Florida Filing Forms

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Florida LLC Forms & Documents

In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State. This is the document that officially forms your Florida LLC.

Florida LLC Department of State Division of Corporations

(Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations Building)

We will also explain Florida LLC Registered Agent requirements, LLC Annual Reports in Florida, Certified Copies, and Certificate of Status.

Let’s start by going over the Florida Articles of Organization instructions:


Video Transcript:

Articles of Organization. In order to form your LLC, the Articles of Organization must be filed with the Division of Corporations. The Articles of Organization are the LLC “formation documents”, and once approved by the Division they, create your LLC by state statute. Your desired LLC name must be available for use. Please make sure you have watched the Name Research Video in Lesson 1. You will need to provide the State with your Principal Office Address as well as a Mailing Address. It is common that both addresses are the same. You are not allowed to use a PO Box for your Principal Office Address, but you can use a PO Box for your Mailing Address. The Principal Office Address can be considered your “main” business address. You can use the Mailing Address if you would like your business mail sent elsewhere. Again, it is common that both addresses will be the same. Neither of these addresses have to be Florida addresses In Florida, a Registered Agent must be appointed for your LLC. A Registered Agent must have a business address located in the state of Florida. A Registered Agent serves as a point of contact in case legal papers need to be sent to your LLC and the state has been unsuccessful in contacting you or your LLC. Consider it an emergency contact. All business mail and tax-related documents will still be sent to your Mailing Address. A Registered Agent can either be an individual person or an entity (such as an LLC, a Corporation, or another company). Furthermore, a Registered Agent can be yourself or can be someone you know. You must have them agree to be your Registered Agent, as they will need to sign the Articles of Organization. If you do not have a Florida address and you do not know anyone in the state who can act as your LLC’s agent, you can hire the services of a Commercial Registered Agent. Typical annual fees range from $100-130 per year. There is a link below this video to Northwest Registered Agent. They come highly recommended and have been in the business for 15 years. They also provide Registered Agent services in all 50 states. To form your Florida LLC, you will need to send in your Articles of Organization along with your filing fee. The filing fee is $125. The $125 fee must be made payable to “Florida Department of State”. The State will accept check, money order or cashier’s check. Any form of personal or business check is okay, and the address on the check does not have to be in Florida. When filing your Articles of Organization, it is optional to obtain a Certified Copy as well as a Certificate of Status. A Certified Copy is $30 and a Certificate of Status is $5. A Certified Copy of the (Articles of Organization) is a certificate, with a watermark and state seal. It has a copy of the Articles of Organization along with it and states “I certify the attached is a true and correct copy of the Articles of Organization for XYZ LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company” filed on such-and-such date, as shown by records of this office”. A Certificate of Status is also known as a “Certificate of Good Standing”or a “Certificate of Authority” It is a document with a state seal and a watermark, which provides evidence that your LLC has been properly registered with the State of Florida. Many times, when opening a bank account, obtaining business licenses, or dealing with certain institutions, it will be requested of you to provide a Certified Copy of your Articles of Organization and/or your Certificate of Status. If money is an issue, you can simply file the Articles of Organization now and then wait until either document is requested. Both the Certified Copy and the Certificate of Status can be obtained after your initial filing. There are 2 additional videos below this which will walk you through those steps if you choose to wait until after you file your Articles of Organization. Florida requires all LLCs to file what is known as an Annual Report in order to maintain “active status”. The Annual Report is due every year and must be filed between January 1st and May 1st. If your Annual Report is not submitted by May 1st, there is a non-negotiable late fee of $400. Your LLC’s 1st Annual Report will be due between January 1st and May 1st of the calendar year following the year of formation. For example, if