How Long Does it Take to Get an LLC in Florida (2024 Guide)


A Limited Liability Company can be a great investment. It’s quite a popular business entity choice because it can be quick to form an LLC, it costs less for a business owner to form an LLC than other entity types, and in comparison to other entity types an LLC is far easier to maintain. 

Plus, if you’re concerned about personal asset protection, then an LLC is the right choice for you. They’re also massively beneficial to business owners because you have the ability to raise money through investors for your company, and LLCs enjoy a lot of tax benefits. 

And while that’s all great, how long does it take to get an LLC in Florida? 

We’ll discuss the LLC formation process, and formation time frames in this guide, so by the end of it you’ll have all the information you need!

Discovering Florida

Florida is home to some unique natural ecosystems, like the Everglades. The whole state is a peninsula, which is a fancy word for “it’s surrounded by water on most of its sides”. It has hills in some areas, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and islands along the coastal plains, swamps and marshes in the Everglades, and then there’s the Florida Keys. This is what’s called an archipelago, which is a group of tiny islands, and in this case there’s more than 1,700 with 42 bridges and a causeway to connect them. Some of the state’s natural resources are oranges, fish, sugarcane, phosphate (an important ingredient in fertilizer) and petroleum. With that much natural diversity, it’s easy to imagine the type of business diversity that exists in the state, as well.

Economic Overview of Florida

One of the things you need to know before you start a business in the state is what Florida’s economy is like, so here’s an overview of the economy in Florida. 

Florida has a Gross State Product or GSP of $1.1 trillion and that’s grown at a rate of 25.4k% over the past 5 years. The sectors that contribute the most to the GSP in Florida are Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Healthcare and Social Assistance, Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade. The industries that earn the most revenue in the state are Professional Employer Organizations, Wireless Telecommunications Carriers, New Car Dealers, Hospitals and Health & Medical Insurance.

And the companies that employ the most people in the state of Florida are Walmart, Walt Disney Co,, Home Depot, Inc. and the Miami Dade County Government.

Business Environment in Florida

Before you set up shop in Florida, it’s also important to know about the business environment in the state, so here’s everything you need to know about the business environment in the Sunshine State. 

According to Usnews’s ranking of the best states, Florida places #7 in terms of economy, and #12 when it comes to the business environment. Their infrastructure is great, ranking #14 overall, #22 in energy, #16 in internet access, and #20 in transportation. Only 18% of the state’s roads are in poor condition, in comparison to the national average of 19%. 

Florida has the third-biggest population in the United States, which means there’s a lot of opportunity there in terms of exposure for your new business, and even more when you consider all of the tourists. 

Small businesses are important to the economy in Florida and they make up 98% of the businesses in the state. They also employ around 3.6 million employees, which totals over 41% of Florida’s workforce. 

But when it comes to business owners, Florida can be an ideal place to start a business because it doesn’t have personal income tax, which makes it an excellent place to form a Limited Liability Company. Unemployment insurance is only 2.7% for new employers, and corporate income taxes are 5.5%. Property taxes are generally low, as well. 

Business owners in the state report that it’s not hard to access capital for starting or expanding their Florida businesses, either. There are a lot of venture capitalists and angel investors in the state. This is because a lot of technology and startup companies have moved into Florida, so investors are now seriously considering the state.

State-Specific Regulations and Incentives for Forming an LLC in Florida

Florida offers several resources for new business owners in the state. Here’s a look at some of the resources available to you.

  • Florida SCORE: SCORE has a team of business professionals and experts who volunteer, mentor and provide business owners with advice and guidance when they start or expand their business. It’s all free and volunteer-based. They have several chapters throughout the state. 
  • SBA District Offices: The Florida State Board Administration provides grants and other financing to business owners, in addition to counseling and consultations. If you want to get your hands on a government contract, the SBA is a good place to start, and they’re an important resource if you’re dealing with a natural disaster. 
  • Florida Small Business Development Centers: There are more than 12 different small business development centers scattered across the state to help small businesses. These centers exist to help develop small businesses and aid in their retention in the state by helping them draft business plans, learn the tax system of the state, and things of that nature. 
  • Brownfield Redevelopment Bonus: This is a tax refund created by the legislature to provide an incentive to develop underused and abandoned commercial or industrial properties where development is complicated by things like environmental contamination or pollution. This refund is specifically for businesses in the Brownfield area and the sites are required to have a Brownfield Site Rehabilitation Agreement (BSRA) from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This bonus can pay out up to $2,500 in tax refunds for each new job created by your business.
  • Rural and Urban Job Tax Credits: This is a credit that’s available for qualified businesses that are within certain rural areas, and specific urban areas that create jobs. The credit can be anywhere from $500-$2,000 per employee and you can take the credit against either Sales and Use Tax or Corporate Income Tax. 
  • Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC): This annual credit is designed to attract capital-intensive industries to Florida and help them grow. You can get the credit against corporate income tax for up to 20 years for up to 5% of qualifying capital costs on qualifying projects. These qualifying costs include things like expenses you’ve had to pay for acquiring, installing, equipping and constructing a project, and the total investment cost must be a minimum of $100 million. 
  • High Impact Performance Incentive Grants (HIPI): This is an incentive that is provided to qualifying businesses in certain high-impact sectors. If the applicant is approved, they’ll get 50% of the grant, then the other half once their employment and capital investment goals have been met. 
  • Semiconductor, Space and Defense Sales and Use Tax Exemption: This tax exemption is designed to attract businesses in these industries to the state and provides a tax exemption on sales and use taxes for investments made for machinery and equipment used in research and manufacturing fields. 

