The LLC’s business name must be different from all other business entity names registered or reserved with Florida. You can call and ask about the availability of a name by calling the state LLC filing office, or you can research LLC name availability on the Florida Division of Corporations’ website. However, Florida does not allow you to reserve a prospective name ahead of time.
The LLC’s name can’t have language that could give the impression it has been started for a business purpose other than that stated in its articles of organization, or one that’s not allowed by state law. It also cannot give the impression that the LLC is connected with the federal or state government.
As the last words of the name, the words “Limited Company” or “Limited Liability Company,” or the abbreviations “L.C.” or “L.L.C.” must be included. “Limited” can be shortened to “Ltd.” and “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”
The filing time for Florida LLCs is 12 Business days, and the expedited filing time is 5 business day.
State Filing Fees
The filing fee is $125, and checks should be made payable to the Florida Department of State.
Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement
The articles of organization must state:
- The LLC name.
- The names and addresses of the organizers.
- The address of the LLC’s primary place of business.
- The articles have to be signed by at least one organizer or an authorized representative of an organizer.
- The articles of organization may also contain other things chosen by the members (so long as they are not contrary to law), such as whether the LLC will be managed by a manager or managers.
- The name and street address of the LLC’s registered agent, along with a statement that the agent agrees to the appointment and the duties it entails.
The operating agreement is also very important, it can be modified in a way that’s specified by the agreement itself, or however the law of the state permits. Just like a corporation’s bylaws, the operating agreement isn’t required by state law, but it’s a critical internal document that officially sets out how the LLC will operate. An LLC’s operating agreement should list:
- The members
- How much each member has invested
- How profits are to be divided
- How much of a voting share each member has when voting.
It may also specify requirements for meetings, such as how much notice, how many members constitute a quorum, voting rules, and so on. It also usually includes state-mandated requirements so that all the LLC’s operational rules are laid out in one place.
The articles of organization can also include constraints on members’ authority to adopt, amend, or repeal an operating agreement. If there is more than one member when the LLC is formed, the initial operating agreement must be approved in writing by all members.
Florida LLCs must have a registered agent living in Florida who can receive official correspondence from the state, both administrative and legal. A registered agent for a Florida LLC can be an individual resident of Florida whose business office is the same as the registered office, or a business entity (foreign or domestic) that can conduct business in Florida, and whose business office is the same as the registered office.
Providing Registered Agent Services for your LLC in Florida is something BizLauncher can do.
The new LLC is recognized as “organized” once the articles of organization and a copy are delivered to the Secretary of State’s office with the required filing fee, and that office confirms that they are in order. Your LLC is not a legal business entity until the state of Florida has filed the company.
Ongoing Filing and Compliance
There are several filing and record-keeping tasks that LLCs owners in Florida need to remember to do. Florida LLCs must file a report annually with the Florida Secretary of State that specifies the following:
- The LLC names and the governmental jurisdiction under which it was organized.
- The LLC’s date of organization, or, if it’s a foreign LLC, the date on which it was authorized to do business in the state.
- The county and street address of the LLC’s registered office.
- The name of the LLC’s registered agent at the registered Florida office.
- The mailing and street addresses of its primary place of business.
- The LLC’s federal employer identification number (EIN) or, if it doesn’t have one, whether one has been applied for.
- The names and addresses of its managing members or managers.
- Any additional information requested by the Secretary of State.
A Florida LLC is considered dissolved when any one of these events occur:
- Event(s) happen specified in the articles of organization or operating agreement as requiring dissolution.
- Agreement to dissolve by a number or percentage of members specified in the operating agreement.
- An event that makes it illegal for the LLC to continue.
- When a member leaves the LLC, unless the remaining members agree within 90 days to continue the LLC.
- A judicial decree is entered that orders dissolution.
An LLC has the availability of more deductions compared to corporations. Additionally, an LLC does not have to be a separate tax entity in the same way as a corporation. Instead, it can be a “pass-through” entity for tax purposes, so that the LLC owners report business losses or profits on their personal tax returns, in the same way as a partnership.
Unless you choose for your LLC to be taxed as a corporation, the IRS treats single-member LLCs as sole proprietorships for tax purposes. This means the LLC itself does not pay taxes on its own account and does not have to file a tax return.
The IRS treats multiple-member LLCs as partnerships for tax purposes, unless you choose for your LLC to be taxed as a corporation. The result of this is that LLC owners each pay taxes on their lawful share of the profits on their personal income tax returns, rather than the LLC itself.
The LLC tax rate for Florida varies based on taxable net income.