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How to Start an LLC in Florida for Free (2024 Guide)

Max Smith

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Do you know how to start an LLC in Florida for free? You might have a tight budget, but you can start your LLC cheaply if you are in Florida.

There are many ways to reduce costs and save money while forming an LLC in Florida. But you may need to cover the minimum expenses. 

As you form an LLC, you will follow the state rules and prepare papers to submit officially. The cost will lead you to an LLC and immense benefits. 

So, without further ado, let’s go!

If you want to start LLC for free, then it’s not practically possible. The process needed to form an LLC in Florida is not entirely free of charge. But following a few steps will help you minimize the costs. Nevertheless, you need to consider some required fees and possible additional expenses.

  • State Filing Fee

While submitting the Articles of Organization is free, the state requires a standard $125 filing fee.

  • Registered Agent Service

Every LLC requires a registered agent with a physical address. It is to receive legal documents on the LLC’s behalf. Depending on the agent, this service has an annual cost of $25 to $100.

There is also a certified copy fee of $30. Remember, you can act as your registered agent, too. But you must understand the legal compliance involved in this service. It’s not just about money; you need other essential things to register your LLC.

Some of the steps involved in starting an LLC online in Florida are:

1. Research Requirements

Before beginning the process, learn about the conditions that must be met to form an LLC in Florida. This includes:

  • Choosing a unique LLC name that complies with Florida naming rules. For example, including acceptable abbreviations like “Ltd.” and “Co.”
  • Providing a Florida address as your official LLC business.
  • Selecting your registered agent &
  • Setting up your LLC management structure.

2. Draft Articles of Organization

The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations website has an Articles of Organization template. While you prepare your Articles of Organization document, it should include information such as:

  • Your selected LLC name.
  • The chosen registered agent’s name.
  • Principal place of business &
  • LLC governing arrangement.

3. File Online

Go to the LLC formation section of the Florida Division of Corporations website. Submit your Articles of Organization online using the Florida Division of Corporations’s electronic filing system. At the time of submission, you should pay $125 as the filing fee.

4. Obtain an EIN

Once your LLC gets approved, the Internal Revenue Service will issue you an Employer Identification Number. The IRS offers this service for free. Apply online for an EIN via the IRS website.

5. Other Ongoing Requirements

After forming your LLC online, complete the other ongoing requirements. This includes:

  • Preparing an operating agreement.
  • Attaining business licenses and permits.
  • Complying with tax obligations &
  • Your LLC purpose should be authorized by Florida Statute §605.0112.

Moreover, the process takes 14 to 20 business days in standard terms. This is if you file your LLC by mail. But if you file online, your LLC will get approval within 5 business days.

If you wish to avoid help from a third person, apply for an LLC by yourself. Do you know how to do it? Read our next section!

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How to Open an LLC in Florida by Myself?

Opening an LLC in Florida by yourself is possible. It’s one of the ways for a cheap LLC formation. It involves following the same steps that a professional needs in that process. Let us break that down once again for you:

  1. Start by choosing a unique name for your LLC.
  2. Designate a registered agent to receive official correspondence.
  3. Prepare and submit the Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations.
  4. Create an operating agreement to outline the structure and responsibilities.
  5. Get a nine-digit number as an EIN from the IRS.
  6. Acquire the necessary licenses and permits &
  7. Maintain the ongoing requirements.

While opening an LLC sounds excellent and actionable, you must also know the risks. There can be an error risk. It means making mistakes or overlooking essential details without professional guidance is possible.  

Nevertheless, having an LLC in Florida is worth it because it offers many benefits. What are they? Check them out in our next section below!

Benefits of an LLC in Florida

The Sunshine State is a promising land for forming LLCs. It offers several benefits for entrepreneurs and business owners. Here are some of them:

  • Limited Liability Protection

The primary benefit of an LLC is limited liability protection. LLC members are exempt from personal liability for the company’s obligations. For this reason, creditors cannot pursue members’ assets to pay off business debts.

  • Affordable Filing Fees

Florida does not charge many different fees for LLC formation. You will only need costs for Articles of Organization fees and appointing a registered agent. Every other cost is optional. Florida may be a relatively inexpensive state, but the price is reasonable. They are also affordable with their annual report fee.