your LLC is formed on April 1st, 2010, your 1st Annual Report will be due between January 1st and May 1st of 2011. The purpose of the Annual Report is to keep your business records updated with the Division of Corporations. You are allowed to include changes of membership (such as new members), address changes, etcetera, changes in Registered Agent, and changes of the business and/or Mailing Address. The Annual Report will not allow you to change the name of your LLC. If you wish to change your LLC name, you will need to file what is known as an “Amendment”. Even if there are no changes to your LLC, you are still required to file the Annual Report each year. The Annual Report can only be filed online and the fee is $138.75. Payment options are via debit or credit card. When you file your Articles of Organization, you will use an email address on your Cover Letter. Sometime between January 1st and may 1st, the Division of Corporations will send you a courtesy email reminder to file your Annual Report. We also recommend putting it on your calendar, because even if you don’t receive the reminder, you still need to file your Annual Report. Failure to file your Annual Report will result in the administrative dissolution or revocation of your LLC. Simply put, they will shut down your LLC if you don’t file the Annual Report. Once the Annual Report is filed, you can log into the Division of Corporations’ website and print out a copy. This typically takes 24-48 hours. Some things to have ready prior to filing your Articles of Organization are the address of your LLC, the name and address of your LLC’s Registered Agent. Remember this can be yourself, someone you know, or a Commercial Registered Agent. The only requirement is that their address must be in the State of Florida. And whether or not you would like to order a Certified Copy and or Certificate of Status along with your filing. We will go into details on all the above in just a few minutes. A Letter of Acknowledgement will be mailed to you at no charge once your LLC filing is approved. This is the initial correspondence from the State, telling you that the LLC has been registered and that you may now conduct business as the LLC. Typical turnaround time for LLC approval is 5-10 business days. Until that point, do not order your EIN, register any domain names, or start to use your LLC name until you receive approval from the State. If there are any errors with your filing or if your desired LLC name is not available for use, the State will simply send back your documentation along with instructions on what needs to be corrected. If anything in this presentation sounded confusing, do not worry we will go through the steps in detail. You can download the Articles of Organization below this video. Let’s get started and fill out the Articles of Organization. Here we are inside the Articles of Organization. This is a 5-page document. Pages 1 and 2 have instructions on them. You can read through them if you like, but we’ve already covered this information in this video. Page 3 is the Cover Letter, and page 4 and page 5 are actually pages 1 and 2 of the actual Articles of Organization. Let’s get started and let’s start with the Cover Letter. Please note that this form can be filled out on the computer, or it can be printed and filled out by hand. If you fill it out by hand, please use black ink. Make sure to print the document on white paper that is letter-sized (that’s your standard 8-and-half-by-11). Also, I have a professional version of Adobe Acrobat. You may just have the simple version of Adobe Reader and you may not have as much functionality in order to edit and type inside the document. If that’s the case, again simply print out the document and fill it out by hand. At the top of the Cover Letter, under “Subject”, you’re going to list the name of your LLC. I’m going to be using a sample company for this video. Make sure to include the abbreviation “LLC: or “L . L . C .”. You can see in this sample here, I do not have a comma. Sometimes you’ll see a comma like it would be “ABC Widgets, LLC”. The comma is not required, so you can use one if you like or you can leave it out if you prefer. Next, you’re going to list your name and your address, as well as your email address, your name again, and your phone number. This is simply correspondence information. This is where the documents are going to be sent back to, and this is where the State’s going to call there any questions. I filled in some sample information. You can leave the firm/company field blank, or you can list your existing company name there if you’d like. Let’s scroll down a little bit further. In the next section you’re going to see the Mailing Address. This is where you’re going to send your check or money order along with the Articles of Organization. Above here, you have 4 options: you can simply just pay $125 