Opportunity Zone Program: This is a tax benefit program that the state uses to bring in job creation and economic development in communities that are economically distressed. It was first introduced in the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which also provides LLCs with tax cuts. The program is designed to motivate financial institutions, developers and businesses to invest capital into low-income areas, which are called Qualified Opportunity Zones. These investments must be made through the U.S. Treasury Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds, and the investor must invest more than 90% of their assets in Opportunity Zone properties or businesses. There are 427 Qualified Opportunity Zones in Florida, and they’re in every county.

Pros and Cons of Establishing an LLC in Florida

Here are the benefits of establishing an LLC in the state of Florida. 

  • Low Taxes: There aren’t personal income taxes in Florida, which is great news for a Limited Liability Company or an S-Corporation. Furthermore, unemployment insurance taxes are only 2.7% which means that hiring new employees is a low-cost endeavor, at least as far as taxes are concerned. Corporate income taxes are a low 5.5%. And the state of Florida enjoys low property tax rates. Sales taxes are even an agreeable middle-of-the-road 7.05%. 
  • Access to Capital: Business owners say that it isn’t terribly difficult to get their hands on the necessary capital to start or expand their businesses in Florida. There are lots of venture capitalists and angel investors in the state that have been attracted to the growing tech and startup industries in the state. 
  • Cost of Living: Florida had a minimum wage of $10 in 2021 and that’s going to go up $1 a year until 2026 when it will hit $15. State law doesn’t require your business to pay for severance pay if you have to let someone go, or provide them with sick leave or vacation pay. Even though the cost of living is higher in Florida than in other states, it’s still a more affordable business environment than other states. 

Here are the downsides of forming an LLC in the state of Florida: 

  • Cost of Living: This is a double-edged sword. Yes, you can affordably do business in the state of Florida, and it’s not as expensive as some other states. However, things like housing and transportation costs are still through the roof due to the higher cost of living in the state. 
  • Seasonal Economy: It’s a well-known fact in the business world that business in Florida is seasonal. This is because the weather is so nice in the Spring and Summer, and it draws in all of the tourists to drive the economy, and all of the locals come out to enjoy the weather, as well. But if you’re running a business year-round in Florida, you need to anticipate low-performing months. 

Competitive Labor Market: Florida has a low unemployment rate, which is great for the economy. But the thing about that is that it means you have to compete with other businesses if you want to hire new employees. And big businesses with more money can provide excellent benefits and compensation that are more attractive to potential employees. So, hiring new employees can be difficult.

Procedure of Establishing an LLC in Florida

An important part of understanding LLC formation time frames in Florida is understanding the LLC formation process in the state, so we’ll give you a step-by-step rundown of the formation process as part of our comprehensive guide. 

  1. Get An Articles of Organization Form: This form is used throughout the formation process, and it’s the primary form responsible for the formation of your Limited Liability Company in Florida. It’s easily obtained from the Florida Division of Corporations. 
  2. Decide On a Business Name: This is no simple decision. State laws in Florida require your business to have a completely unique name, which means that no other business in the state can already be using it. It also can’t sound too much like another business’s name. To find out whether you’re legally permitted to use the business name you’ve selected for your LLC, use the business name availability search provided by the Division of Corporations. 
  3. Select A Registered Agent: Your Florida LLC is required by law to have a registered agent, which is someone who will accept official and legal mail, as well as service of process on behalf of your company. You’re allowed to choose someone you trust to fulfill this obligation, as long as they meet the requirements (like having a physical address in the state), or use a professional registered agent service. 
  4. Choose An Address For Your LLC: You’ll also need to decide on a business address for your LLC. Your business address will be listed on public record, and many business owners are uncomfortable with the thought of providing their home address to the general public because it raises significant security and privacy concerns. Some professional registered agent services will allow you to use their address, and you may be allowed to use either a virtual office or virtual address for your business. 
  5. Sign And File Your Company’s Articles Of Organization: The last step you need to complete to form your LLC is signing and filing your company’s Articles of Organization with the Division of Corporations. But before you rush to sign your name on the dotted line, you need to know that signing the document yourself means that your personal information will be listed on the public record. If you don’t want that, then you could ask someone else to sign and file on your behalf, or hire an LLC formation service. 

