For business owners planning to form a Florida LLC, partnering with an entity filing service is the easy and affordable way to file.
Let the LLC service handle the paperwork with the Florida Department of State.
We tested 19 LLC services and ranked them based on features, client privacy, package pricing, customer service and BBB reviews.
Continue reading to discover the top-tier LLC services for your Florida business.
Best LLC Services in Florida
Best Florida LLC Formation Services
Although LLC formation services can be a great help, not all LLC formation services will be the same.
Some are better due to price differences, extras (or exclusions), and overall quality. You don’t have the time to sort through all of them.
We’ve done all the legwork for you and compared top LLC formation services. We have included important factors, such as cost and ongoing fees.
1. Northwest Registered Agent (Best LLC Service for Privacy)
My top pick for LLC formation service in Florida is Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest provides business formations and registered agent services. Northwest has been providing LLC formation services for over 20 years.
They are known for exceptional customer service and are the industry leader in registered agent services.
Florida LLC formations with Northwest are discounted for our readers, just $39, and you also get a year of free registered agent service.
This keeps your start-up costs low. Northwest is our top choice, and it’s an LLC service that puts customer service above all else.
Northwest RA Pros and Cons
#2 Incfile (Best Budget LLC Service)
Incfile is another LLC service that has been in business for nearly 20 years. can be a great choice if you are concerned about start-up costs.
They offer free Florida LLC filing and registered agent services for the first year. A “free LLC” may be good for some, but Incfile needs to make money somehow.
This can be done by upselling needed features at a lofty price.
If privacy is important to you, Northwest emphasizes customer privacy more than any other LLC service I know.
Incfile may not have as many bonus features as its competitors. Still, they offer all the essentials for an additional fee: filing an EIN and registering a DBA, filing annual reports, and others.
Incfile Pros and Cons
#3 ZenBusiness (Best New LLC Service)
Thanks to competitive technology and a dedication to affordability, ZenBusiness has one of the most affordable LLC services available.
Formations start at $0 plus the state fee. ZenBusiness provides Florida registered agent services at an additional cost of $199/yr.
You can choose the Pro package ($199 annually) for a flat annual fee to get business formation, and an operating agreement template.
ZenBusiness Pros and Cons
#4 LegalZoom (Best for Ongoing Legal Services)
LegalZoom is a great way to get involved with a well-known brand.
LegalZoom was founded in 2001 and has grown to offer hundreds of services. LegalZoom is more expensive than the other Florida LLC services listed in this guide.
LegalZoom is not the only option if you need a complete legal service. Rocket Lawyer is another option for LLC services and online legal services.
LegalZoom gets pricey after the add-ons.
LegalZoom Pros and Cons
Florida Business Tips
Forming an LLC in Florida involves several key steps and considerations. To begin, you must complete the necessary paperwork and filings to form an LLC in Florida.
Conducting a thorough Florida LLC name search is crucial to ensure that your desired business name is available and meets the state’s requirements and get your Florida entity name registered. Additionally, drafting a Florida LLC operating agreement is essential as it outlines the internal management structure and operational guidelines for your LLC.
While you have the option to be your own registered agent in Florida, many entrepreneurs opt to enlist the services of professional registered agents for their expertise and convenience. The length of time it takes to get an LLC in Florida can vary depending on various factors such as processing times and the complexity of your application.
Alongside the formation process, you’ll need to obtain a Florida Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which is necessary for tax purposes. To streamline the process and ensure compliance, it is advisable to seek the assistance of the top-rated LLC services in Florida and the best registered agents in Florida, who can guide you through the process and handle the necessary documentation.
Moreover, it’s essential to consider any required business licenses in Florida specific to your industry and location. Understanding the associated costs to form an LLC in Florida is crucial, as it includes filing fees and potentially additional expenses based on the services you require.
If you need information on getting a Florida resale certificate, we have that.
Lastly, if you ever need to change your Florida registered agent or dissolve an LLC in Florida, it’s important to follow the state’s dissolution procedures to conclude your business operations effectively.
I have a personal story to tell
In 2008 I started a business and hired an attorney to do the LLC formation paperwork. I thought it would be complicated.
I paid $600 plus a $50 state fee to the lawyer in his office. The lawyer got on his computer, entered my name, and some basic information, and then printed out several pieces of paper and said “sign here and here”.
The whole process took about 10 minutes for $600. That same lawyer today probably charges $900 for these 10 minutes of work.
After that, I have only worked with online services.
LLC Formation Lawyers in Florida
If your business is particularly complex, or if you don’t mind spending $100s of dollars more and want the peace of mind that comes with having an experienced business attorney to form your business entity, you could hire a lawyer instead of a formation service.
