Do you want to form a limited liability company (LLC) in the state of Florida? LLCs are an incredibly popular business entity type these days, and there are a few different ways to form one.
You can form an LLC on your own using the DIY method, but that can be quite a bit of hassle, especially if you’ve never done it before. You can hire an attorney to form your LLC, but this option can cost thousands of dollars that many startups don’t have.
This leaves the third option, which is to hire an online LLC service. There are many reliable LLC services available online, but for Florida, there are four that stand out from the pack. Let’s discuss which online business formation service is the right choice for you.
What Is a Florida LLC?
First off, let’s quickly outline what an LLC is. LLCs are formal legal entities that are typically taxed similarly to sole proprietorships and general partnerships, in that the owners include any company profits or losses into their personal returns — the LLC itself does not owe income taxes. An LLC may also elect to be taxed like a corporation, although this is not a very common option.
There are similarities to corporations too, especially when it comes to financial responsibilities. In an LLC, the owners or members are not usually personally accountable for the financial status of the business. This means that if someone sues your LLC, your personal assets are not at risk.
Florida’s formation fees for an LLC are basically in the middle of the road compared to other states. This state charges $125 to form your LLC, which is neither a terribly expensive nor a tremendously affordable price point. Similarly, Florida charges $138.75 for annual reports, which is also nowhere near the highest or lowest prices on a state-by-state basis for this filing.
One area where Florida can help LLC owners save money is on taxes, because this state does not charge personal income tax. This means that if you use the standard pass-through form of LLC taxation in this state, you can save a significant amount of money compared to operating a corporation, which is subject to Florida’s 5.5% state corporate income rate.
The 4 Best Services for Forming a Florida LLC
Zen Business is our top overall pick for nationwide LLC formation service, and they’re an excellent pick for Florida entrepreneurs as well. We love the way ZenBusiness offers so much bang for your buck.
They offer LLC formations starting at just $39, and that price point includes a full year of registered agent service. In addition, they receive spectacular feedback from their clients, with about 2,000 reviews available online, and nearly universal acclaim from their customers.
We also appreciate the fact that ZenBusiness is a public benefit corporation, which indicates to us that they’re focused on more than simply maximizing their profits. They have a partnership with Kiva.org to help lift people out of poverty through financial lending, and ZenBusiness also loans money to help women- and minority-owned businesses get off the ground.
It’s tough to top what ZenBusiness has to offer, no matter what state you’re starting a business in.
Are you interested in receiving the best customer support available in this industry? If so, give Northwest Registered Agent a look. Northwest provides all of its clients with support from their Corporate Guides. These highly trained representatives walk you through each step of the formation process, and you can contact your Guide at any time to ask questions or get advice.
Northwest’s pricing starts at $79, and that rate includes 12 months of their premium registered agent service. While their competitors typically only scan the government documents they’re legally required to scan, Northwest scans all documents they receive on your behalf.
They provide excellent overall value, and they also receive strong reviews from their customers, albeit in a smaller volume of feedback than ZenBusiness has to offer. If you’re looking for more of a premium service, Northwest has a higher price point than ZenBusiness, but in our experience, it’s usually worth the cost.
Who doesn’t like getting things for free? IncFile is one of the only companies we’ve ever heard of that actually offers to form your Florida LLC at absolutely no charge, as long as you pay your own state fee. This is obviously a tremendous bargain, and it gets even better when you realize that IncFile is far from a barebones service.
With IncFile, that free formation package we just discussed actually comes with a free year of registered agent service, just like you’ll get from ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. In addition, they have the best customer feedback reputation in this guide, as they have thousands upon thousands of reviews available online, and nearly all of them are perfect five-star scores.
The only real drawback of IncFile is that their customer support team can sometimes take a bit to get back to you. Still, it’s awfully hard to complain about a company that offers to form your LLC for free, while still throwing in a full year of registered agent.
Legal Zoom is the biggest name in the LLC formation service industry. They’ve been a prominent player in this market for years, and they advertise more than most of their competitors combined. They also serve a very high volume of customers, so there’s no denying that LegalZoom is a popular service.
However, they’re far from our favorite pick. Their pricing is acceptable but uninspiring. Their LLC formation packages are threadbare and lacking value compared to many of their competitors. Their customer reviews are a mixed bag, with plenty of negative reviews balancing out the positive feedback.
If you prioritize using the company with the largest volume of customers or the biggest brand power, LegalZoom is certainly worth a look. For the rest of you, we recommend one of the other services in this guide.
There are several great companies that we recommend for LLC formations in the state of Florida. ZenBusiness has the most well-rounded service available, while Northwest Registered Agent has the best customer support. IncFile will form your Florida LLC for free, and LegalZoom has the experience edge.
We hope this guide helped you hone in on which company is the right choice to form your Florida limited liability company!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Get More Information About Forming LLCs in Florida?
We invite you to take a look at our comprehensive guide to forming a limited liability company in Florida. This article walks you through the LLC formation process in this state step by step, ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial elements.
How Can I Search Florida’s Business Name Database?
One of the most important steps in forming a Florida LLC is choosing a business name. Once you come up with ideas for your name, you should search through the state’s Division of Corporations business name search tool to make sure your desired name is available. For more information on conducting a business name search in Florida, check out our full article on the topic.
Where Can I Find the Florida Articles of Organization?
If you would like to file your Articles of Organization online, you can do so by using the Department of State’s e-filing portal. Alternately, if you would rather print off a paper form and fill it out, you can use this document. All you need to do once you’ve completed it is mail or hand-deliver it to the Department of State.
What Are Florida’s Ongoing LLC Maintenance Requirements?
All LLCs operating in the state of Florida are required to file an annual report, which is due by May 1 of each year. You can file this simple form online through the Division of Corporations website, and there is a fee of $138.75 attached to this filing.
Where Can I Get Information on Licensing for My Florida LLC?
To find out which permits and licenses are applicable to your business, head on over to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation website, where you can find extensive information about licensing requirements in this state.
How Quickly Can Florida Process My LLC Formation?
The Florida Division of Corporations website maintains a real-time document processing time page. At the time of this writing, the state was taking around 3-5 business days to process online filings, or 6-7 business days for a paper filing.