You’ll have to complete several more tasks to make sure that you set up your new business for success. To learn more about the other LLC activities you need to complete, read How to Start an LLC in Florida.

Necessary Documentation for Filing an LLC in Florida

You can cut down on the time it takes to form an LLC by preparing everything in advance on your end. Here are the documents you’ll need when filing an LLC in Florida. 

  1. Articles of Organization: You’ll of course need this form to form an LLC. Some of the information you’ll need to include on the form are your business name, your business purpose, your business address, your registered agent and their information, your management structure and the duration of your LLC. So, you need to have all of that information figured out before you begin filing your Articles of Organization. 
  2. Operating Agreement: Most states don’t actually require this document by law, but it’s an important document that you need for your business, regardless of government requirements. It’s an agreement between LLC members, and a set of instructions for how your business will operate, all in one document, so it’s important. Things you’ll need to include on your operating agreement include the number of LLC members in your organization, the role of each LLC member and their information, the percentage of ownership of each LLC member, how you’ll distribute profits and losses among members, the voting rights of members, what should happen if an LLC member dies or exits the business, and what should happen when the LLC dissolves. 
  3. EIN: An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is an important tax identification number that you’ll need in order to open a business bank account or hire employees. You can get this number for free from the IRS. 
  4. Initial Report: An initial report is required when filing for an LLC in Florida. This is your first report, and you’ll be required to file one every year after filing. 
  5. Tax Registrations: You’ll need to register your business with the Florida Department of Revenue for sales and other types of taxes. 
  6. Business Licenses: You’re likely to need a state business license, as well as one from the county your business operates in, and maybe even the city. You’ll need professional licenses if you have a professional LLC, and there are licenses for certain regulated business activities, like daycare and food services.

Legal Requirements for Starting an LLC in Florida

In Florida, there are a couple of legal requirements that business owners must meet when they start an LLC. 

Your Limited Liability Company is required to have a registered agent. This is to ensure that your business receives important and urgent information in a timely manner. This means you’re required to either designate a friend, family member or employee, or to hire a professional registered agent service to get the job done. 

Every LLC in Florida is required to file an annual report every year. It costs $138.75, although there are late fees if you don’t file by the deadline. Failure to file an annual report for your company could result in losing your company’s good standing status with the Division of Corporations.

Time Frame for Establishing an LLC in Florida

This part of the guide will answer the question “How long does it take to get an LLC in Florida?”. We’ll give you a breakdown of everything from processing and approval times to common delays and their causes.

How Long Does the Initial Paperwork Take in the State of Florida?

Approval times for mail filings in Florida are between 3-4 weeks. It’s around 5 business days for online filings.

Processing Times in the State of Florida

Processing times aren’t the same as approval times. Processing time is how long it takes the agency to assess your documents and enter all of your information into their computer system, while approval time is the amount of time from the time you submit your paperwork until it’s actually approved. 

Processing times for mail filings are around 12 business days, and around 5 business days for online filings.

Common Delays in the LLC Formation Process in Florida

Of course, choosing the mail filing option can delay your approval times because you're at the mercy of the postal system. There's a reason it's called “snail mail”, so you'll be waiting around for longer than you would have if you chose the online filing option.

Of course, choosing the mail filing option can delay your approval times because you're at the mercy of the postal system. There's a reason it's called “snail mail”, so you'll be waiting around for longer than you would have if you chose the online filing option. 

Choosing a complex business structure can hold things up, as well. If you have tons of LLC members, and complex business operations, then the Division of Corporations not only has to list information for each LLC member in their system, but also go over your Operating Agreement and Articles of Organization to ensure that it’s correct. And that sort of extra work will take extra time. 

If you don’t enter the information correctly on your Articles of Organization form, or you don’t enter all of the correct information, it could mean that your application is denied.

Expedited Processing for LLC Formation in Florida

Expedited processing can rush the LLC formation process considerably. Here’s what you need to know about expedited processing in Florida.

What Are the Expedited Options Available?

The state of Florida unfortunately doesn’t offer any expedited processing options for LLC filings.

Comparing LLC Formation Time Frame with Other States

It's important to consider all the available options when forming an LLC. Here's how Florida's formation time frame compares to other states.

Brief Comparison with Key States

Mail filing processing time in Florida is around 12 days, online filing times are around 5 days, and there aren’t expedited filing options. 

Several states have 1 hour expedited processing times, like West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, Montana and Nevada. And numerous states have immediate online processing. And Ohio and Kentucky have the fastest mail processing times of 1 day. 

Maryland is one of the slowest processing times for expedited, mail and online filings. It takes 7 days for expedited processing, 2 weeks for online processing, and 5-8 weeks for mail processing. 

That means that Florida has an average formation time frame.

Why is Florida a Favorable Place for Forming an LLC?

Florida is a good place to form an LLC because they don’t have personal income taxes, which is a boon for any Limited Liability Company. And, if you can withstand the seasonal nature of business in the Sunshine State, it does have a booming economy with lots of incentives and grants for businesses.

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