Most people consider Florida mainly as a state for vacation and leisure time. However, it’s a great choice for entrepreneurs as well. Florida has around 2.5 million small businesses, most of them in the agriculture, science, and tourism field.
When launching a business in the Sunshine State, among the first things you’ll have to decide on is your business’s type of entity. Due to the numerous benefits that an LLC provides, you should strongly consider starting one in Florida. The LLC or limited liability company is the most common business structure in Florida in the last couple of years.
LLCs are simple to form and maintain, they come along with tax flexibility and provide judicial protection for their owners. If you want to benefit from everything an LLC offers, continue reading below.
Pick the Name of Your LLC The initial step for forming an LLC in Florida is picking a name for your business. As in other states, Florida law demands you to pick a name for your LLC which should be different from other business names filed under the Division of Corporations. This obligation is intended to prevent confusion between customers and community members.
Before establishing your business, it’s crucial to check whether your wanted name is available. You should do a preliminary search on the business name registry under the Division of Corporations.
Unlike almost all of the states, Florida doesn’t allow the reservation of business names. That means you need to submit your articles of organization as soon as possible to avoid another company claiming your business name.
Obtain a Florida Business License and Insurance In order to operate a business in Florida, you will need to get a business license. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues licenses to entrepreneurs in craft industries, like real estate or architecture.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services manages industries like consumers or farming. Minor agencies manage the health domains, daycare providers, and nursing homes. The Florida Department of State licenses authorities by occupation. As a result, you should check their website and find out what licenses you necessitate for your business.
Furthermore, do your research and get adequate business insurance. Today, you can even obtain online insurance for Florida based businesses with one click of the button, quick and simple. There are many kinds of insurance for businesses, but they are mostly packaged as General Business Insurance or a BOP. Insurance will cover all from product liability to company vehicles. A decent insurance policy costs as little as $300 per year and provides a significant level of protection.
Choose a Registered Agent Every business operating in Florida has to name a registered agent that can receive legal and official mail on the behalf of the business. A registered agent for an LLC in Florida may be a single person or a company.
The agent will notify you in case your business is sued or get a government notice. Once forming an LLC in Florida, you must choose a registered agent who is a Florida resident. If you choose a company to serve as a registered agent, then it needs to be authorized to operate in Florida.
Likewise, the registered agent needs to have a physical address in Florida. Note that your company cannot be its own registered agent, however, a manager or member of the company can. Lots of businesses find it appropriate to hire a legal service as their registered agent.
Decide How You Want to Be Taxed Since your business is LLC, you have the choice to tax it as a corporation or pass-through entity.
If you choose to tax it 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. If you choose to tax your LLC as a corporation, it will need to file separate tax forms and be responsible for federal business taxes.
On a federal level, LLC members have to pay 15.3% in self-employed taxes. That rate is the sum of 2.9% for Medicare and 12.4% for Social Security. If your LLC has employees, you need to withhold medicare and social security taxes from them and pay the employer’s portion of those taxes.
Final Words When you finally decide to start a business in Florida, you must go through the Florida Division of Corporations. It sets all the regulations, conditions, and costs to form an LLC in the Sunshine State. You need to follow their legislation if you want to operate an LLC in Florida.