Business Attorneys in Florida
As I just mentioned, hiring an attorney is more expensive than using an online LLC service, but you will obtain a level of competence and experience that can only be provided by an attorney.
I evaluated a long list of Florida business attorneys on AVVO’s website to find the most qualified LLC formation lawyers.
Florida Business Attorneys
LLC formation lawyers in Florida from AVVO
- Kelly Roberts
- Yekaterina Mesic
- Darlene Gimble
- David Steinfeld
- Yekaterina Mesic
- Kira Doyle
- Jan Morris
- Dan Sarfati
Tier 2 – Other Florida LLC Services
Swyft Filings was launched in 2012 and are one of the latest services for LLC formation.
Prices start at $0 + state fee. If you need an EIN and LLC operating agreement, the price is $199 + state fee. Swyft Filings charges $199/year for registered agent services.
MyCompanyWorks has a basic LLC service package that costs $79 and includes assistance with Articles of Organization, Operating Agreement assistance, an online portal to store legal documents, compliance alerts, and assistance with registering with the Florida Secretary of State.
They have maintained mostly positive reviews online. You will need to buy their premium package for $279 if you want a Florida registered agent.
Inc Authority, like Incfile, allows you to file your company formation paperwork free of charge, but each offer comes at an additional cost.
Ask the “free LLC” if they plan to sell your private information. I believe the “Free LLC” is a gimmick just to get you in the door. Yes, their filing service is “free” plus the state fee.
You will need to buy their $399 basic package if you require assistance drafting an Operating Agreement or accessing an EIN.
You will also need to buy their premium $799 package if you want to receive express processing.
Tailor Brands is a bit different than the others on my list.
Like their name says, they build brands. Tailor Brands promotes itself as a comprehensive business formation service that provides a complete list of services to entrepreneurs, including compliance and LLC formation, logo design, and branding features.
Tailor Brands offers three formation plans.
Incorporate.com offers a $99 base package that includes very few services, similar to Rocket Lawyer or LegalZoom. They offer an online account and assistance in filing your Articles of Organization, and that’s nothing else.
CorpNet has been in business for over 20 years. They will file the initial LLC documents and provide compliance alerts to maintain good standing with the Secretary of State. All for $79.
MyCorporation is owned and operated by the check printing company Deluxe Corp. Their LLC formation services are like many others on our list.
They charge $133 to prepare your Operating Agreement and process your Articles of Organization. Each additional, comprehensive service comes at an additional cost.
Incorporate Fast offers Florida LLC formation services at a low $99 price. This includes assistance with filing documents, assistance with filing them, and an Operating Agreement template.
They offer “same-day” filings. They will process and file your documents within 24 hours of receipt.
If you can upgrade to their $199 package, you get an EIN.
BizFilings, another Florida LLC service provider, charges $99 for the basic package. This includes assistance in filing your limited liability company formation documents and a year of their registered agent services.
Like each of the LLC services, they have additional features for additional fees.
Similar to LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer offers online legal services. They also offer LLC services such as registering an agent, filing your formation documents, and an online document storage portal.
If you like having access to ongoing legal assistance for a fee, Rocket Lawyer might be a good fit for you.
Active Filings is another LLC formation service, they are based in Dania Beach, Florida. Active Filings has been in business since 2001 but is still a small player in this industry.
According to the company website, they have only four employees.
Direct Incorporation offers the same LLC services that MyCorporation but includes a banking resolution as well as an Employer Identification number. They charge $174 for these services.
If you need an LLC operating agreement, you need to get the next package at $297. They also offer logo design, trademarks, a business website, and email.
InCorp costs $99. plus state fees to file your Articles of Organization. Registered agent services are $129 per year.
Nationwide Incorporators offers basic LLC filing services for $200, and for $475, you get an LLC operating agreement. You get to talk to an attorney. Pricey!
SunDoc Filings has a $79 base package for filing your Articles of Organization. $70 for an EIN and $69 for an LLC operating agreement.
What is a Florida LLC?
A Florida LLC, short for limited liability company, is an entity type that combines the flexibility of a sole proprietorship with the financial protection of personal assets.
That’s not a bad thing. Let’s find out what this means.
You would operate as a sole proprietorship if you started selling handcrafted apparel out of your home. Sole proprietorships are legal entities.
This means that everything the business owns, from fabrics to sewing machines, is owned solely by the proprietor. The proprietor pays all taxes.
If the business is sued or taken to court by a third party, the owner may lose all of his or her personal property to pay the damages.
Business entities, such as LLCs, have personal asset protection. This is because the business itself is considered an independent legal entity.
The business can have assets, open a bank account, and be sued. If the business goes under, members of the company cannot lose their assets.
LLCs aren’t subject to a lot of complex requirements, unlike corporations. This makes it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs who want to keep their filings simple and still protect their assets.
