The Sunshine State is home to one of the largest economies in the nation. Small businesses are an essential part of the economic landscape in Florida, making up an estimated 99.8% of all businesses and employing around 3 million people. When launching a business in Florida, one of the first things any entrepreneur has to do is decide on the entity type. Due to the numerous benefits of the LLC it is one of the most common business structures found in the Sunshine State. When it comes to Florida LLC legislation online resources like The Really Useful Information Company can serve as a handy research tool for entrepreneurs. Let’s take a quick look at what is needed to form and name an LLC in Florida.
Naming The LLC
The initial step for forming an LLC in the Sunshine State is as simple as picking a name. As in other states, Florida law demands that entrepreneurs pick a name for their LLCs which are different from other business names filed under the Division of Corporations. Before establishing the LLC, it is advisable to check whether the selected name is available. Unlike other states, Florida does not allow the reservation of business names, which means entrepreneurs need to submit their articles of organization as soon as possible.
A few other naming rules apply:
- The name of a limited liability company must contain the worlds “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
- The name may not contain language implying or stating that the LLC is organized for a purpose other than the purpose stated in the articles of organization.
- The name may not imply that the LLC is connected with state or federal government agencies or other entities chartered under the laws of the United States.
- The name of the LLC must be filed with the department for public notice only, it is important to note that the act of filing alone does not create any presumption of ownership beyond that which is created under the common law.
- An LLC that was in existence before January 1, 2020, that has a name which does not clearly indicate that it is a limited liability company, may continue using the name until the LLC dissolves or amends its name in the records of the department.
For businesses to operate in Florida, a business license is needed. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues licenses to entrepreneurs in industries such as real estate or architecture and other craft industries. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services manages industries like farming and consumers while minor agencies manage health domains, daycare providers and nursing homes. As a result, it is best to check with the Florida Department of State to find out if licenses are needed for a specific business venture.
Registered Agent Selection
Every business operating in the Sunshine State is required to name a registered agent that can receive legal and official mail on behalf of the business. The registered agent may be a single person or a company. The agent will notify business owners in case the business is sued or receives a government notice. Should entrepreneurs choose to form an LLC in Florida, it is important to note that the chosen registered agent should be a Florida resident. In the case that a registered agent is a company, it needs to be authorized to operate in Florida. The registered agent needs to have a physical address in Florida.
Deciding on Taxation
LLC provides some flexibility when it comes to taxation. If the entrepreneur chooses to have the LLC taxed as a pass-through entity, it won’t need to file separate tax forms. Rather, every member of the LLC will need to report income and loss through their personal tax returns.
In some cases the owners of an LLC can choose to have their business treated like a corporation for tax purposes. Unlike the default pass-through tax situation, when an LLC elects to be taxed as a corporation the company itself should file a separate tax return. Florida, like most other states, taxes corporation income.
A Few Final Words
When establishing an LLC in Florida, it is advisable to go through the Florida Division of Corporations. It sets out all the regulations, conditions and costs to form an LLC.,