If you're a small business owner thinking about starting a single-member LLC in Florida, you're in the right place. This article will help you learn everything you need to know about the formation process and all the benefits of running a limited liability company in the state.
Some of the most vivid advantages of a Florida single-member LLC are affordable filing fees, the straightforward formation process, the ability to improve the credibility of your business, and flexible ownership options.
How to get a single-member LLC in Florida? Creating an SMLLC in Florida is easy - simply follow these next 5 steps:
Alternatively, to open a single-member LLC in Florida even easier, you can outsource your Florida single-member registration process to a professional business formation service:
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A single-member LLC (SMLLC) is a limited liability company with one owner. The difference from regular LLCs lies in that SMLLCs are taxed in a different way by default. Plus, they also usually have fewer liability protections.
However, a Florida SMLLC is still a reliable business structure that guarantees strong personal asset protection for business owners. Plus, you will also be shielded from most legal claims against your business.
Now let’s find out how to apply for a single-member LLC in Florida.
Before you get to your Florida single-member LLC registration, keep in mind that your SMLLC name must be unique and distinguishable from other names of existing businesses in the state.
When creating a single-member LLC in Florida, to make sure your chosen business name is available and not in use, you can visit the Division of Corporation page (Search Records) on the Secretary of State's website.
That's where you can perform a business entity search and see which names are already taken.
When choosing a name and starting a single-member LLC in Florida, consider the following aspects:
While forming a single-member LLC in Florida, keep in mind that some states allow you to reserve your chosen business name for a limited period of time (usually, up to 120 days). However, that's not the case with Florida.
Each SMLLC operating in Florida must designate and maintain a registered agent (RA).
An RA is an official link between the company and the state. This can be a Florida resident or commercial entity that will receive all important legal/tax documents (including services of process, if any) on behalf of your company and forward them to you in a timely manner.
The RA must also timely notify you about all deadlines/business events related to your company. Additionally, the agent must constantly be available at the office (indicated in your Articles of Organization) during normal business hours.
In fact, when deciding on your RA, you can choose from the following options:
Below you will find 3 more steps on how to register a single-member LLC in Florida.
The main step in the formation process when setting up a single-member LLC in Florida is completing and filing your Articles of Organization with the Division of Corporations.
To properly complete the document, you will need to provide the following basic information about your FL SMLLC:
You can file a single-member LLC in Florida online or by mail (download and complete this form). If you file by mail or in person, you will need to deliver the paper copy to one of the following addresses:
New Filing Section
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
New Filing Section Division
The Centre of Tallahassee
2415 N. Monroe Street, Suite 810
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Once your application is processed, you will receive your Articles of Organization by mail, and your FL SMLLC can be considered officially established in the state. Note, you will also need to pay the state filing fee. In Florida, the fee is $125.
If you’re still interested to learn how to start a single-member LLC in Florida, proceed to Step 4.
Even though the Secretary of State does not require business owners to prepare an operating agreement (OA) to start a single-member LLC in Florida, this internal company document can be really helpful for your business.
While being a statement of information, your OA is also a key business document that describes your management specifics and proves that you legally operate a legit company in FL. This document can also be helpful for business transactions with lenders.
An OA will allow you to separate your company from you personally. Thus, make sure you provide the following information and consider the following aspect of the document:
Northwest Registered Agent can help you find out how to set up a single-member LLC in Florida. On the company website, there’s a free OA template that you can adjust to fit your company specifics.
Every SMLLC operating in the state must file an annual report after Florida single-member LLC registration.
You can file online at the Secretary of State's website (Sunbiz). The point of submitting such a report lies in that you must confirm (or change) the existing information about your company address, RA, and those authorized to manage your SMLLC.
Note that your annual report must include the following information:
Now there’s one last main step left to consider to find out how to form a single-member LLC in Florida.
In Florida, LLCs that don't have employees are not obliged to obtain an employer identification number (EIN or FEIN). You can simply report your business profits/losses on your personal tax returns via your own social security number (SSN) or Tax ID.
However, make sure you get an EIN if:
Even if it's not required by the state for federal tax purposes, you may still need it.
Additionally, when processing payments with your future business partners, the latter may also be interested in your EIN.
Obtain your EIN for free by applying online on the IRS website.
So how much does a single-member LLC cost in Florida?
No matter what business formation company or RA service you choose to form an SMLLC, their LLC formation packages will vary depending on your business specifics and additional services included.
In general, you can expect to spend around $270 to get an SMLLC in Florida, and here's why:
|LLC Filing Fee||$100|
|Registered Agent Fee (required)||$39 - $300|
|Annual Report fee||$138.75/year|
|Certificate of Status (optional)||$5|
|Certified Copy of Record (optional)||$30|
|Business licenses or permits||the cost varies by county/city (from 100$ to $800)|
Florida single-member LLC costs may vary depending on your chosen business formation company. Thus, some companies can help you form an SMLLC for as low as $49, plus, some of them also provide a free year of registered agent services.
Now that you know how to create single-member LLC in Florida, there are a few aspects you should know. Therefore, once your single-member LLC formation in Florida is over, make sure you consider the following points:
You want to make sure your clients and business partners fully understand that they’re doing business with an LLC, not with you personally.
Note that having a separate bank account makes it much easier to protect your limited liability status and makes recordkeeping easier.
Before we get to the FAQ section on how to get a single-member LLC in Florida, you should know that to keep your company compliant with the state, you should always make sure that you keep your books, pay your taxes, and hold annual meetings.
All in all, you want to make sure your Florida SMLLC is always in good standing with the state by fulfilling all requirements of the state.