The cost of starting an LLC in Florida

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Creating a limited liability company, or LLC, in Florida means incurring several fees, and it’s important to know specific costs before registering your business.

Here’s a close look at what’s required.

Cost before registering your Florida LLC

Unlike most states, Florida doesn’t offer name qualms before LLC registration. Instead, you can register what’s known as a “fictitious” name for your LLC.

If you don’t necessarily want to start your LLC under your legal name, you can do business under a different name, also known as a “doing business as” (DBA ) name. You must register and file your DBA name with the Florida Division of Corporations. There is a $50 filing fee, and the name is valid for five years.

Expenses of registering Your Florida LLC

To form an LLC, most states require you to draft and file articles of organization. The article of the organization is a document that officially establishes your LLC by laying out basic information about your business. You can file your articles of organization with the Florida Division of Corporations for $100.All LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or entity authorized to receive service of process and other official legal documents and notices on behalf of your LLC. You may have the owner or an employee serve as your registered agent, but keep in mind this individual has to be available at all times to receive documents. Many LLCs opt to hire a third-party registered agent service. The cost can range anywhere between $50 to $500 annually.

Florida has a mandatory registration fee of $25 regardless of whether you use an in-house or outside service for an agent.

Fees to register a foreign LLC in Florida

If you have an LLC registered in another state and have plans to expand your business in Florida, you will have to pay to register as a foreign LLC. The cost to register is $125.

Prices for annual reports

To maintain active status, Florida LLCs must file an annual report. The first report is due in the year following formation. Yearly reports must be filed online between January 1st and May 1st, and the fee is $138.75. If you file an annual report after May 1, a $400 late fee is added to the filing fee.

Florida LLC tax

Federal taxations

The IRS treats LLCs as pass-through entities, so federal taxes are not owed. If, however, an LLC elects to be treated as a corporation, federal income taxes are due.

State taxes

Florida is a tax-friendly state and doesn’t charge a state income tax on LLCs. If your LLC has employees, you will pay state employment taxes. In addition, if you sell a product you may collect and pay a sales tax. The sales tax rate is 6% in Florida.

Other potential fees

Business permits/licenses

Depending on the nature of your business and geographical location, you may be required to obtain permits and licenses at the local or state level

Changing a registered agent

If you decide to change your registered agent, it will cost $25.

Filing amendments

Most amendments—for example, a change to the articles of organization—cost $25.

Certificate of Status

There is a $5 fee for a Certificate of Status—also called a certificate of good standing in some other states—which is a written verification that your LLC is currently authorized to do business in Florida

Obtaining copies of documentation

Sometimes it is necessary to obtain official copies of documents of business filings. Some banks might require a certified copy of your articles of organization. The certified copies cost $30.

Certificate of conversion fee

If you decide to convert your LLC to a corporation, the fee is $25, plus any applicable new entity filing fees.