If you’re forming a business for the first time, it’s critical that you look at the pros and cons of each type of corporate structure. One of the options you’ll likely want to investigate is a Florida Corporation. Below, you’ll find a brief look into the process of creating a Florida Corporation.
Filing a Florida Corporation
Business owners could find it in their best interest to register as a Florida Corporation. That’s because a Florida Corporation could offer tax benefits while also helping an entity gain credibility from its customers. New business owners should make sure that they are diligent when submitting paperwork during the filing process.
Steps To Filing a Florida Corporation
Choose A Name
The first thing that those looking to form a business must do is choose a name for their new entity. The state of Florida requires the name to have an indicator in the name, such as, “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company,” or an appropriate abbreviation, such as “Inc.” Additionally, owners will want to make sure the name that they choose is not already in use by another entity. To prevent this from happening, prospective owners can use the DoMyLLC Name Availability Check Page.
Choose An Agent For Service Of Process
After choosing a name, new business owners can then select a registered agent. The registered agent accepts legal correspondence on behalf of the company. Their role can be integral to a company’s success, which is why many elect to hire a professional third-party company, such as DoMyLLC.
File Articles Of Incorporation & Pay Filing Fees
After choosing a name and registered agent, incorporators will want to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations. There is a $70 fee to submit this form as well as a $8.75 fee to get a certified copy of the filing. Owners will need to include the following information on the form:
- The name of the company
- The principal street address
- The purpose for which the corporation is organized
- Number of shares of stock
- Name, title, and address of initial officers and directors
- Information about the registered agent
- Name and address of the incorporator
- Effective date
- Signature of registered agent
- Signature of incorporator
File Initial Report
The state of Florida does not require a Corporation to submit an Initial Report. However, if the organization plans to conduct business in another state, Initial Reports could be necessary.
Create Corporate Bylaws, Appoint Directors And Hold Meetings
Once authorized to do business, members should hold an initial corporate meeting. In attendance at this meeting should be the initial directors who were listed on Articles of Incorporation. These directors will serve in this capacity on the board until the next annual meeting of shareholders, where directors are up for election.
Once the board is in place, directors can draft corporate bylaws, elect officers, and define the role of all business members. The Corporation cannot exist or operate until the board of directors have adopted a set of bylaws. Bylaws serve as the internal operating manual for the company. Although they are not made public, many banks and insurers require bylaws to work with a Corporation.
A Florida Corporation will also need to issue stock. Directors can begin this process at the initial corporate meeting, as the board will need to authorize the issuance of stock. Directors are the the ones responsible for issuing stock during the life cycle of the Corporation. The amount of stock they can issue is defined in the Articles of Incorporation. The company will need to maintain records of such transactions in its stock ledger. This will protect the corporate veil and provide transparency for future investors.
Obtain Employer Identification Number
It’s imperative that a Florida Corporation obtains an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. This number is necessary to file taxes and to hire employees. Many banks also require the number to open a business banking account.
File Florida Required Annual Reports
The Florida Corporation will also need to file an annual report between January 1 and May 1 each year. There is a $150 fee due when submitting this report. Business members can learn more at our Florida Annual Report page.
There are additional annual requirements besides the Annual Report. The Florida Corporation must also file taxes and renew all licenses and permits. This must occur at the local, state, and federal level.
How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process
At DoMyLLC, we understand that many first-time business owners are not familiar with the administrative proceedings of forming a business. That’s why we seek to simplify and streamline the process. Our services include:
- Name availability check
- Prepare Articles of Incorporation
- File Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of Florida’s office
- Provide sample bylaws, meeting notices and minutes for meetings
- Dedicated account manager
- Unlimited customer support
No matter where you are in the process of forming a Florida Corporation, we are here for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.