  • Managerial Flexibility

Florida LLCs have flexibility in their management systems. Your Florida LLC can be member-managed or manager-managed. You have the flexibility to decide this, as Florida LLCs are adaptable.

  • Pass-Through Taxation

Florida LLCs are automatically subject to pass-through taxation. This helps you prevent double taxation. Because business profits and losses “pass-through” to the members’ tax returns. They report their profit and loss shares on their tax returns.

  • Easy Formation and Maintenance

In Florida, forming an LLC is a simple and affordable process. This state offers an easy LLC formation process that requires low ongoing compliance. On top of that, Florida doesn’t collect a state income tax from LLCs.

  • Credibility and Professionalism

Operating your Florida business as an LLC will present an image of credibility and professionalism. Customers and clients will trust and feel more confident when they see ‘LLC’ in your business name. They will recognize it as a legitimate organization.

  • Ownership Transferability

Florida LLCs can sell membership interests or transfer ownership interests to new members. They can do this without causing any problems in business operations. This makes planning business succession or bringing in new capital easier.

  • Privacy Protection

Florida LLC owners can enjoy privacy protection. This state does not require LLCs to reveal their members’ names. Or the names of the managers in the Article of Organization.

  • Business-Friendly Environment

The no-state personal income tax and competitive corporate income tax policies make Florida business-friendly for LLCs. This makes Florida appealing to entrepreneurs who are looking to increase their profits.

  • Owning Subsidiaries

Unlike Florida S corporations, Florida LLCs can own subsidiaries without limitation. This means that Florida LLC may create and manage several subsidiary businesses. Each has unique assets, liabilities, and business operations.

  • Access to Capital

The Department of Economic Opportunity in Florida provides small and minority-owned businesses with the necessary support. Numerous programs are available for this—for example, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Microfinance Guarantee Program, and more.

Conclusion

So, the answer to How to start an LLC in Florida for free without hassle is: you cannot start an LLC for free. But as the articles outlines, there are ways in which you can reduce expenses. 

You have the option to choose an expert service provider from various ones. You can check out their costs and choose the lowest one. Plus, you can start an LLC in Florida by yourself; it will reduce your cost to the minimum. 

Lastly, don’t forget to find the best states to form your LLC for the best opportunities!

Key Points

  • The $125 state filing fee for Florida LLC is unavoidable. Also, there is a recurring expense of an annual registered agent service fee, assuming you do not act on it yourself.
  • To start an LLC online in Florida with minimal costs, follow these steps, starting with research about the conditions. Then, draft the Articles of Organization and submit them online through the Florida Division of Corporations website.
  • Obtain an EIN from the IRS for free online and diligently meet your ongoing requirements.
  • The entire process usually takes 14 to 20 business days by mail. However, the approval happens faster when filing online.
  • Opening your LLC in Florida by yourself will save you professional fees. Also, you can have more control over the process and gain valuable insight. But there will be risks of errors and missing details.
  • There are several benefits to an LLC in Florida, like limited liability protection, affordable filing fees, and flexibility in management, formation, and maintenance.
  • You will also enjoy pass-through taxation and project a credible and professional image. Your privacy will be protected, and subsidiaries can be owned.
  • Florida LLC has a business-friendly environment that provides ownership transferability and access to capital and resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create an LLC in Florida online?

Of course! There is an online filing system to use to create your LLC online. So you can name, register, and file Articles of Organization for your LLC.

How long does it take to form an LLC online?

Usually, it takes about seven days or less to file LLC documents. But it does vary state by state. Some states may give quick approvals, while others may take several weeks.

How much does it cost to open an LLC in Florida?

Opening an LLC in Florida may cost you $125. It’s a one-time fee. It includes the filing fee of $100 and the registered agent fee of $25.The members of a registered agent may file an LLC. 

Max Smith - LLC Formation

He is a seasoned entrepreneur and legal expert at LLC Formation Hub. With a stellar track record in both business and law, Max simplifies the complexities of LLCs. His practical insights, featured on LLC Formation Hub, empower entrepreneurs across the USA. Max merges business finesse with legal acuity to guide businesses toward success.


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