Many of us are looking to take that first step to officially establish our business by registering it as a legal entity.
This is a big milestone and one that marks the start of a new venture filled with many possibilities.
My husband and I recently took that first step to owning our own business by registering our business Luxe Gather — The Mobile Spa Party & Magical Birthday Experience. Where
We help parents to simplify the process of planning birthday parties by bringing the party to you to create unforgettable memories both you and your kids will love.
Shameless plug there. But it’s an exciting first step for me because for years I had been going over the idea of owning my own business but had never actually registered a business and I didn’t know how to register an LLC in Florida or how much it cost to register an LLC in Florida.
I was doing everything else, including freelancing, creating websites, creating social media handles. Heck, I even wrote and published a whole children’s book, but never took that step to actually legally set up my business entity and establish myself as a true entrepreneur.
As newbies to the process of registering an LLC in Florida we weren’t quite sure what we needed, if we could do it ourselves or how much it costs to register an LLC in Florida. But surprisingly the process wasn’t as hard or difficult as we thought.
So today we are going to get into a step-by-step walkthrough of how to register an LLC in Florida.
We are also going to answer a few frequently asked questions including:
- Why should you register your business?
- How to register an LLC in Florida
- How much does it cost to register an LLC in Florida?
- What documents do you need to register an LLC in Florida?
- How to save money when registering your business in Florida?
Why should you register your business?
Choosing a business entity is an important decision that affects all parts of your business. One of the number one reasons to establish your business entity is to protect yourself from personal liability in connection with your business.
Without a business entity, you yourself are considered the business. There is no separation between you and the business in the eyes of the law. So if an angry customer decided to sue you could be held personally liable.
This is why it’s important to create that separation between yourself and your business by registering your business, keeping separate bank accounts for the business, and signing contracts under the business name rather than your own.
How to choose the right business entity?
There are different types of business entities and each of them has its pros and cons depending on your specific situation and the type of business you are looking to establish.
For our business, we decided to go with an LLC — Limited Liability Company. We chose this option as it is one of the easiest to establish and has several advantages that we were looking for.
As new business owners, we did a lot of research trying to figure out the best business structure based on what we found, the LLC provided the best option for us because it had more flexibility, was easy to set up, and was fairly inexpensive.
|Ease of establishing the entity||The easiest form to establish compared to C & S Corp|
|Protection from personal liability||Yes|
|Formality & structure of business operations||More flexible than C corporation Can be as simple as a member-managed LLC, where business owners (i.e., members) run the business themselves|
|Pass-through tax status||Profit is “passed through” the business and onto the tax returns of the business owners. Profits are taxed only once; owners can personally deduct some losses|
|Ability to change structure without tax||LLCs can change structure tax-free in connection with a VC financing round, an acquisition, or an IPO|
When weighing your options, consider both your short-term and long-term goals, as well as your preferences for governance, taxation, and ownership.
Ok so now that we have covered the basics of Why should you register your business?
And talked through a few considerations on How to choose the right business entity for your business? Let’s dive into how to register an LLC in Florida online.
What you need to register an LLC in Florida online
- Name of the business
- Full name of all members of the LLC
- Principal place of business address
- Mailing address of the business
- Credit card
Before we jump into the step-by-step walkthrough of how to register an LLC in Florida online, one thing you will need to consider is your business address.
In order to complete the online application to register an LLC in Florida, you will need to have a business address.
For many people just starting out or people who are operating their business from their home they just use their home address.
This is one option that will save you money, but it might not be the best option to choose especially when there are affordable options out there.
We decided to use iPostal, which is a worldwide digital mailbox service. It gives your a virtual address you can use to register your business if you don’t want to use your home address and if you don’t have a physical location for your business.
Some of the benefits of iPostal are that it protects your privacy and helps you create a more professional image.
They seem to be one of the more affordable virtual address providers with plans starting at $9.99 per month.
Again it’s up to you if you prefer to use a virtual address or your real home address, but you will need to have an address on file when you register an LLC in Florida.
How much does it cost to register an LLC in Florida?
It costs $125 to register an LLC in Florida. This is the required filing fee for you to register your Florida LLC. Other optional costs include:
- Certificate of status – $5
- Certified copy – $30
The Certificate of Status certifies the limited liability company is in good standing on our records.
The Certified Copy certifies the articles of the organization as true and correct. Most banks require a certified copy to open a bank account.
Note: The Certificate of Status and Certified Copy are both optional and are not mandatory to register an LLC in Florida.
Steps to register an LLC in Florida
Now that we have covered why you should register an LLC in Florida and the documents you will need, let’s get into the actual step-by-step instructions to register an LLC in Florida.
- Open a new browser tab
- Type in www.sunbiz.org
- Under filing services, select new florida LLC
- Click the button that says file or correct Florida LLC articles of organization
- Click the button that says start new filing
- Fill out the Florida Limited Liability Company Filing form
- Review the form to make sure the information is correct
- Click continue
- Review the information confirming the cost your status number
- Click continue
- Enter your credit card information
- Confirm details
- Look out for an email notification