How to Start an LLC in Florida

Last Updated: by Nagabhushanam Peddi

To start a Florida LLC, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. The filing fee is $125.

It’s easy to start an LLC in Florida; just follow these steps:

  1. Name Your Florida LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent in Florida
  3. File the Florida Articles of Organization
  4. Create a Florida LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. File an Annual Report
  7. Keep Your Company Compliant

Or simply use a professional service:

Learn more about the benefits of forming an LLC in Florida with our What is an LLC guide. To register an LLC in any state, visit our How to Start an LLC guide. 

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Step 1: Name Your Florida LLC

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in forming an LLC in Florida. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Florida naming laws and is easily searchable by potential business clients.

1. Follow the naming guidelines for a Florida LLC:

  • Your name must include “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your Florida LLC.

2. Is the name available in Florida? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Sunbiz Florida website.

Read our full guide to learn more about searching for a Florida LLC name.

3. Is the URL available? You should check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL to prevent others from acquiring it.

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Once you have verified your name is available, you can select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process.

We reviewed and ranked the best LLC services. Find out which is best for you.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Florida

You are required to appoint a Florida registered agent for your Florida LLC.

What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving necessary tax forms, legal documents, notices of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. Think of your registered agent as your business' point of contact with the state.

Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a full-time resident of Florida or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to conduct business in the state of Florida. You may elect an individual within the company, including yourself.

Recommended: Check out these best registered agent services.

Step 3: File Your Florida LLC Articles of Organization

To register your Florida LLC, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. You can apply online or by mail.

Now is a good time to determine whether your LLC will be member-managed vs. manager-managed.


OPTION 1: File Online With the Florida Department of State Sunbiz Website

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $125, payable to the Florida Department of State. (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:
New Filing Section
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314

For help completing the form, visit our Florida Articles of Organization guide.

If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the state of Florida, you’ll need to register as a foreign LLC.

Step 4: Create a Florida LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is not required for an LLC in Florida, but having one is a good practice.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

Read our Florida LLC operating agreement guide for more information on operating agreements.

Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Florida LLC

You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to obtain an EIN. Read our guide to getting an EIN for international entrepreneurs.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

Step 6: File an Annual Report

Every Florida LLC must file an annual report with the Florida Division of Corporations to maintain an "active" status. This report is a statement of any changes in your business information over the past year.

The report is due each year by May 1.

File Online: You can file online through the Florida Division of Corporations' Sunbiz website along with the $138.75 fee.

For more information on filing the Florida LLC annual report, read the filing instructions provided by the Division of Corporations.

Important: Failure to file the annual report will lead to your LLC being administratively dissolved or revoked.

Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay current with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Florida Business Licenses & Permits

You must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations to operate your LLC. Fees and requirements for licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of business license you need.

Find out how to get the necessary Florida business licenses and permits for your LLC with our Florida Business License guide.

Recommended: Consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Read our best business license services review.

Florida LLC Tax Filing Requirements

It's essential to stay up to date on Florida LLC taxes.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:

Sales Tax

If you sell a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Florida Department of Revenue website. Florida's current state sales tax is 6%, with an additional max local sales tax rate of 2%.

Employer Taxes

If you have employees in Florida, you’ll need to register for the Florida Reemployment Tax (a type of unemployment tax) through the Florida Department of Revenue. New employers pay an initial tax rate of .0270 (2.7%) on the first $7,000 of yearly employee wages.

Industry-Specific Taxes

Additional state sales taxes may apply if your business falls within a specific industry.

Income Tax

Unlike most states, Florida doesn’t require a state income tax. However, you must report your federal income tax using either Form 1065 (for multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 Schedule C (for single-member LLCs).

Hiring Employees

If you plan to hire employees, stay compliant with Florida law by following these steps:

  1. Verify that new employees are able to work in the US
  2. Report employees as "new hires" to the state
  3. Provide workers' compensation insurance for employees
  4. Withhold employee taxes
  5. Print compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace

Check out our Small Business Hiring Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.

Common Questions About Florida LLCs

What is an LLC?

LLC is short for "limited liability company". It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. Read What is a Limited Liability Company for more information.

Or, watch our two-minute What is an LLC video.

How do I name my Florida LLC?

You must follow the Florida limited liability company naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:

  • Include "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
  • Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.

If you are having trouble creating a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. We’ll help you find a unique name for your business and an available URL to match.

After you get your business name, your next step is getting a unique logo. Get your unique logo using our Free Logo Generator.

Do I need to get a DBA or fictitious name for my business?

Most LLCs do not need a DBA, known as a fictitious name in Florida. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name, and you can accept checks and other payments under that name. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you want to conduct business under another name.

To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA in Florida guide.

Can I be my own registered agent?

Yes. You or anyone else in your company can be your Florida registered agent. Read about being your own registered agent.

Is a registered agent service worth it?

Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages (e.g., privacy, peace of mind, and preventing lawsuits) of using a professional registered agent service significantly outweigh the annual costs.

For more information, read our article on Florida registered agents.

Do I need to file my operating agreement with the State of Florida?

No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference.

How long does it take to form an LLC in Florida?

Florida LLC Articles of Organization are processed in the order they are received and can take two to four weeks.

To learn more, go to our How Long Does it Take to Form an LLC in Florida guide.

What is the difference between a domestic Florida LLC and a foreign LLC?

An LLC is called a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC, we are referring to a domestic LLC.

A foreign LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state. If you are filing as a foreign Florida LLC, read our guide for more information.

How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a Social Security number?

An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at 267-941-1099 to complete your EIN application. Read our guide for international EIN applicants.

What tax structure should I choose for my LLC?

When you obtain an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.

However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing S corporation status. We recommend consulting with a local accountant to determine which option is best for you.

What is the minimum wage in Florida?

The minimum wage in Florida is $11 per hour.

How often do I need to pay employees?

Florida has no specified regulations on pay frequency. However, federal law states that you must have a consistent pay frequency. Typically, most employers pay on a semi-monthly basis.

What is a Florida EIN?

An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is a federal tax identification number that acts as a Social Security number for your business. This number is given out by the IRS, not the State of Florida.

What is the sales tax in Florida?

The current state sales tax rate in Florida is 6%. The maximum local tax rate, which is applied on top of the state rate, is 2%.

Does Florida have income tax?

Florida is one of eight states that does not levy a state income tax. However, Florida LLCs must still file a federal income tax return.

What is the corporate veil?

Business entities, such as LLCs and corporations, protect their owners from personal liabilities for the business’s debts. This protection is often referred to as the corporate veil. Learn how to protect your LLC's corporate veil in our guide.

What is Sunbiz?

Sunbiz is the primary online filing portal for starting and maintaining a business in the state of Florida. This service is offered by the Department of State’s Division of Corporations.

How much does it cost to set up an LLC in Florida?

The filing fee to form an LLC in Florida is currently $125. This document formally registers your LLC with the Department of State.

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