How to Incorporate in Florida | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

How to Incorporate in Florida

February 19, 2021

Choosing your business structure affects a number of things, including your personal liability, tax structure and more. Many business owners decide to incorporate in Miami, FL. While you can do it on your own, it’s wise to work with a corporate attorney. This will ensure that all the paperwork is done properly, and both your business and personal assets will be protected.

Here’s an overview of the incorporation process.

Choose the right type of corporation

First, you need to decide which type of corporation is right for your business:

  • S corporation: This business entity allows the corporate tax returns to pass through to the owners’ personal income taxes. However, it does limit how many shareholders and stock classes you can have.
  • C corporation: This is the “traditional” type of corporation. The business pays its own taxes, but there are no limits to the stock classes you can have.
  • Non-profit corporation: These are for non-profit organizations and charities, where the main goal is not to make a profit.
  • Professional corporations: These are owned by licensed professionals, such as attorneys and doctors. This is a “professional association,” which is denoted by a PA after their names.

The incorporation process

After you’ve chosen the right business structure for your needs, your attorney will help you through the process to incorporate in Florida:

  • Choose a business name: First, you’ll need to choose a business name that’s not already in use within the state. Florida laws require you to use the words or abbreviations “company,” “incorporated,” “corporation,” “inc.,” “co.” or “corp.” in the name. Have a few backup options in the event that your business name is already taken.
  • File articles of incorporation: Your attorney will help you draft the articles of incorporation, which include the corporation’s purpose, name, street address, a registered agent for service of process (they’ll need to provide their name, signature and address) and the name and address of the person incorporation the company. (That’s you, the owner.)
  • Get an Employer Identification Number: Next, you’ll get a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), which will allow you to open bank accounts under your name and hire employees.
  • Apply for all relevant business licenses: You’ll also need to apply for state, county and city business licenses wherever applicable. If you’re unsure about which you need, your attorney can help point you in the right direction.
  • Pay costs and fees related to incorporation: Finally, you must pay the associated fees to incorporate your business. These vary by business type and where you are located. They include fees for the certificate of status, certified copy fees, various reinstatement fees, fees for agent resignations and more. It’s important to work with an attorney here, since many business owners fail to understand exactly which fees they need to pay and when. Failing to pay could jeopardize your incorporation.

Incorporation is a detailed process, which is why working with a corporate lawyer in Miami, FL is a wise decision. For assistance choosing the right corporate structure and incorporating your business in Florida, call Ruben J. Padron, PA today.

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