Did you know that anyone can form a limited liability company in Florida, including people not residing in the US? But don’t rejoice just yet, because the process and requirements for non-US LLCs are different from the typical LLC filings.
We understand that it may confuse new business owners, so our trade experts curated this step-by-step guide in incorporating a Florida LLC for non-residents.
Benefits of Forming an LLC in Florida
If you register your business as a limited liability company, the state of Florida automatically subjects you to pass-through taxation. Because of this policy, your company won’t have to pay corporate taxes.
Instead, tax obligations are passed through the LLC members’ income tax returns. The fact that you can avoid double taxation is why entrepreneurs line up to register an LLC in Florida.
You may not know, but Florida is one of the best states with a thriving economy. Given its attractively low taxes and few state requirements, it’s not surprising why its business climate continues to improve, resulting in the state’s high GDP.
So if you’re looking into expanding in the US market, our business experts urge you to put the Sunshine State on top of your list.
How to Form a Florida LLC for Non-US Residents
Step #1: File Your Business Name
Naming your LLC is a no-brainer when launching a business. However, legally incorporating a non-resident company name isn’t as easy as it seems.
When you file your company trade name, you must ensure that it’s unique and not similar to other existing businesses in Florida. Our team suggests checking out the Florida Division of Corporations website to check if the name you want to file for your LLC is still available.
Step #2: Get a Registered Agent
Part of incorporating a Florida LLC for non-residents is getting a registered agent. It’s a logical option for you, assuming that you don’t have a physical address in the state.
Every legal entity in Florida must have a listed address within the state where important documents and notices from the government must be delivered. So unlike local LLCs, we suggest hiring reliable registered agent services to represent your company.
Step #3: File the Articles of Organization
You can’t be recognized as an LLC in Florida without submitting your articles of organization. This incorporation document includes the details about your business like trade name, registered agent, and many more.
If you don’t have spare time to file, our business specialists urge you to do your filings online for easier and faster processing.
Step #4: Apply for an EIN
Obtaining an EIN for a non-US resident LLC is different from typical LLCs. Nevertheless, it’s a requirement you can’t skip because it’s used for tax purposes.
You must fill up a form called Form SS-4 and send it to the IRS. The good news is you can apply for this requirement online.
Step #5: Follow Business Permit Requirements in the State
Another reason Florida is sought-after by entrepreneurs is that it doesn’t require obtaining business licenses to operate within the state. However, they do regulate permits on certain business activities.
Step #6: Write an Operating Agreement
Operating agreements aren’t one of the documents you have to submit to the state, but it helps to have it when you launch an LLC. The main reason for this is because it has the exact rules and regulations the owners can look back to when making crucial management decisions.
Step #7: Open a US Bank Account
Opening a local bank account as a non-US resident is as difficult as it sounds. If you want to make this process simple, the best way we could recommend is flying to the country. You must also ensure that you have all legal documents for your business to avoid delays.
Florida Annual Report
Maintaining a Florida LLC requires filing yearly reports to the state. You must submit this document within January 1 to May 1 window duration on the following year of your registration.
Florida Non-US Resident LLC vs. Non-US Resident Corporation
The glaring difference between LLCs and Corporations is the tax regulations. As we mentioned, LLCs are subjected to pass-through taxation. Because of this, profits are not directly affected. On the other hand, corporations must pay corporate tax for any profit or income it generates.
How do you choose a registered agent service?
You must check on the company’s industry experience before deciding to avail of their registered agent service. Check how many customers they have already served over the years to see how familiar they are with the job. On top of that, keep a keen eye on the coverage of their services.
It’s common to bump into hurdles when incorporating a Florida LLC for non-residents. However, nothing’s too complicated as long as you submit all the requirements to the right destinations. If you ask our trade experts, maintaining an LLC is still the hardest cookie in this process. So don’t forget to focus on your state compliance.