How to Incorporate a Business in Florida (FL)

Florida has become one of the most desirable states in the country in which to conduct business. The State consistently leads the nation in new business incorporation. With one of the largest supplies of business parks, an advantageous business tax system, transportation availability, 14 foreign trade zones, an abundance of electrical power, and a large population of skilled human resources, Florida provides everything that a business requires to function.

There are three ways to incorporate your business in Florida:
  1. Hire a lawyer to do the job for you (the most expensive option)
  2. Walk in to the State Department office and do it by yourself
  3. Use a professional incorporation company, like Active Filings.
When you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in Florida, you’ll receive everything you need to track and maintain your company, including free expedited service, one year of registered agent service, and instant access to your online account where you can add additional services, track orders, maintenance requirements and digital notifications.
However, whatever method you choose, the section below will provide you the basic information you need to know about FL filings.

If you want to form a FL Limited Liability Company (LLC) instead, please click here

FL Articles of Incorporation Requirements

The Articles of Incorporation is the formation document you file with the Florida Secretary of State to register your corporation with the state (LLCs file Articles of Organization). In Florida, you can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, fax, online or in person (it will take the SOS 1 to 2 days to process your filing if you file online). If you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, we are authorized to file online with the state, and we’ll form your LLC or corporation in 1 business day.
To complete your Florida Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to include the following information:
  • Company Name
    The name must contain the word “corporation”, “company” or “incorporated” or an abbreviation. The name may not contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for purposes other than that permitted by Florida law or the articles of incorporation. The name must be such as will distinguish it from another corporation formed in the state.
  • Company Purpose
    List the reason for forming the corporation or the business/activity which the corporation will engage in.
  • Authorized Shares
    List the number of shares of corporate stock you are currently authorizing. Technically, this is when you “create” your stock (more can always be authorized later), and that stock will be issued to your shareholders at your first shareholder meeting.
  • Registered Agent Information
    In Florida, a registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is an individual or business that serves as your company’s official point of contact for lawsuits and legal notices. As part of Active Filings’ incorporation service, we include a year of registered agent service when you hire us to incorporate your business in Florida.
  • Names and Addresses of the Incorporators
    The incorporator is the person or company authorized to form the corporation. For example, if you hired us, we would list ourselves as the incorporator. The incorporator does not have any stake in or claim to the corporation being formed.

Directors Information

Minimum Number – One or more
Residence Requirements – No provision.
Age Requirements – A natural person, age 18 years or older.
Directors are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Officers Information

The officers are not required to be listed in the articles of incorporation.

Stock Information

An increase in shares or par value does not cause an increase in initial filing fees.

Corporate Records

Corporate records must be kept; however, they are not required to be stored at a specific location.

Taxes and Fees

FL Annual Statements

All businesses are required to file a Uniform Business Report. The annual filing fee is $150. Reports are due January 1 and become delinquent if not filed by May 1.

FL Franchise Tax Rate

Florida imposes a franchise tax on foreign and domestic corporations for the privilege of doing business in Florida. The tax rate is 5.5% of net income. The first $5,000 of net income for the year is exempt.

FL S Corporation

S Corporation status is recognized by the State of Florida. Further, Florida does not have a personal income tax; thus shareholders would not be taxed on corporate earnings. A separate state election from the federal election is not required.

For more information about taxes, please visit the Florida Department of Revenues at http://www.state.fl.us/dor/

License Requirements

Florida requires some businesses to obtain a license and pay a fee if you are operating in the state. Active Filings can research about your licensing requirements based on your activity and place of business.

More information about incorporating in Florida:


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