Florida Business Resources
Before You File
Before you file formation documents with the Florida Division of Corporations, there are a few issues you might want to address first.
Naming Your Florida Company
One of the earliest steps in forming a Florida business is deciding upon the name of your company. Florida state law requires that your business name be distinguishable from other entity names already registered with the Division of Corporations.
To check on the availability of entity names, you can do a Florida business entity name search on the Division of Corporations website. It is highly recommended that every entrepreneur do this before they file formation documents.
Here’s the problem you want to avoid: if you file documents to form a Florida business and the name you submit is already in existence, your filing will be rejected. The DOC considers this your mistake, so it won’t refund your filing fee. You will have to refile and pay the fee again.
Can I Reserve a Business Name?
No. You cannot reserve entity names in Florida. However, this has an upside. It means that if you conduct a search on the DOC website and there is no record of your name, you should be good. In some states, where reservations are possible, the online record might not reflect a reservation, which can result in a kind of “false-positive” with an online record search.
Sunbiz E-File Account
Most Florida companies will not need a Sunbiz E-File Account. The account is designed for corporations and LLCs that have ongoing filings with the Division of Corporations. It is not for one-time filers.
A Sunbiz E-File Account allows you to pay for filings in advance out of a deposit account kept with the DOC. You must deposit money into the account, and then fees are withdrawn from this total.
After you set up the account, you will pay for filings in advance and then fax all filings straight to the DOC. For filings that cannot be submitted online, this process greatly speeds up processing times.
Florida Business Filings
|Type of Filing||Document||Fee|
|LLC Formation||Articles of Organization||$125|
|LLC Amendment||Articles of Amendment||$25|
|Foreign LLC Qualification||Application for Authorization||$125|
|Corporation Formation||Articles of Incorporation||$70|
|Corporation Amendment||Articles of Amendment||$35|
|Foreign Corp Registration||Application for Authorization||$70|
If you hire Sunshine Corporate Filings LLC to be your registered agent service in Florida, all of the proper business filing forms will be accessible in your online account. Our forms are pre-filled and pre-signed, making it simpler and easier for you to file documents.
Your account also comes pre-loaded with easy to understand filing instructions for each document. This enables you to handle all your own filings, should you feel like preparing and filing forms yourself. You can also simply add our Florida business filing service from your account for any document you want us to prepare and file for you.
Most of the major Florida business filings can be handled online (except foreign registrations, which must be done with a paper filing).
After You File
Employer Identification Number
Not every Florida business entity must apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), but if you do, you must do so through the Internal Revenue Service.
If you incorporate in Florida, your corporation is required to obtain an EIN. Every corporation in America is required by the IRS to file a federal tax return.
If you have a Florida LLC and you have employees, you will need an EIN. If you do not have employees, you may not need one.
Check our EIN page for more information about determining if you need an EIN for your Florida business.
Florida Business Licenses
Certain professions in Florida are required to get a special business license. Other businesses are regulated by the State of Florida and also require unique licensing.
If your business requires a special Florida business license, then you will need to contact the particular licensing agency specific to your industry and inquire about what must be submitted in order to obtain a license.
An S-Corp Election is done with the Internal Revenue Service. Making an S-Corp Election does not actually change the entity structure of your business. If you own a Florida LLC and elect to be taxed by the IRS as an S-Corp, your company is still an LLC. But for tax purposes, the IRS will treat your business as an S-Corp.
An S-Corp Election is done purely for tax reasons. There are advantages and disadvantages to S-Corps, and you should weigh out whether or not this is the best move for your Florida company.
A Florida S-Corp Election can be reversed, but only upon the following year after you have made the election.
Converting a Florida Entity
It is possible to convert your Florida business entity. You can change a Florida LLC into a Florida corporation, and vice versa. The process is not difficult, although it requires filing a bit of paperwork.
In order to process a Florida entity conversion, you will need to submit Articles/Certificate of Conversion along with the proper formation document.
Entity conversion cannot be filed online.
If you are expanding your business internationally, you will need a Florida apostille from the Department of State. An apostille is a certified copy of your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation. The apostille is an official document that acknowledges that your company exists in Florida and is currently in good standing.
You would submit a Florida apostille to the foreign government office in the country where you are registering to do business.
Dissolve Your Company
If you are closing up shop and want to dissolve your business, you can file paperwork with the Division of Corporations to do so. You should officially dissolve a Florida LLC or dissolve a Florida corporation in order to avoid any unwanted fees or penalties.