Florida LLC Costs Explained

Written by JD Wallace – CPA, updated on

When you register an LLC in the state of Florida, you’ll face mandatory and optional costs. The compulsory fees include state filing fees for getting Articles of Organizations, registered agent appointment fee, and annual report. On top, you may pay extra for different state services and business licenses/permits.

Mandatory feesCost
State filing fee$100
Registered agent fee$25
Annual report fee (before May 1’st)$138.75
Annual report fee (after May 1’st)$538.75
Optional feesCost
Name reservation fee$20
Fictitious name registration (DBA)$50
Certified copy$30
Certificate of status$5
Business license and permits$100 on average

How much does an LLC cost in Florida?

The baseline cost to register an LLC in Florida is $125. But you’d likely incur extra fees.

Here’s a sample calculation to better illustrate the costs:

Lana plans to open a new food truck business. The name she’s decided on is Lana’s Munchies LLC.

The below calculation details how much Lana and other business owners can expect to pay when forming an LLC in Florida:

  • Name reservation fee (optional, one-time cost) – $25
  • Filing articles of organization and registered agent fee (mandatory, one-time cost) – $125
  • Hiring a registered agent service (optional, annual cost) – $100
  • Fictitious name registration (optional, renew every 5 years) – $50
  • Legal fees (optional, one-time cost) – $1,000
  • Business permit (a lot of industries require one) – $100
  • Annual report – $138.75

If all of this seems overwhelming, there’s always the option to use an LLC formation service.

Breakdown of fees to file an LLC in Florida

To help you understand where the money will go, here’s a detailed overview of all possible costs.

Florida State filing fee: $100

An LLC filing fee is a one-time business registration fee paid upon business incorporation. This is also called filing the articles of organization.

The fee includes a state levy for registration ($100) and a $25 registered agent fee, both of those costs are mandatory.

In Florida, you can apply for LLC registration online or by mail. However, if you want to register an LLC formed outside of Florida with the local authorities, you can only file for foreign LLC formation in person. Otherwise, foreign LLCs are governed by the same compliance and filing requirements as domestic ones.

Registered agent fee in Florida: $25

You’ll have to pay a one-time $25 fee to the government for listing someone as a registered agent. Anyone aged above 18 with a physical address (PO boxes won’t work) can serve as a registered agent.

The problem, however, is that you need to be always available to accept service of process documents in case of some legal calamities.

That’s why many businesses choose to hire a registered agent service which usually costs between $67 to $150 per year.

Can I be my own registered agent in Florida?

Yes. As your own registered agent, you do not have to pay any fees. But the downside is the lack of privacy. Law enforcement or aggressive attorneys would go directly to you if you were to receive a summons or lawsuit.

Another downside is that you need to be available during business hours. If you travel often, this could be an issue. That’s why many small businesses opt for a professional service.

Florida annual report fee: $138.75

The annual report is due by May 1st. If you file your annual report after May 1st, a late fee of $400 is imposed.

If you file on time, the standard fee is $138.75. You can submit a report online. You can also request a certificate of the status report (optional) for a fee of $5. It’s required by some regulatory bodies to prove your business entity is in good standing with the state.

Name reservation fee: $25

A name reservation fee allows business owners to retain the desired business name while working out the legal formalities of business registration. The cost is $25, and this reservation is valid for up to 120 days.

If you have found that perfect LLC name and you do not want to lose it because of associated trademarks or branding benefits, this is a small cost to pay. To reserve an LLC name in Florida, you’ll need to fill out a form containing your name, street address, and the name to be reserved. Then send it to the secretary of state.

Fictitious name registration (DBA): $50

A fictitious name (DBA, doing business as) allows a Florida business to operate under a name separate from its registered business name. It can be beneficial when an LLC has several product lines and wants to use different brand names. There’s an online form to complete, and the cost to register a fictitious name is $50.

Business license and permits: price varies

Different types of businesses, ranging from home inspection services to harbor pilots and private investigation, require a business license.

The two main licensing agencies are:

Both provide comprehensive information on the type of licenses or permits you require and associated costs. The average cost for a business license is $100.

Hiring an attorney to help with company formation can be helpful if you plan to have more than one owner in your LLC or require an air-tight operating agreement. The median hourly rate of a Florida-based attorney is $300/hour.

Do you need an operating agreement in Florida?

No, it’s not mandatory by Florida law. But it’s good to have one.

The operating agreement defines the rules and structure of the LLC. If there’s ever a dispute between owners, the operating agreement is the first reference for attorneys. It can also outline aspects such as member withdrawals, profit allocation, decision-making rules, and so on.

Some banks may also require an operating agreement to open a business bank account.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Florida?

Florida does not impose a state income tax. Meaning if you file your tax returns as single-member LLCs (disregarded entities for tax purposes), partnerships, and S corporations, you don’t have to pay a state-level income tax.

Instead, you only pay federal taxes and file personal returns with the IRS.

However, if you choose to get taxed as a C corporation, you’ll have to pay a 4.458% corporate tax rate (until 12/31/2021) and file form F-1120 with the Florida Department of Revenue. Also, depending on your type of business, you may need to pay a sales tax. The standard rate is 6%.

JD Wallace CPA

Article by:

JD Wallace

CPA

JD Wallace is a licensed CPA in Colorado and Tennessee. He serves as a Partner at Prescient Assurance LLC, which specializes in SOC audits. He also owns a consulting practice specializing in outsourced CFO services, tax planning, and IRS resolution.

Small business tips straight to your inbox

Already running a small business? Get free tips to your inbox.

We respect your privacy. We're GDPR compliant.