for the filing fee, you can pay $125 + $5 for the Certificate of Status, you can pay $125 + $30 for the Certified Copy, or you can pay $160 for the filing fee, the Certificate of Status and the Certified Copy. If money’s a little tight, you can just go ahead and pay the $125 filing fee and then you can order the Certificate of Status and the Certified Copy at a later date if you need, or if the 160 dollars is not that much of an issue, we recommend you check out the last box and just get all of them now, and then you have it. If you need it, let’s scroll down to the next page. This is page 4 of the PDF, which is actually page 1 of the Articles of Organization. Under Article 1 (the Name), I’m going to enter the name of the LLC. Under Article 2 (the Address), you’re going to list the Principal Office Address as well as the Mailing Address. You cannot use a PO Box for the Principal Office Address, but you can use a PO Box for the Mailing Address. The Principal Office Address is where the LLC where the business is actually located, and the Mailing Address will be used if you wanted to receive your mail somewhere else. For this example, the Principal Office Address and the Mailing Address are the same. I’m going to fill those in now. Next in Article 3, I’m going to list the name and the address of the Registered Agent. For this example, I’m going to be the Registered Agent for my LLC because I have an address located in Florida. You cannot list the PO Box here for the Registered Agent (it has a physical street address). Again, the Registered Agent can be you, it can be someone you know, or it can be a commercial Registered Agent that you’ve hired such as Northwest Registered Agent. I’m going to fill my information in this box now. 1 other important thing to note is that your LLC cannot be its own Registered Agent. However, any member of the LLC can be, and again for this example I’m going to be the Registered Agent for my LLC. If you decide to use Northwest Registered Agent, you’ll actually need to download the other Articles of Organization that we have below this video, the reason being is that if I scroll down, you’ll notice here that once this document is printed, you need to have the Registered Agent sign. In this case, because I’m going to be the Registered Agent for my LLC, it’s quite simple, and I’m just going to sign here when I print this out. However, if you use a Commercial Registered Agent Company, you’ll need to get this document from them because they’ll have it pre-signed. We have a pre-signed Articles of Organization from Northwest Registered Agent, and you can download that below this video. So again, if it’s you or someone you know, simply print this document, have them sign on this line, or if you’re using a Commercial Registered Agent, you’re going to need to get the document from them 1st. If you’re using Northwest Registered Agent, you can just download the other Articles of Organization below this video. Let’s move on to page 2. In Article 4, you’re going to list the names and addresses of the member or the LLC members. And then to the left, you’re going to abbreviate their title. For the title you’re going to abbreviate “AMBR” for an authorized member. Over 95% of our customers are member-managed LLCs, where the members of the LLC run the business and they have not hired a manager to do so. In your case, you’re mostly going to use this abbreviation. I’ve entered “AMBR” in the box to the left, and then I would just repeat this process for each additional number. For this example, this is just a single-member LLC, but you may have 2-3 members. Make sure to list out all their information here, their names and addresses, and put a MBR on the left under “Title”. Scrolling down, Section 5 (the Effective Date), you can leave this blank. What that means is that this LLC will be effective when it’s received and then approved by the State. 1 small thing to note about the effect of dates: let’s say that you’re forming this LLC in the month of December (and maybe it’s December 15th December, 20th) and you don’t actually need the business open until January of next year, we recommend waiting and just filing a document in January. That way, you don’t owe taxes for 15 days in the prior year, and it avoids any confusion. Under Article 6 (Other Provisions) you can leave that blank. Scrolling down (Required Signature), you’re going to list your name here (you’re going to type or print your name), and then after you print this document out, you’re going to sign here on this line. Remember, this document does not need to be notarized: you’re simply going to print it out, sign, and send this along with your check or money order made payable to the State, and you can find the address where to send that to within your Articles of Organization, or you can find that information below this video. And that concludes this Lesson.

Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your LLC in Florida:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

Downloads

Articles of Organization – Regular (PDF)
(use this document if you or someone you know will be your LLC’s Registered Agent)

Articles of Organization – NWRA (PDF)
(use this document if you hired Northwest Registered Agent as your LLC’s Registered Agent)

If you are hiring a different Commercial Registered Agent (other than Northwest Registered Agent), you need to obtain their signature on your Articles of Organization before filing with the State.

Filing Fee

$125 (unless additional documentation is ordered)

Accepted Forms of Payment

Check or Money Order

Make Payable To

“Florida Department of State”

Filing Instructions

Mail Articles of Organization with your check or money order made payable to the “Florida Department of State” to:

Registration Section
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314

State Contact Info

850-245-6051
http://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/

Northwest Registered Agent

If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent in Florida, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. They have excellent customer service and their yearly fee is $125.


Video Transcript:

In this video I’m going to show you how to signup and register for Northwest Registered Agent. There’s a link below this video that will take you to their website. Once you’re there, in the upper right hand corner, it says order online and there’s a drop-down menu. Let’s go ahead and select Registered Agent service. And let’s scroll down on the page. We have a four-step process. In the first field you’re going to enter your desired LLC name and then in the drop-down select LLC. I’m going to enter ABC Widgets LLC as my example company. And don’t worry if you end up switching your name; you can change it in the system later. It’s not that important. Then we’re gonna hit next step. It says are we changing Registered Agent. In my case is no. Underneath States I’m going to select the state in which you’re forming your LLC. For this example, I’m going to choose Pennsylvania. Next, it says would you like your attorney notified at the same time we notify you if you get sued. If you don’t have an attorney, you can leave it on. If you do have an attorney, you can go ahead and fill in their email address. Once that’s complete click next step. On the next page, you’re going to enter your name your, your phone number, your email address, your mailing address, and then click on final step. On the next page at the top, it’s going to ask if you’d like to sign up for one year, two years, or three years. One year is going to be on by default. If you’d like to save a little bit of money, you can go ahead and sign up for two years, or three years if you’d like. Once you have that in place you’re going to enter the password. When you log into your account at Northwest Registered Agent, you’re going to use the email address that you end on the last page, and you going to use this password, so make sure you say this in an important place. Next, under payment information, you’re going to select pay with a credit card. You’re going to enter your name, your credit card number, expiration date, billing address, and then at the bottom go ahead and click the finalized button. In this case it says yeah I’m done. It’s now going to redirect you and it’s going to process your payment. And on the next page, you’ll see a thank you message. It says all the state forms are under the filing resources. In your case you’re not going to need any of the state forms as we have them all in our course. They’re here as well if you do need them. We will click over there in just a second to get their address. If you happen to be changing your Registered Agent from an existing company, there are instructions here, and there are forms in the filing resources. Next, there’s some important email addresses to make sure that you add to your address book or you white list them as it’s called in your email, just to make sure they don’t go to spam. And these emails are very important because if you ever get Service of Process or if you ever sued, you definitely wanna make sure you get notified of that, so make sure you say these email addresses. There’s a nice thank you message down here. Once you agree to this page, you can go ahead and click on filing resources. One thing to note in the back end here, we are at www.llcagent.com. That’s different than the existing site that we’ve been on. If you need assistance at any time, go ahead and go to www.NorthwestRegisteredAgent.com. And you can always find their phone number on the page, or you can click on the contact button. Let’s go back to our back-end tab here, under the LLC agent, and under filing resources, here’s the most important information I need right now. It is the name. Make sure you double check in the state that you’re forming, in this case Northwest Registered Agent operates under the name Northwest Registered Agent LLC in the state of Pennsylvania, but in some states they go into the business name Northwest Registered Agent Services Inc., or some other variation. Now that we have their address here, we can continue with their LLC formation documents. This page has additional resources if you do need them. Most of these documents will not apply to you. There’s documents here for corporations. There are documents here for LLC’s, but again, we have all that documentation for you inside the course. But there are some nice additional resources on this page in case you need them. Again, if you have any questions about the process go to www.NorthwestRegisteredAgent.com, give them a call. Great company, great people, they have excellent support. And once you have your address, you can go ahead and continue with the next step, which is going to be completing your LLC formation documents. And that concludes this video.

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Annual Report (to be filed every year)


Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Annual Report Video Lesson. What is an Annual Report? The Annual Report is used to keep your business records updated with the Division of Corporations. An Annual Report must be filed each year for your business to maintain an “active status”. The Annual Report is required each year what do you need to make changes or not. When is the Annual Report due? The report must be filed every year and it is due between January 1st and May 1st. A non-negotiable $400 late fee is imposed if you forget to file your Annual Report by May 1st. If this is your first year filing an Annual Report, Annual Reports are due between January 1st and May 1st of the calendar year following the year of formation. For example, if your LLC was formed on April 1st 2010, your first Annual Report would be due between January 1st and May 1st of 2011. How much does the report cost? If you’re LLC’s Annual Report is filed before May 1st, the fee is $138.75. If you file after May 1st, you will be charged the non-negotiable late fee of $400 and you will end up paying $538.75. Since you have between January 1st and May 1st to file, we recommend filing as early as possible so that you are not late. The Division of Corporations does send out Annual Report reminder notices to the email address you listed when you formed your LLC, but even if you don’t receive the reminder notice it is still your duty to file. We recommend setting a repeating reminder on your phone, email or outlook calendar so that you can be automatically reminded each year. Or when it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions, it’s also time to file your Annual Report. What happens if I don’t file? Failure to file an Annual Report by the 3rd Friday of September will result in the administrative dissolution or revocation of your LLC. Simply put, they will shut down your LLC. LLCs that have been administratively shut down may be reinstated by submitting the proper paperwork and necessary fees. However, the names of these shut-down LLCs will be made publicly available to new businesses after 1 year. Said another way, if you wish to stay in business, don’t forget to file your Annual Report. Can I make changes on the report? Yes, the purpose of the Annual Report is to confirm or update your records with the Division of Corporations. The Annual Report will allow you to: add, delete, or change the names and/or addresses of the LLC members, change the Registered Agent and Registered Agent’s address, change the Principal Office Address and/or Mailing Address and the LLC, and add or change your EIN (Employer Identification Number), also known as your Federal Tax ID Number. The Annual Report will not allow you to change the name of your LLC. If you wish to change the name of your LLC, you must file what is known as an “Amendment”. What are my payment options? Payment may be made online by credit card or debit card. If you are paying with a credit card, you must use a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. If you are paying with a debit card, your debit card needs to have a Visa or MasterCard logo on it. Although credit and debit cards are the easiest, we will also discuss the 3rd option, which is to pay with a check or money order by using a “payment voucher”. How long will it take to process? If you pay using a debit or credit card, your payment and your Annual Report will be processed within 24 hours. If you pay by mail with a “payment voucher” and check or money order, your payment and report will be processed within 3 weeks. How do I sign and get a copy? For the purpose of filing documents online, the typed name of the individual signing the dark is sufficient under Florida law. Electronic signatures have the same legal effect as original signatures. Note: taking someone’s name or signature without their permission constitutes forgery. Once the Annual Report is processed, it will be available for download on www.Sunbiz.org. If you pay with a debit or credit card, again allow 24-48 hours before you can download a copy. If you paid by mail with a check or money order, please allow up to 3 weeks. The online application. Remember, the Annual Report can only be filed online. You can click the link below this video or go to www.Sunbiz.org to access the Annual Report online filing. Let’s move forward to the online filing. The 1st thing you will need to do is go to www.Sunbiz.org. You will first need to find your LLC’s document number. In order to do that, you’re going to scroll down, and on the left, you’re going to click on “Search Our Records”. You’re then going to click underneath the “Corporations, Trademarks, Limited Partnerships, & Limited Liability Companies”. You’re going to click “Inquire by name”. You’re then going to enter the name of your LLC (don’t worry about putting in the letters “LLC”, just enter the 1st part). For this example, I’ve entered “cleaning to perfection janitorial”. I’m now going to click “Search Now”. I’m going to look for my LLC in the list of names, and then once I find it…if you look to the right, you’ll see the document numbers there. You have 2 options: you can either write down that document number, or for a faster way you can click the link, double-click your document number and then right-click and select “Copy”. Once you’ve written that number down or have copied it, then click on “Home”. Underneath “E-filing Services”, go to the 1st option which is “Annual Report Filing”. You’re then either going to fill in, or you can right-click and hit “Paste your LLC’s document number” and then hit “Submit”. If you scroll down, you’ll find the information that was already filled in and associated with your LLC. Let’s start at the top. The 1st thing you’re going to do is enter your EIN number. If you need a Certificate of Status and you haven’t gotten 1 already, you can click this check-box here, agree to pay $5, and your Certificate of Status will be emailed to you. If you’re not sure what a Certificate of Status is, you can watch the video on our website. For this example, I do not need a Certificate of Status. Scrolling