LLCs in America are flourishing. They are the fastest growing business type, and Florida especially is a great place to start an LLC. Florida is ranked fourth in the U.S. for the best states to form an LLC, with amazing tax rates: it’s ranked fifth in the U.S. for having a favourable tax climate for business owners, according to the State Business Tax Climate Index. For these reasons, as well as an LLC giving you lots of perks: limited liability, pass-through taxation, flexibility in management and an overall more professional look to your business, LLCs are hugely popular today.
If you’re planning to operate an LLC you need to know some of the costs involved in registering your business with the Florida Secretary of State. It is important to note that these costs aren’t final – both the type and amount of fees can be subject to changing at any time.
Cost of starting an LLC in Florida
When you’re starting a new LLC in Florida, you’ll need to file something called the Articles of Organisation with the Florida Secretary of State’s office, which officialises your business. In order to file this there is a $100 filing fee, and if you want a certified copy of it, you’ll have to pay another $30.
There’s also a $5 for a Certificate of Status, which is a written verification that your LLC is authorised to do business in Florida. If you ask us, $5 is not a whole lot to get your customers to trust you and potentially attract more customers. And sometimes you need things like a Certificate of Status or a certified copy of your Articles of Organisation, for things like opening a business bank account or getting credit.
Getting a registered agent
When you get an LLC, you are required by law to have a designated registered agent, to do things like receive service of process during business hours at a certain address. If your LLC meets Florida’s requirements for having a properly staffed office, you might be able to have an employee or yourself serve as an in-house registered agent. Many people, however, choose to hire an outside registered agent, to save time spent stressing and be able to move around more freely. Hiring a registered agent in Florida does have a cost, though, and this will be between $50 to $500 per year.
Some registered agent services provide a year for free, though, if you choose to use them as your formation service to create your LLC, which is a great option if you’re not sure about getting a registered agent.
You must also pay a registered agent fee of $25 to the state, regardless of whoever your registered agent is.
Cost to register a foreign LLC in Florida
Whether your LLC was formed in another state and you’re expanding to Florida, or whether you’re not from the U.S. entirely, you have to register with the Secretary of State’s office as a foreign LLC.
In order to do this, you’ll need to file an application to register – this costs $100 to file, as well as the $25 registered agent fee. The certified copy of the Articles of Organisation and the Certificate of Status fees are the same as above.
Each year after the LLC’s initial filing, by May 1 the LLC has to file an annual report, and the cost of this is $138.75. If you fail to do so on May 1, the fee becomes much higher – $538.75. To save yourself this extra money, if you’re unsure about a certain detail, file the report with the information you have, and then you can amend the report when accurate information becomes available – this fee is only $50, so you’d be saving yourself $350 more than filing it late.
TRUiC has one of the easiest methods to form Florida LLCs – a step by step guide which will guide you through your journey. Be sure to visit their site to learn more.