Forming a limited liability company, or LLC, in Florida means incurring several fees, and it's important to know specific costs before registering your business.
Here's a close look at what's required.
Cost before registering your Florida LLC
Unlike most states, Florida doesn't offer name reservation before LLC registration. Instead, you can register what's known as a "fictitious" name for your LLC.
If you don't necessarily want to start your LLC under your legal name, you can do business under a different name, also known as a "doing business as" (DBA ) name. You must register and file your DBA name with the Florida Division of Corporations. There is a $50 filing fee, and the name is valid for five years.
Costs of registering Your Florida LLC
In order to form an LLC, most states require you to draft and file articles of organization. The articles of organization is a document that officially establishes your LLC by laying out basic information about your business. You can file your articles of organization with the Florida Division of Corporations for $100.All LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or entity authorized to receive service of process and other official legal documents and notices on behalf of your LLC. You may have the owner or an employee serve as your registered agent, but keep in mind this individual has to be available at all times to receive documents. Many LLCs opt to hire a third-party registered agent service. The cost can range anywhere between $50 to $500 annually.
Florida has a mandatory registration fee of $25 regardless of whether you use an in-house or outside service for an agent.
Costs to register a foreign LLC in Florida
If you have an LLC registered in another state and have plans to expand your business in Florida, you will have to pay to register as a foreign LLC. The cost to register is $125.
Costs for annual reports
To maintain active status, Florida LLCs must file an annual report. The first report is due in the year following formation. Yearly reports must be filed online between January 1st and May 1st, and the fee is $138.75. If you file an annual report after May 1, a $400 late fee is added to the filing fee.
Florida LLC taxation
The IRS treats LLCs as pass-through entities, so federal taxes are not owed. If, however, an LLC elects to be treated as a corporation, federal income taxes are due.
Florida is a tax-friendly state and doesn't impose a state income tax on LLCs. If your LLC has employees, you will pay state employment taxes. In addition, if you sell a product you may collect and pay a sales tax. The sales tax rate is 6% in Florida.
Other potential fees
Depending on the nature of your business and geographical location, you may be required to obtain permits and licenses at the local or state level
Changing a registered agent
If you decide to change your registered agent, it will cost $25.
Most amendments—for example, a change to the articles of organization—cost $25.
Certificate of Status
There is a $5 fee for a Certificate of Status—also called a certificate of good standing in some other states—which is a written verification that your LLC is currently authorized to do business in Florida
Obtaining copies of documentation
Sometimes it is necessary to obtain official copies of documents of business filings. Some banks might require a certified copy of your articles of organization. The certified copies cost $30.
Certificate of conversion fee
If you decide to convert your LLC to a corporation, the fee is $25, plus any applicable new entity filing fees.