down, you will next enter your email address, then re-enter it to make sure there are no typos. And continuing on you’ll see that your Principal Place of Business and your Mailing Address information has been pulled up. If you need to make any changes, this is where you will do so now. If everything looks fine, you can continue on. The next section is the name and address of your Registered Agent. If you need to make changes to your Registered Agent, you can change their name and address here, and then underneath the Registered Agent signature, you’re going to type the name of your Registered Agent. The name you type in this box cannot be the name of a business or a company. It needs to be of an individual who represents that company, or it could be somebody you know, or it could be yourself if you are your LLC’s Registered Agent. Make sure you have the consent of the Registered Agent before typing their name in the box. In the next section below, you’ll see the title, the name and the address of the LLC’s members. If you need to add or remove any of the members of the LLC, you can do so now. If everything looks good, you can scroll down to the bottom where you’re going to enter your title, and you’re going to be entering your name which in essence you’re signing this document, and then you’re going to click “Continue”. I’m going to enter “MGRM”, and I’m going to enter my name and then click “Continue”. On the next page, it says “Please review the filing for accuracy”. If you need to make any changes, hit the back button, go and click “Okay”. I’m now going to scroll down, make sure that my email, my address, the address of the Registered Agent and the names and addresses of all the members is correct, and then I’m going to click “Continue”. On the next page, you’ll have the option to select a credit card payment or a cheque payment by mail. For our example, the LLC I’m using did not file their Annual Report before May 1st, so you can see that their amount due is $538.75. Again, if you file a report before May 1st, you won’t have this issue and you will only be paying $138.75. For this option I’m going to select “Credit Card Payment”. You’re then going to enter your credit card information, as well as your billing address and hit “Continue”. On the next page, you’ll receive a confirmation that your payment has been processed. Please print that page as a confirmation for your records. We will now show you how to make a payment by mail if you want to choose that option, and then immediately afterwards we will show you how to access a copy of your Annual Report. If you would like to pay via a check or money order, go to the bottom and click “Check Payment By Mail.” On this page, you’ll receive your payment voucher. Make sure to print this page out, and you will mail this along with your check made payable to “Florida Department of State” for $138.75. At the bottom of your payment voucher will be instructions for the mailing address. Make sure your check or money order is made payable to “Florida Department of State”. Make sure to staple your check in the top left-hand corner of this voucher and then mail it to the Division of Corporations, PO Box 6198, Tallahassee, Florida, 323014. Feel free to pause this video for you to write down that address. The State recommends that you send in your payment along with your payment voucher within 10 business days. Although you can see here, it says this voucher and your check must be received by the Division of Corporations within 30 days, or it will be considered abandoned. This concludes the application process. Let’s now look at how we can obtain a copy of our Annual Report. Once payment is sent…if you paid via a debit or credit card, you will need to wait 24-48 hours before you can download a copy of your Annual Report. If you’ve paid via mail with a check or money order, please allow up to 3 weeks. We will now show you how to download a copy of your Annual Report. The 1st thing you will need to do is go to www.Sunbiz.org. Just like before, we’re going to scroll down on the left and click “Search our Records”. Underneath the 1st option for “Corporations, Trademarks, Limited Partnerships & Limited Liability Companies”, we’re going to click “Inquire by Name”. You will then enter the name of your LLC, and again don’t worry about including the words “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company”. For this example, I’ve entered “John Scott Investments” and I’m now going to click “Search Now”. I’m now going to look for my LLC in the list of results and then click on the link. If you scroll down to the bottom, you will see document images. Underneath document images will be a copy of your Certificate of Organization and all the Annual Reports. I’m then going to click “View image in PDF format”. Then I’m going to click the link in the middle that says “Click here to view your image”. Here is a copy of their Annual Report. I can either print this directly from my browser by going to file-print, or I can also save this as a PDF. If I hover my mouse over the image and towards the bottom, you’ll see there’s an icon that looks like a disk. If you click that, you’ll be able to save the document to your desktop. The Annual Report is now downloaded to my desktop. If you’re unable to download the PDF from the screen, there’s another option. You have go back to the tab where it says “Click here to view your image”, and now instead of clicking the link, I’m going to right-click it I’m going to hit “Save Link As”. I’m on a Mac. If you’re on a PC, you will click “Save Target As”. Once I click “Save Link As”, it’ll bring up a save-screen again and I can save as PDF to my desktop. If you have any issues or questions. If you have specific Annual Report filing questions, please call the Annual Report Section at 850-24 5-6056. If you have any technical questions concerning the online application process or making a payment online, please call the Internet Support Section at 850-245-6939. This concludes the Annual Report video. Don’t forget to file your Annual Report each and every year you remain in business.

