the department of state website (see Resources). The download includes a form cover letter and instructions for completing and filing the form. Use of the form is optional, but it does include the basic requirements for forming an LLC in Florida.

Step 4

Complete the articles of organization form by inserting your LLC's name, your LLC's principal business and principal address, the name and address of your LLC's registered agent along with his signature, and the name and address for each manager for the LLC including all members who are managers. Execute the competed articles of organization form by signing and dating as authorized member on page 2.

Step 5

Prepare the cover letter downloaded with the articles of organization by inserting all identifying information for your LLC and yourself so that the department of state can contact you if necessary. Check the box at the bottom of the cover letter indicating the filing fee that will accompany the documents, which, as of December 2010, is $125 for basic filing. If your want additional services such as expedited filing, the fee is higher as indicated on the form cover letter (see Resources).

Step 6

File the articles of organization, cover letter and check for the filing fee by mail or in person to the department of state using the addresses printed at the bottom of the form cover letter (see Resources).