Pros and cons of starting a limited liability company in Florida
An LLC is one of the most common types of entity in America. However, it’s not the right type of entity for everyone.
Only you know your business best and can choose the entity type most appropriate for you. Your vision is clear for the future and your products.
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of LLCs to decide if an LLC is right for your needs.
- It is easier to create and manage than a corporation
- Protection of personal assets
- A flexible tax structure can be paid as a partnership (or a corporation)
- Exclusive use of a business name within a state is prohibited
- No authority can issue stock. Therefore, capital-raising opportunities are limited.
- Some states have higher annual fees and taxes than sole proprietorships or partnerships.
- Some entrepreneurs may not be comfortable with the extra paperwork.
How to set up a Florida LLC on your own
You don’t need to use an LLC formation service such as LegalZoom or ZenBusiness. While these services can be very helpful, you can save money by doing it yourself.
1. Choose a company name
Florida LLCs need a memorable name that can give potential clients an idea of the products or services available. Names should be unique for both legal and business reasons.
2. Appoint a Registered Agent in Florida
As we have mentioned, every LLC requires an agent to accept service of process on its behalf. You can be your own registered agent in most states as long as there is a physical address.
However, we recommend that you appoint another person (an online service) as your agent.
3. File the Articles for Organization
Once completed and filed, this document officially forms your Florida business. Some important information will be required, such as your contact information, business address, signatures of your LLC members, and other details. Florida charges a $45 filing fee.
It’s easy to set up an LLC. However, it is the maintenance requirements that can be a little more difficult.
4. Register and pay taxes
You will need an IRS Employer Identification Number if you have employees. There are also state-specific taxes. Florida has graduated income taxes. Individual rates are between 5% to 6.9%, and corporate rates are between 1% to 6.5%. The Franchise Tax is the largest tax burden. Other taxes, such as sales taxes (6.5%) or miscellaneous taxes, will need to be included.
5. Get permits and licenses
Florida does not have a general business license, but many cities and counties do require one. You might also need to apply in order for an industry license.
6. Create a Florida LLC Operating Agreement
Even single-member LLCs need to create a master document that outlines how the business will function in the future.
7. Get your annual report.
Florida’ annual report is a companion to the annual franchise tax. You will file your Florida annual report with the Department of Finance and Administration and not with the Secretary of State. A minimum tax is $150 per year.
8. Get business insurance
All businesses with employees need to have workers’ compensation insurance. A general business liability policy may be an option.
9. Open a bank account for your business
Register for a bank account in your business name to write checks and make business purchases
Our Selection Methodology for Choosing the Best Florida LLC Services
This is how I found the best LLC service in Florida.
I formed an LLC a few years ago and did a lot of research before doing so. Because I have spent so much time on this subject, I believe I am very capable of finding and recommending the best LLC formation services. I also recommend using a registered agent service rather than being your own.
How did I research and choose the best LLC service in Florida?
My research approach included these four steps to select the best Florida LLC formation service.
Step 1: Reviews
I began by analyzing the reviews of online customers for the top 19 LLC services in Florida.
I spent many nights scrolling through the customer feedback on Trustpilot and Google Business Profiles (among other review websites) to discover which LLC services were new, which seemed questionable, and which were legitimate.
Step 2: Website Analysis
Once I had a good idea of who I could trust, I could go to their websites and see exactly what they offered.
To find out who offered what products or business services, I looked through pricing pages and looked at detailed breakdowns.
Step 3: Talking with real customers
Online customer reviews are only one way to learn. To truly understand the experience of using a service, it is important to talk to the people who use it.
I sought out the opinions of customers who I had recommended to me over the years in order to get a clear understanding of Florida LLC services. I wanted to know how easy the system was, how helpful and polite their support staff is, and how fast they process applications.
This direct feedback from customers helped me to see which promises were fakes and which were legitimate.
Step 4: Talking with their Sales Team
The last step was to talk to their sales team to find out how difficult they were with upsells.
I asked several questions that a first-timer would. Then I waited to see how many times I was encouraged to get additional services.
My Testing and Rating Criteria for Florida LLC Services
While I was completing my investigative analysis, I was constantly evaluating these LLC formation services on the basis of these four aspects.
1: Features and Services
There are many steps involved in starting an LLC. If you have read at least half of the above, you will know this. Fill out and file your Articles of Organization. You will need an EIN to open bank accounts. Choose a premium registered agent in to get an address in Florida. And a lot more.
To ensure you get as many completed projects as possible when you invest your money, I first assessed each LLC formation company on the business and product services they offer.
I checked if they charge extra for a lot of pricey add-ons that are not mentioned at first. I liked the very clear services and upfront with everything. The best value LLC formation services rose to the top.