The Annual Report needs to be filed every year, and is due between January 1st and May 1st.

If this is your first year filing an annual report, your annual report is due between January 1st and May 1st of the calendar year following the year of formation.

For example: If your LLC was formed on April 1st, 2010, your first annual report would be due between January 1st and May 1st of 2011.

Link: Annual Report Filing (can only be done online)

http://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/

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Certified Copy (optional)


Video Transcript:

If you did not obtain a Certified Copy (which is a certified copy of your Articles of Organization)during your initial LLC filing, this video will walk you through the steps required to obtain one. Many times, when opening a bank account, obtaining business licenses, or dealing with certain institutions, it will be requested of you to provide a Certified Copy. A Certified Copy is a certificate, with a watermark and state seal. It has a copy of the Articles of Organization along with it and states “I certify the attached is a true and correct copy of the Articles of Organization for XYZ, LLC, a Florida Limited Liability Company, filed on such-and-such date, as shown by records of this office.” In order to obtain a Certified Copy, you must mail a request letter into the Certification Department along with with your payment. The fee for a Certified Copy is $30. Your check or money order must be made payable to “Florida Department of State”. Below this video is a document called the “Request for Certified Copy of Articles of Organization”. You can fill this document out on your computer, or you can print it and fill in your details with a pen. Let’s take a closer look at the Request Letter. The Request Letter can be found below this video in both Microsoft Word and PDF format. Again you can either print it out and handwrite, or you can fill it out on your computer, and then when you print it out, all you need to do is sign at the bottom. Here’s what the Request Letter will look like. The top, you’ll fill in today’s date. You’ll fill in the name of your LLC. It says “This letter is to serve as a request for a Certified Copy for the above Florida LLC. I have included my payment of $30. Please return all correspondence to you: you’re going to list your name and your address, then you’re going to include your phone number. The letter states “If you have any questions, you can contact me at the phone number above. Thank you.” You’re going to write your name here, and then you’re to going to sign above your name. Let’s take a look at 1 that was filled out on the computer. In this example, we’ve included the date, the name of the LLC, the address, phone number and name. Again, once you print this out, you’re just going to sign above your name, and then you can move forward. Once you’ve filled out and signed your “Request for Certified Copy of Articles of Organization”, you will mail that document and your $30 fee to Division of Corporations, PO Box 6327, Tallahassee, Florida, 32314, Attention: Certification Department. Feel free to pause this video if you need to write down that address. Again, your check or money order must be made payable to “Florida Department of State”. After the Division of Corporations has received your request, typical turnaround time is 5-7 business days. If you also need to order a Certificate of Status, please watch the video in the next section below. This concludes the request for your Certified Copy.

This step only needs to be completed if you wish to obtain a Certified Copy, and did not request one during the filing of your Articles of Organization.

Downloads

Request for Certified Copy of Articles of Organization (PDF)

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Certificate of Status (optional)


Video Transcript:

If you did not obtain a Certificate of Status during your initial LLC filing, this video will walk you through the steps required to obtain one. Many times, when opening a bank account, obtaining business licenses, or dealing with certain institutions, it will be requested of you to provide a Certificate of Status. A Certificate of Status is also known as a “Certificate of Good Standing” or a “Certificate of Authority”. It is a document with the state seal on a watermark, which provides evidence that you’re LLC has been properly registered with the State of Florida. In order to obtain a Certificate of Status, you must mail a “Request Letter” to the Certification Department along with your payment. The fee for a Certificate of Status is $5. Your check or money order must be made payable to “Florida Department of State”. Below this video is a document called the “Request for Certificate of Status”. You can fill this document out on your computer, or you can print it out and then fill in your details with a pen. Let’s take a closer look at the Request Letter. At the top of the request letter, you’ll fill in today’s date as well as the name of your LLC. It then states this letter is to serve as a request for a Certificate of Status for the above Florida LLC. I have included my payment of $5. You’re then going to list your name and address underneath please return all correspondence to. You’re going to include your phone number, you’re going to write your name, and then after you print this out, we’re going to sign above your name. Let’s take a look at 1 that was filled out on the computer. Here’s 1 that was filled out in Microsoft Word. We’ve included the date, the name of the LLC, the name and address, the phone number, and also wrote the name at the bottom. Again, once you print this out, you’ll just simply sign here and then you can move forward. Once you filled out and signed your request for Certificate of Status, you’ll mail that document and your $5 fee to Division of Corporations, PO Box, 6327, Tallahassee, Florida, 32314. Attention: Certification Department. Feel free to pause this video if you need to write down that address. Again, your check or money order must be made payable to “Florida Department of State”. After the Division of Corporations has received your request, typical turnaround time is 5-7 business days. If you haven’t already ordered a Certified Copy of your Articles of Organization and you need to do so, please watch the video in the prior section above. This concludes the request for your Certificate Status.

This step only needs to be completed if you wish to obtain a Certificate of Status, and did not request one during the filing of your Articles of Organization.

