As you begin your business venture, you're faced with several unknowns. One of these are your Articles of incorporation. These Articles must be filed to start your Florida Corporation. They determined your company's name, its purpose, and so much more. This public document will assist others in learning about your business, help the government understand how you function, deal with your taxation, and many other issues.
Let's take a look at what Articles of incorporation are and how you should file them to get your business started today.
Though they may sound like a great deal of paperwork, in truth, it's very little to put together. You'll need your registered corporation name (and any names you've registered that it will go by, including trademarked handles, this does not include taglines) to begin with. Additionally, you'll need your registered agent's address and information. Every corporation must have a registered agent. Essentially, this person acts as a checker for your information and receives information for the corporation, too. Some registered agents may be part of an agency but this is not a requirement.
Your information, or that of the registered agency, must be in line with the ownership information as well. Ideally, it should be your information. However, if you intend to make this an "off the books" sort of company (one you may not want to be linked back to in the future due to whatever career choices or relationships are involved), you can go ahead and use the registered agent.
Please note, a registered agent may charge as little or as much as they desire for their services. There is no state-wide number that is significant enough to quote for this purpose of this article, with cities often costing more than more rural areas. If your nearest registered agent is out of your price range, we recommend shopping around to local, smaller cities and towns in your area. It is very likely that, should more expensive ones in your particular city limits. Per out typical recommendation: ask your city tax office for further information and the exact laws of your city.
Your main place of business must also be listed. If this is your private residence (as such as in case of an author, for instance), you may want to find a "placeholder" address. Some businesses that are single-owner, single-employee that wish to remain anonymous rent storage lockers for this exact reason and simply give the address of the storage locker, using it for all business-related storage. While we don't recommend this since it is toeing a legality line, it is commonly done.
There are a few options when filing, though we most recommend simply mailing your documents in. We realize that this commonly referred to as "snail mail", but it is the most widely accepted method and the easiest to track. Simply attach a tracking number to the documents and they're on their way.
Processing fees may differ slightly based on country. A quick call to your country tax office will tell you if they have any additional fees beyond Florida's state $35 (as of this writing) charge. Processing times vary as well and are directly linked to just how busy the office is at that time. The average wait time, again, as of this writing, is anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. We recommend filing your articles at least 1 month in advance to avoid any delays.
Also, when filling out your Articles of Incorporation, you must list the registered agent’s information, such as their name and physical address. With this in mind, make sure the registered agent is comfortable with this information being public. If not, you may look to enlisting the services of an attorney or formation service to serve in this capacity.
There is an additional $35 fee associated with designating your registered agent. Together with the articles of incorporation fee, your total filing fee will be $70.
This strongly depends on the exact details of your personal business. Those who intend to start a restaurant will require food permits and, possibly, an alcohol license. They may need special permissions for traffic laws (or even have local ones amended), changes for the new facility in terms of zoning, or a wide variety of other work prior to submitting their corporation paperwork.
Though Articles of Incorporation are the easy and fast way to get your business moving, it's likely that they won't be all you need. For example, filing S-Corp Tax election requires an additional form with the IRS. They're the toe in the door of business, the absolute beginning of your corporation as it stands. no matter what business you're building, all LLCs need articles to be finished before they start the rest of their planning or open their doors. Get your Articles of Incorporation in order and the work will soon be yours.