Overview on Getting a Florida LLC Set Up
Do you have an idea for a business and want to get started on the right track? Do you want to reduce your personal liability exposure from the business’ liability? Do you want to go into business alone or with others, and properly differentiate each other responsibilities and obligations? If so, you may want to consider setting up a limited liability company or commonly referred as “LLC”.
For those interested in starting or converting into an LLC, I’m going to provide an overview and discuss LLCs in relation to Florida legal services, some of the requirements to get started, and other tips to help you reach your business goals in a lesser time frame. I will strongly suggest that you consult with a trustworthy Florida business lawyer who can advise you as to the LLC business structure and your particular circumstances.
What is a Limited liability company (LLC)?
It’s of importance that you, as a potential owner or co-owner of a limited liability company (LLC), to have a clear understanding of this type of business structure. As a practicing Florida business lawyer, setting an LLC in Florida is generally not as complicated as you imagined it to be. An LLC a ‘”hybrid” because it’s a combination of a corporation and limited liability partnership; taking the benefits of each of those business structures. There is no specific number of people who can be part of a LLC: in can be a single or multi-member LLC.
How to start an LLC in Floirda?
Below is an easy-to- follow process that lawyers in Florida may suggest to those interested in setting up an LLC in Florida (consult with your Florida business lawyer to determine if an LLC is proper for you).
• Choose a name for your LLC
An LLC needs to end with the terms Limited Liability Company or use the abbreviated initials of LLC or L.L.C. You should always check that your LLC’s name is not taken. You may want to consider using a fictitious name.
• Select a registered agent
• Among other requirements, a registered agent needs to have a Florida address. Generally, the role of a registered agent is to accept legal documents as a representative for the LLC and ensure members are informed.
• Draft an LLC Operating Agreement
Draft an LLC Operating Agreement that is satisfactory and executed by all the members. An operating agreement is essential to an LLC as it delineates the duties and obligations of each member, manager, and officers of the LLC, as well provides a general outline of how the LLC is operated.
• Register the LLC in Florida
Follow the procedures and pay the necessary fees to register your LLC with the Division of Corporations of the Florida Department of State
• Register your LLC’s Fictitious Name
Follow the procedures and pay the necessary fees to register the fictitious name of your LLC if you decide to use another name, known also as “doing business as” or DBA.
• Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for federal taxes. Your EIN is also a requirement if you will open a separate bank account for your business’ earnings.
• Obtain Necessary Licenses
Obtain any licenses required to conduct your specific type of business in Florida. Obtain any applicable city and/or county business licenses and local business tax receipt as it may be required where you conduct business.
• Comply with Annual Requirements
There are annual legal requirements for all LLCs such as the annual filing of reports online from January 01 and May 01 to validate their active statuses in Florida and payment of the filing fees.
The above is a very simple guide relating to limited liability companies or LLCs. An LLC may or may not be suitable for your business and its operations. A Florida business lawyer could be a perfect partner before committing yourself, your time, money and energy in any type of business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nico Apfelbaum
Nico Apfelbaum, Esq. is the managing attorney of Apfelbaum Law, a Florida law firm serving Port St. Lucie, Stuart, the Treasure Coast and assisting clients with matters throughout Florida. Apfelbaum Law provides a wide variety of legal services, including, family law, divorces, business and contract transactions and litigation, immigration, wills and estate planning, probate law, and real estate law. The attorneys of Apfelbaum Law will answer your questions, explain your options, and provide you with the tools and resources you need to make an informed decision.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.