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Registering a Foreign LLC in Florida: A Guideline (2024)

Max Smith

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are you an entrepreneur wondering about registering a foreign LLC in Florida? Florida is a business-friendly state that accepts foreign entrepreneurs. Surely, the Sunshine State is an attractive destination for this kind of venture. 

This guide covers all scenarios, from the standard steps for foreigners and U.S. citizens to the additional foreign qualification process. So, you can open a foreign LLC yourself in Florida. 

Before our main discussion, let’s first understand whether a foreigner can open an LLC in Florida.

Yes! A foreigner has the right to create and operate an LLC in Florida. It’s possible and legal. However, you must maintain Florida’s state rules and regulations. 

To start an LLC in Florida, you don’t have to be a US citizen or live there. Florida does not limit who can own an LLC based on citizenship or residency status. That’s why Florida is a popular place for foreign business owners.

Moreover, you can register for an LLC yourself in Florida. The steps to open an LLC are mostly the same for foreigners and US citizens. Check out them below.

  1. Check for name availability.
  2. Designate a registered agent.
  3. File an Article of Organization.
  4. Acquire an EIN.
  5. Create an operating agreement.
  6. Get the necessary licenses and permits.
  7. Open a business bank account.
  8. Ensure tax compliance.
  9. File annual reports and compliances.
  10. Get legal advice.

So, if you are a foreigner, get assured that you can open an LLC in Florida. However, do you know the process? Now, let’s go to the next section to learn more about the LLC registration process.

Registering a Foreign LLC in Florida

Do you know what a foreign LLC is? In the context of the United States, a foreign LLC is formed in one state or jurisdiction but wants to conduct business in a different state.

On the other hand, the opposite of a foreign LLC is a domestic LLC. An LLC is called domestic in the state where it was initially registered.

So, it means a ‘foreign’ LLC is not said in the sense of being from another country. For example, suppose you want to expand a California LLC to Florida. In that case, it will be considered a ‘foreign’ LLC in Florida. As a result, it will need to go through the foreign registration and qualification process.

To register a foreign LLC in Florida, understand a few points.

  • Before registering a foreign LLC, it must initially be formed in its home state. During that formation, comply with all the laws and regulations of the domestic state.
  • After that, your LLC can conduct business legally in a foreign state.
  • Like every other state, Florida also has its own laws and regulations. Make sure that your foreign LLC adheres to those.

How to Register a Foreign LLC in Florida?

Check out the steps to register a foreign LLC in Florida.

1. Check for Name Availability

Your first step in starting the registration process is checking for name availability. Verify whether the name is free to use for your foreign LLC in Florida.

Again, on the Florida Division of Corporations website, you can see if the name you want for your LLC has already been taken.

2. Designation of a Registered Agent

Your foreign LLC operating in Florida must designate a registered agent. This agent is there to receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

Moreover, the agent can be an individual or a company. But the conditions that an agent must have are shown below:

  • Have a physical address in Florida.
  • Be reachable during business hours.
  • 18+ age.

3. Authentification of Good Standing or Existence

A Certificate of Existence or Good Standing can be used as authentication. Obtain this from your LLC’s home state.

Moreover, the document is proof of your LLC’s validity and good standing in its home jurisdiction.

4. Compile and Submit the Authorization Application

The next step is to prepare and file an application for authorization to transact business in Florida. Please send it to the Division of Corporations in Florida. 

Plus, you can mail them a request or do it online via their website. Besides, the information that is usually needed includes:

  • Name of the foreign LLC and its main office address.
  • The LLC’s formation date and its duration.
  • Name and address of the registered agent in Florida.
  • Signature of a manager, member, or authorized agent.

5. Payment of the Filing Fee

Enclosed is the mandatory filing fee for your application. Always remember that the amount can vary at any time.

Furthermore, to avoid confusion, visit the Florida Division of Corporations website to see the most up-to-date list of fees.

6. Requirements for Publication

LLCs outside Florida must publish a notice of intent in a local newspaper to do business. But this requirement is only sometimes applicable.

However, it depends on which county the LLC’s registered agent is from. Check with the county clerk’s office to see whether your LLC needs to be published or not.

7. Registration of Taxes

This step is right after you receive the Certificate of Authorization from the Florida Division of Corporations. You may need to register for state and local taxes.

Depending on your business activity, the tax can be on sales, employer, or other applicable ones.

8. Preserve Compliance

After the registration is complete, the Florida regulations must be complied with. For example, they pay annual filings and fees or comply with state tax requirements.

9. Open a Business Bank Account

Every LLC owner should have a separate bank account for their LLC business. Open the account using its Florida address.

The benefits you will receive from this step are:

  • Your personal and business finances will be separate.
  • It will help with your tax and regulatory purposes.

Conclusion​

In the end, registering a foreign LLC in Florida is pretty straightforward. All you need is careful planning, proper guidance, and an understanding of the process. 

It does not matter whether you want to open a foreign LLC in Florida or if you are a foreigner who wants to open an LLC in Florida. Both scenarios are possible if you follow the steps we provide. 

Furthermore, get the help of an expert service provider who offers the best LLC service in Florida. So, you may now relax and enjoy foreign LLC benefits.

Key Points

Here are the critical points in our entire discussion:

  • A foreigner can open an LLC in Florida. There is no such requirement to become a US citizen or resident.
  • A foreign LLC is formed in one state or jurisdiction but wants to conduct business in a different state.
  • To register a foreign LLC in Florida, form it initially in its home state.
  • The purpose of foreign registration is to be allowed to conduct business in Florida legally.
  • Foreign Florida LLC registration steps:
    • Check for name availability.
    • Designation of a registered agent.
    • Authentification of good standing or existence.
    • Compile and submit the authorization application.
    • Payment of the filing fee.
    • Requirements for publication.
    • Registration of taxes.
    • Preserve compliance.
    • Open a business bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the Florida LLC registration fee?

The standard fee for LLC registration in Florida is $125, which includes $100 as a filing fee and $25 as a registered agent fee.

Can I register for a Florida foreign corporation registration online?

Yes! You can visit the Sunbiz website, which is the state’s website. Once you visit the site, you will get the form to fill out the details, pay the fees, and submit for registration. It’s similar to opening a business in Florida.

How to start an LLC in Florida for free?

Unfortunately, you cannot start an LLC in Florida for free. You must pay the required fees ($125). However, you can minimize expenses while registering an LLC by filing yourself and avoiding extra costs.

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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