Florida LLC Formation Checklist
Name Your LLC
Once you’ve decided to start a new business, choosing a business name is the first step.
There are several things to keep in mind when naming your business:
Your name must be unique and it will need to meet Florida naming requirements, which include:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.).
- In some states, certain restricted words (e.g., Bank, Attorney, University, etc.) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state, except for certain fictitious name registrations, general partnership registrations, and limited liability partnership statements.
You can complete a Florida LLC name search to learn if your business name is unique and distinguishable.
If your business name is available as a web domain, that’s a big plus. However, there are often creative alternatives if the domain isn't available.
You want your name to be easy to market. This can mean different things for different businesses.
Learn more in our How to Name a Business in Florida guide.
Choose a Registered Agent
Florida requires LLCs to have a registered agent. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that accepts tax and legal documents on behalf of your business.
You have to elect your registered agent when you complete your LLC’s Articles of Organization, which is the main LLC formation document in Florida.
A member of the LLC or other individual in the company can be the LLC’s registered agent as long as they meet the following requirements:
- 18 years or older
- Has a physical address in the state where the business is formed
- Available (in person) during normal business hours
However, it is usually a good idea to hire a registered agent service. There are a few advantages to hiring a registered agent service:
- Compliance with the law
- Peace of mind
Check out our Best Registered Agent Services guide for help picking the best registered agent for your LLC.
File Formation Documents
In this document, you’ll list some of the basic information about the company. This includes its address, registered agent, whether it is member-managed or manager-managed, and its owners.
The Florida Articles of Organization filing fee is $125.
Our Florida Articles of Organization guide will help walk you through the process step by step.
If you want professional help, these Best LLC Services can file the Articles of Organization for you.
Draft an LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership and member duties of your limited liability company.
While an operating agreement isn't legally required in Florida, we recommend having one for a few reasons.
First, an operating agreement can help prevent or resolve disputes between LLC owners. And even if your business is a single-member LLC, an operating agreement can bring the company credibility and ensure courts uphold its limited liability status.
Operating agreements usually have at least six main sections:
- Management and Voting
- Capital Contributions
- Membership Changes
For more information, check out our Florida LLC Operating Agreement guide.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your LLC. It is sometimes called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).
Most banks will require an EIN to open your business bank account. You will also need an EIN if any of the following apply to your business:
- Your LLC has employees
- Your LLC is a multi-member LLC
- Your LLC files excise taxes
- Your LLC withholds taxes for nonwage income paid to a nonresident alien
But even if you own a single-member LLC with no employees, getting an EIN is a good idea. Most banks require that your LLC have one to open a business bank account. Check out our 7 Benefits of Getting an EIN article to better understand why your LLC should have one.
After Forming a Florida LLC
After forming an LLC, there are some important things you should do that will help ensure that you comply with any relevant local, state, and federal regulations, keep your liability protection intact, maintain accurate financial records, and attract customers to your business.
Register for Taxes
If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Registration and Account Maintenance section of the Florida Department of Revenue website. This certificate allows a business to collect sales tax on taxable sales.
If you have employees in Florida, you will need to register for Florida Reemployment Tax, a type of unemployment tax, through the Florida Department of Revenue.
You can learn more about LLC taxes with our guide.
Get an Accountant
Many small business owners think they can do their own accounting and are looking to avoid paying for a professional service. However, hiring an accountant can save you money, stress, and potentially legal troubles in the long run.
If you want to keep track of your LLC’s finances yourself, check out our guide to the best accounting software.
Research and Apply for Business Licenses
Getting the right LLC business licenses and permits is one of the most important things to do after forming an LLC.
The main state-level permit or license in Florida is the sales tax permit, also known as a seller’s permit.
Additionally, many industries and professions are required to have a separate business license in Florida. You can find more information about these licensing requirements from the Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
In Florida, you may need other licenses or permits from your local government depending on your business activity or location. Check with your local Florida government office for more information.
Open a Business Bank Account
Opening a business bank account is an essential part of maintaining your LLC’s corporate veil and its limited liability protection. You’ll need to keep your personal financial accounts separate from the LLC’s accounts and never make business purchases with your personal bank account or credit card.
Every LLC should have some type (or types) of business insurance.
At a minimum, your LLC should have general liability insurance, which is a broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Other insurance policies an LLC may need depend on the type of business, if you have employees or not, and other factors.
Before you decide on which business insurance to get for your LLC, check out our review of the 7 Best Small Business Insurance Companies.
Establish a Web Presence
All businesses should have an internet presence. This includes having:
- A website
- Social media accounts
- A YouTube channel
If you don’t feel comfortable making your own website, there are a lot of tools and website builders that can help you create your own business website.
Publish a Press Release
One easy and inexpensive way to promote your new business is by issuing a press release. A press release is an official statement by a business that is given to the press for public knowledge. Press releases are typically short and to the point.
Read our review of the best press release distribution services to help you get the word out about your new LLC.
To learn more, visit our guide on the important things you need to do after forming an LLC.
How to Form an LLC
Forming an LLC is easy. There are two options for forming your LLC. You can hire a service for a small fee or use our free Form an LLC guides.
Florida LLC Checklist FAQ
What must be filed to form an LLC in Florida?
The Articles of Organization must be filed to form an LLC in Florida. The filing fee is $125.
How do I create an LLC in Florida?
Setting up an LLC in Florida is easy. Our How to Start an LLC in Florida step-by-step guide can help you through the process.
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Florida?
It costs $125 to start an LLC in Florida by filing the Articles of Organization.
How long does it take to get an LLC in Florida?
How long it takes to get an LLC in Florida depends on how many documents the state has to process. Florida has a web page of document processing dates where you can get up-to-date details.
How long does it take Sunbiz to approve LLC?
LLC registrations filed online with Sunbiz are approved quicker than paper filings, but the exact processing time depends on how many documents the Department of State is currently processing. Florida provides a web page of document processing dates where you can get up-to-date details.
Is an S corp better than an LLC?
An S corp could potentially be better than an LLC if the company meets certain conditions. Check out our LLC vs. S corp guide for more information.
How do owners of an LLC get paid?
Owners of an LLC get paid in a couple of different ways: either a distribution that passes through to your individual tax return or a reasonable salary and distribution if the LLC elects to be taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
Which bank is best for LLC?
Check out our Best Banks for Small Business guide to help choose the best bank for your LLC.
Florida Division of Corporations:
Florida Department of Revenue:
IRS - Limited Liability Company (LLC):
SBA - Choose a Business Structure: