Choosing a business structure

Out of the most popular states for incorporation and LLC formation, Florida is still one of the top states. With the fourth largest population in the United States, Florida has a business community that is thriving. Some of the top companies in the United States, including Office Depot and Fidelity have headquarters in Florida. Florida is also the home of many small businesses, especially in the tourism, restaurant and retail industries.

Step 1 > Research your reasons for incorporating.

There are some other legal structures that you may want to consider such as a Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Partnership. All have pros and cons when it comes to taxes, liability, sharing the profits and losses of the business.

Sole proprietorship - A sole proprietorship is maintained and run by a single person, and there is no legal separation between the business and the individual. As a result, the profits, losses, and debts are your responsibility. A sole proprietorship is fairly easy to set up and you will maintain full control over your business.

Partnership - This is a business that is owned or shared between two or more people. Partnerships are set up via an agreement between the partners and each individual partner may be held liable for his or her share of profits, loss and liabilities. However, each partner is usually determined to be liable for the debts of the partnership if the other partner does not pay his or her portion. A partnership may be the best option if you need someone that has skills that you don't have.

Limited liability company (LLC) - LLC owners pay taxes on their share of profits (as outlined via a business agreement) through their individual income tax returns and must pay self employment tax. They are protected from personal liability for the decisions that they make and the company's actions.

Corporation - A corporation (also known as a C corporation) is a legal entity structure that is owned by shareholders. This means that the corporation itself, not the shareholders that are the owners of the corporation, is legally responsible for the actions of the business and its associated debts.

Corporations are the most complex business structures because they tend to have administrative fees that are costly and complex tax and legal requirements. Because of these issues, corporations are typically suggested for businesses that are more established and larger that have many employees.

S-Corporation - An S corporation is a special type of corporation that is set up via an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (both corporation and shareholders) by opting to be treated as an S corporation.

If you are not sure which type of business entity is the right option for your business, you should get in touch with one of our experts.

Step 2  > Select a business name. 

A DBA (Doing Business As) is required whenever you do business under a name that is another name than your own. If your business does business using a different name, than you will need to register this name as a DBA. You should review the records of the Florida Department of State via in order to determine if your business name is similar or not to an existing corporation.

Step 3 > Register with the IRS and obtain a tax ID number.

Corporations submit taxes separately from their owners at a corporate tax rate. Your personal income will also be subject to taxation when the company pays out a dividend or makes a distribution to you. We can help you to figure out the taxes for both your corporation and personal returns.

You can register online to obtain a tax ID number request a EIN.

Florida Corporation Requirements: Important Contact Information 

Department of State: 
Phone: (850) 245‐6500  

Department of Revenue: 
Phone: (800) 352‐3671  

Income Tax Filing Deadline: March 15th

Annual Report:

Every year the Annual Report must be submitted to the Secretary of State by the due date given below. The report will help the State to maintain up-to-date records on the business. We can help with any questions that you might have about this report. However, you are ultimately responsible for completing and filing the report every year.

Due Date: May 1st 
Cost: $150 
Online: E-File

Florida Tax Registration:
The Florida tax registration is used to sign up with the Florida Department of Revenue to register and submit payments for business taxes. It is also used to obtain a seller's permit and authorization for the collection of sales tax.

Online: Registration
Paper: Registration PDF Download

Sales Tax Return:
A sales tax return is the form that is used to remit sales tax to the state and must be completed even if no sales are made. You must only collect sales tax from sales to customers that reside in Florida. The state of Florida will determine your filing frequency and the due dates of your returns after you file your tax registration.

Online: Form

The paper copies of sales tax forms will be sent to you after you have completed the Florida Tax Registration process.

Business License:
Your locality may require you to obtain a business license in order to conduct business. Please check with the City and County to verify requirements.

The information provided may change. Your state, county or city may also have other requirements that are not listed above.

Florida LLC 
Business License, Incorporation

Florida is one of the top states for LLC formation and incorporation. With the fourth largest population in the United States, Florida maintains a thriving business community. Some of the top companies in the United States, including Publix Super Markets and Tech Data, maintain their headquarters in the state of Florida. This state is also home to many small businesses, mainly in the tourism, mining and agricultural industries.

Business Licenses 

Forming a Corporation in Florida 

When you make the decision to incorporate your business in Florida, you must make sure that you submit the right documents to the state of Florida. Whether you plan to establish a for-profit or nonprofit business, Florida incorporation requires many documents, including your articles of incorporation.

Sole proprietors and entrepreneurs that would like to incorporate in Florida easily can depend on our services in order to complete the steps that are required. Our services ensure that the proper forms are filled out and that the fees will be paid to the proper government office.

Using a Florida Incorporation Service

Using a Florida incorporation service allows you to focus on setting up and running your business instead of worrying about all of the paperwork that is involved. Entrepreneurs are often focused on launching their businesses, rather than focusing on administrative tasks that are required by the state and federal governments.

Our firm has many years of experience in setting up corporations and other types of business entities in the state of Florida. Our service can allow you to start your business quickly by streamlining the process of incorporation. We can allow you to incorporate in Florida over the internet by ensuring that the right documents have been completed and submitted to the government.

Costs of Incorporating in Florida

Florida charges a base fee of $70, which may include filing fees and the cost of registered agent designation. The actual cost of incorporating in Florida, however, can depend your specific circumstances, including where you are located and the type of corporation that you would like to set up. Some other fees must also be paid to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. Some of the common corporation fees include:

Certified copy fee: $8.75 
Certificate of Status: $8.75 
Foreign name renewal: $87.50 
Reinstatement for a nonprofit: $175 
Reinstatement for a profit corporation: $600 
Resignation of registered agent for an active corporation: $87.50 
Resignation of registered agent for an inactive corporation: $35

Many companies that opt to complete the incorporation process without assistance go on to later find that they have failed to pay important fees. This can prevent their progress. We include of the state fees in our service packages, which can prevent worries about whether all of the appropriate fees have been paid in full. Instead, our company will handle all of these details so that you can start enjoying the benefits of a Florida corporation as quickly as possible. We also provide Florida Registered Agent services in order to ensure that you are forwarded all of the official and legal documents for your business.

Certificate of Incorporation in Florida

In the state of Florida, the Department of State's Division of Corporations issues each certificate of incorporation. However, while some Florida incorporation forms can be found on the Department of State's website, many sole proprietors and entrepreneurs find it difficult to identify the right forms. For example, the website may also include additional information that likely does not pertain to your type of business or organization.

We have performed the process of obtaining incorporation for Florida businesses may times. We can look up existing business names, notarize or fill out forms, and submit important articles to the right office without getting lost in the information on the website that is irrelevant.

Incorporating in Florida: FAQs 

How to Incorporate in Florida 

There are several steps required for incorporating in Florida. Review this basic checklist in order to find out more about the steps for your business:

  • Select an organization name according to Florida's rules. 
  • File your organization's articles of incorporation with the Department of State. 
  • Hold a meeting to write your organization's bylaws. 
  • Request a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. 
  • Open a bank account in the corporation's name. 
  • Obtain all necessary licenses from the state, city, and county. 

Articles of Incorporation for Florida Nonprofit Organizations 

A nonprofit's articles of incorporation must include several key pieces of information, including the organization's: 

  • Statement of purpose describing what the corporation intends to accomplish 
  • Names and addresses of the corporation's directors 
  • Legal address of the corporation 
  • Name and address of the corporation's registered agent 

By completing the articles of incorporation and registering with the IRS as a nonprofit, you can lower the tax burden for your organization. You may also qualify for grants and other types of financial assistance that for-profit companies do not have access to. By utilizing our comprehensive services, you might be able to determine your eligibility for specific benefits that you would be otherwise undiscovered had you filed on your own.

If you're ready to incorporate, call 727-345-7790 today for a free consultation.