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Incorporating in the State of Florida Essay

The office of the Secretary of State of Florida, specifically its Division of Corporations, handles matters involving corporations. In other words, those who want to register their businesses (whether it’s a profit or a non-profit corporation or a limited liability company) in Florida should contact this office which is located at the Department of State of Florida in Tallahasee at R.A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough Street. Aside from being required to register with the Division of Corporations, an entity desiring to incorporate a business in Florida is also sometimes asked to register with the Department of Business of the local county government where the business will be located and will operate. (Florida Department of State, 2007)

The first step in the process of incorporating involves the search for the name of the corporation. In deciding on a name, the organizers should choose a name that past corporations in Florida have not yet used or is not being used by any current Florida corporation. This is a policy which has been designed to prevent unscrupulous individuals from deceiving the public. In cases where the planned corporation would have the words “bank”, “trustee”, or “trust” in its name, the approval of the

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Superintendent of Banks of the state of Florida should be obtained. (Florida-Corporations-Online.com, 2006)

The name should also correctly identify the kind of entity being organized by attaching the words “Corporation” or “Incorporation” or their abbreviations “Corp.” and “Inc.” if the business is a corporation and the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” if the business is such. Moreover, the language of the chosen name should not imply that it is connected with any government agency, state or federal, or that it is “chartered under the laws of the United States.” (MyNewCompany.com, n.d.)

After choosing the corporate name, the organizers should have their papers approved by the Division of Corporations of the State of Florida. A corporation should file for approval its “Articles of Incorporation” while a limited liability company (LLC) should be filing its “Articles of Organization.” Once approved, the company starts its official existence in the state of Florida. The organizers could now start creating the “Bylaws” (for corporations) and the “Operating Agreement” (for LLC’s) which would serve as their “instruction manual” or the manual of procedures. (MyNewCompany.com, n.d.)

Then an “Organizational Meeting” should be held according to the provisions of their bylaws or operating agreement, where the organizers would choose the members of their Board of Directors. The directors in turn, should elect the officers of the corporation who will be tasked to manage the day to day operations of the company. (Florida-Corporations-Online.com, 2006)

The next step would be to acquire the company’s “Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or “Federal Tax Identification Number” which serves to identify the company. The new company should also open its bank account to facilitate its operations. Finally, the new corporation or limited liability company should obtain its “local business license” from either the city or the county where it will conduct its business. (MyNewCompany.com, n.d.)

The fees involved in registering a corporation (whether profit or non-profit) consist of a filing fee of $35 and another $35 for its registered agent for a total of $70. For a LLC, the filing fee is $100 and the registered agent fee is $25 for a total of $125. Aside from corporations and limited liability companies, limited partnerships and general partnerships could also be formed in Florida. (Florida Department of State, 2007) Before the practice was discontinued, anybody could reserve a name for his or her company for 120 days by merely paying a reservation fee of $35. This option was already abolished by the Florida legislature, however. (Florida Incorporators, Inc., n.d.)

Information regarding incorporating businesses in Florida is readily available online. In fact there are many online service and consulting firms engaged in helping people attend to this problem for a reasonable fee.

References

Florida-Corporations-Online.com. (2006). What are the steps involved for incorporating in

            Florida? Retrieved October 13, 2007 from

            http://www.florida-corporations-online.com/incorporating-in-florida.html

Florida Department of State. Division of Corporations. (2007). Retrieved October 13, 2007

            from http://www.sunbiz.org/register.html

Florida Incorporators, Inc. (n.d.). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Retrieved October 13,

            2007 from http://www.flacorps.com/FAQs.htm

MyNewCompany.com. (n.d.). How to Incorporate in Florida. Retrieved October 13, 2007

            from http://www.mynewcompany.com/incorporate_florida.htm

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