3: Ease of use
It’s a good idea to sign up for a business formation service that offers a variety of products at a reasonable price without any trouble navigating their system.
I created an account with each Florida LLC formation service and attempted to register my fictional LLC. This was to ensure that all the systems were easy to use and simple to navigate.
4: Customer service
I was not satisfied with my customer service experiences after the recent corporate trend to outsource customer support to unaffiliated phone centers. These representatives know little about the service they are supporting and the laws and regulations that it is subject to.
I did my best to test their customer service teams to determine the quality of their business formation services. I sent them polite questions, called them to inquire about obvious information, and jumped onto their online chat portals. I also complained about inappropriate things. I wanted to know how they dealt with my comments and requests and how fast it took for them to reply.
Conclusion: Florida LLC Formation Services
My investigative analysis resulted in my picking Northwest Registered Agent as the best LLC service for Florida.
What should entrepreneurs in Florida consider when choosing an LLC formation service, particularly in terms of streamlining the process and ensuring compliance with state regulations?
For entrepreneurs aiming to start a business in Florida, choosing the right LLC formation service is a critical step to simplify the process and ensure adherence to state requirements.
The top-rated LLC service in Florida should offer a comprehensive range of professional services that cater to your specific needs, whether you’re a small business owner or looking to scale.
Reading customer reviews is an excellent starting point to gauge the reputation and efficiency of the service. Make sure to look for a service that has various pricing plans offering different LLC packages, which will enable you to select features aligned with your business structure and budget.
Quality LLC formation services will provide legal services tailored to Florida regulations, helping you incorporate as a Limited Liability Company.
They should assist in business registration, filing your Articles of Organization, and handling other company filings required by the state.
A Registered Agent service is often included in their formation package, which is essential for maintaining compliance with state laws. Also, they can guide you through the process of obtaining any necessary business licenses and drafting an Operating Agreement, which is important for corporate governance and legal compliance.
When it comes to federal and state obligations, the service should assist you in obtaining a Business Tax ID (EIN) or Employer Identification Number, essential for federal taxation and for opening a business bank account.
For those comparing Sole Proprietorship vs LLC, these services usually offer business consulting to help you make an informed decision. They may also provide business advisors for in-depth business planning.
Another crucial factor to consider is turnaround time. Opt for an online formation service to expedite the process, as this typically offers quicker document filing and ensures all state filings are in order.
Remember to inquire about filing fees, which are generally separate from the package cost, and can significantly impact your overall expenses.
In summary, the best LLC formation service in Florida should be a one-stop solution for all your needs, from deciding your entity type to filing annual reports. This holistic approach should streamline your business startup process and keep you in good standing with both state and federal authorities.
What should I be looking for when selecting an online service for LLC formation in Florida?
Choosing the right online Business Formation service for establishing an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Florida is a decision that requires thoughtful Due Diligence. Here’s a guide to help you select the best fit for your needs:
Start by ensuring the service offers a qualified Registered Agent who can represent your business for Legal Representation and Service of Process. The agent should be familiar with State Laws specific to Florida and ensure Compliance with all Statutory Requirements.
In terms of Document Filing, the company should provide streamlined processes for Incorporation, Annual Report filing, and getting your Tax ID or EIN Registration. Collaborating with the Secretary of State is essential, and services should ideally offer a Certificate of Good Standing to confirm your business is in good legal standing.
Affordability and Reliability are often key considerations. Check out Customer Reviews, Ratings, and Client Testimonials for insights into the company’s reputation. A user-friendly Online Dashboard with Fast Processing capabilities is also a big plus.
Look for 24/7 Service that can assist you in real-time with Local Expertise. They should also offer a Business Name Search utility to confirm the availability of your desired business name in Florida. Your Business Address is another consideration; some services provide Virtual Office solutions for this.
Operating Agreement templates, Compliance Alerts, and Legal Mail Forwarding are beneficial add-ons. Document Retrieval from a secure Registered Office is vital, especially with a service that offers strong Customer Support.
Be mindful of Filing Fees and always clarify what is included in the package you select. Depending on your business needs, identify the most suitable Entity Type. Additionally, check if they offer Start-up Assistance for businesses that are new to the entrepreneurial landscape.
Business Continuity, Dissolution services, and Renewal Reminders can be very helpful, particularly for businesses that plan to operate long-term. If you plan to expand your business outside Florida, check if the service provides Foreign Qualification assistance.
Last but not least, ensure the service offers Legal Forms, Business Consultation, and Secure Storage options. The flexibility for a Change of Agent in the future is another factor to keep in mind.
By considering these aspects, you are setting a strong foundation for your LLC in Florida and ensuring a smooth process from start to finish.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org