Downloads

Request for Certificate of Status (PDF)

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Next Step

After you mail in the Articles of Organization along with your payment, it will take approximately 5-7 business days for your LLC to be approved.

Once you’ve received back from the state your Welcome Letter (sometimes referred to as your “Letter of Acknowledgment”), you can then proceed to Lesson 3: LLC Operating Agreement.

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at LLC University
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.

12 Comments

  1. Felicia C April 10, 2017

    I am in the beginning stages of opening a bookstore with a business partner. It has been recommended that we go ahead and form an LLC for the bookstore even though we do not anticipate having the bookstore open until January 2020. Is forming an LLC now a good idea?

    Thank you,

    Felicia C.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 18, 2017

      Hi Felicia, apologies for the slow reply. Your comment accidentally went into the spam folder. you can certainly form your LLC now if you’re beginning business activity (aside from opening the store). If there is no business activity yet, you don’t have to form the LLC now, although you can. As a note, depending on your state and local taxes, you may need to file a tax return, even if there is no income or loss (sometimes called an informational return). That is the only con I can think of right now, but it’s not a major con. Again, you can go either way here. Hope that helps.

      reply
  2. Rozi Christy July 21, 2017

    Dear Mr.Horwitz,

    I would like to give thanks for this fantastic video and written directions for filing an LLC. The best part for me is your simple English speaking (I can perfectly understood all of your words). I came from Hungary 10 yrs ago without any English and now I am 59 yrs old. I’m happy to be done with this LLC filing and you saved me $1,500!) I am going to save/bookmark this website.

    Such a miracle mind you have to think of this to help people. Thank you so very much for your help.

    My best wishes,
    Rozi Christy

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz July 23, 2017

      Rozi, thank you for the lovely comment! So happy to hear we could help you form an LLC and save a lot of money too ;)

      reply
  3. Volkan Sonmez February 27, 2018

    Hello.My question is about how to open different business under one llc?Or Should l just open one llc for my business that l will start and if l am going to do different business in the future start one parent llc??Does it cost more opening different businesses under one llc??Thanks

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz February 27, 2018

      Hi Volkan, your filing costs with the state will just be on a per-LLC basis, not a per-business basis. You can have an LLC own other LLCs or you can own the LLCs yourself. There isn’t a “black and white” rule as to which is best, so we’re not able to provide that information. I recommend speaking with a few attorneys to evaluate your situation in more detail and assess how much potential liability there is. Hope that helps.

      reply
  4. Ram March 27, 2018

    Dear thanks for your greats video, I just opened today but I had a mistake in my florida llc name, what I must do?
    Thanks

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz March 27, 2018

      Hi Ram, you’re very welcome! When you say “just opened today”, do you mean you just filed today or you just received your LLC approval? Also, did you file your Articles of Organization by mail or did you file it online?

      reply
  5. Candice April 27, 2018

    I’m interested in forming an LLC and had a couple questions about having a registered agent. 1) Is it possible to file online when one needs the signature of the registered agent or is it best to file by mail when you use a third party company? 2) Do I pay for the registered agent before or after I submit the Articles of Organization? I noticed Northwest Registered Agent asks for the company name, and the Articles of Organization asks for the registered agent. I was slightly confused which should come first. Thank you!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz April 29, 2018

      Hi Candice, 1) Yes, you can file online when hiring a Commercial Registered Agent. Once you sign up with the Registered Agent, they give you consent to check the box in the online filing. 2) This needs to be done before filing the Articles of Organization. 3) Ah, yea, the part about Northwest asking for the name ahead of time… that can be confusing. They just need a name to create the account. You can always change your LLC name with them after the Articles of Organization is filed (if for some reason the name wasn’t available). Hope that helps!

      reply
  6. Esteban May 24, 2018

    Dear Matt, amazing site, really helpful thank you so much. I noticed in the videos you go with manager instead of the AMBR which would be a managing-member, is there any particular reason, advantages/differences?
    Thank you,

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 17, 2018

      Hi Esteban, I just looked over the video again and we used “AMBR” in the example for a Member-Manager LLC. You should use the title that reflects the person’s role in the context of how the LLC is managed. We have more info here: member-managed LLC vs manager-managed LLC. Hope that helps!

      reply

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