How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Florida
This guide will help you find the best registered agent in Florida. We’ll explore key factors to consider, evaluate top providers, and equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your business’s registered agent needs.
What is a Florida registered agent?
The Florida Department of State Division of Corporation explains that a registered agent is an individual or business entity that accepts official documents and important legal documents for an organization. Florida requires all formal businesses to appoint and maintain a registered agent.
The appointed registered agent is required by Florida state law to be available during normal business hours to accept service of process and other important notices.
- Annual report – the due date is May 1 of every year
- Articles of Organization – the limited liability company (LLC) formation documents
- Certificate of Status – required to apply for a business loan and open bank accounts
- Florida corporate income tax – a business is exempt the first year, and the due dates change yearly
An agent gives you a physical address
Registered agents must have a street address to give them a physical presence in Florida.
A small business owner or entrepreneur can choose to use the registered agent’s street address for the business address to prevent the private office address from becoming a public record.
A registered agent works as your point of contact
As the go-between for you and the state of Florida, the appointed registered agent accepts the service of process for a business.
You have 30 days to respond to a lawsuit in Florida, and failure to do so will result in monetary sanctions, and you can be barred from doing business in the state ever again.
An agent sends important reminders
Registered agents that offer business services will send you annual report reminders before the May 1 due date.
The reminders allow you to focus on other important business-related issues. And when it comes time to file, an agent will help you submit the correct forms.
Cost of a registered agent in Florida
You can appoint yourself as your LLC’s registered agent for no charge. Hiring a registered agent service in Florida will cost you between $50 and $500.
You must be at least 18 years of age and have a physical street address in Florida.
You can opt to appoint trusted friends, family members, or employees within an organization as your registered agent if they meet Florida state requirements.
When to appoint a registered agent
According to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations, you must appoint a registered agent when you form a limited liability company (LLC) in Florida.
You provide the registered agent information when you file the Articles of Organization. The Articles of Organization are the formation document for LLCs.
Florida corporations provide the agent’s name and address on the profit articles of incorporation form.
Florida statutes regarding registered agents require all businesses to appoint an agent upon formation.
Other business structures include:
- Sole proprietorships
How does a Florida LLC appoint a registered agent?
You will name the appointed registered agent on the Articles of Organization you submit to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations upon LLC formation.
File the Articles of Organization
You will download and complete the Articles of Organization for Florida limited liability company form and submit it to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations.
The filing fee for the Articles of Organization is $125.
Florida Department of State Corporation Commission
PO Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
Or, you can choose to use the Florida Sunbiz portal to file the Articles of Organization online.
Appoint your Florida registered agent
Article 3 of the Articles of Organization form will ask you for information about the registered agent, including the registered agent’s address and name.
The registered agent you choose must sign the document as consent to the appointment.
Pay Florida filing fees
The Florida state fee for filing Articles of Organization is $125.
You can opt for the 24-hour expedited service for an additional $100.
The cost to file the Articles of Organization in Florida is $125.
How to change your registered agent in Florida
Anytime you change registered agents, or an agent has an address change, you must officially notify the Florida Division of Corporations.
Submit the statement of change of registered office form
You can complete the statement of change of registered office form and submit it to the Florida Division of Corporations.
The form you will download will depend on the business structure.
The business filing fee is $25 for an LLC and $35 for all other business structures. You will file the change form by mail and include the state fee.
The Florida Division of Corporations takes approximately one week to process the Statement of Change of Registered Office form.
Florida does offer expedited same-day processing for an additional fee.
Mailing address for LLCs, L.P.s, and LLPs filings:
Division of Corporations
PO Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Mailing address for nonprofit and corporate filings:
Division of Corporations
PO Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
The new registered agent must consent to the appointment and sign the form.
The cost to change a registered agent in Florida is $25 for an LLC.
Submit the change of registered agent on the annual report
If it’s near the filing date for the Florida annual report (May 1), you can list your new registered agent, and it doesn’t cost anything.
Submit the registered agent switch by amending the Articles of Organization
You can opt to amend your Articles of Organization to list the new registered agent.
How to withdraw consent to act as a registered agent in Florida
You will download and complete the resignation of registered agent form and submit it to the Florida Department of State.
The cover letter and the resignation form will request specific information.
- Business name
- Registered agent name
- Document number
Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Florida
You get important reminders
A registered agent will send you a notification that the Florida annual report or the Florida corporate income tax is due so that you remain in good status or good standing and maintain liability protection.
Noncompliance in Florida can lead to a $400 fine and possible involuntary dissolution.
You get a say in your privacy
Small business owners and new entrepreneurs often work from private offices that can become public records when they appoint themselves as their own registered agent.
You can choose to list the address of your registered agent in Florida Record Search.
The Florida Secretary of State allows the public the search public records by:
- Registered agent
- Document number
- Address & zip code
It provides peace of mind
Process services can turn up expected at your office to serve summons or delivery legal notices.
One of the primary roles of a registered agent is to accept those documents discreetly for your company so that the service of process never catches you off guard.
You work the hours you want
The Florida Department of State mandates that a registered agent be available during regular business hours every business day of the year.
You must be available during those times if you appoint yourself as the registered agent.
Choosing to appoint a registered agent means it is their role to be available so that you can work the schedule that suits your business needs.
You get easy access to the Certificate of Status
The best-registered agent services give you easy and quick access to your LLC’s Certificate of Status and Articles of Organization using a secure online account, which makes applying for business credit cards and loans convenient.
Forming a foreign LLC is simple
You must appoint a registered agent when expanding a Florida business to another state.
When you appoint the best Florida registered agent service appointed already, the agent will provide formation services and customer support that keep the process simple.
How do I register as a registered agent in Florida?
In Florida, you don’t have to do any special registration to become a registered agent. You will list yourself on the Articles of Organization form you submit to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations.
Can I use my home address for my business in Florida?
You can use your home address as your Florida business address. But it’s not recommended for privacy reasons. Your personal address will become public record and searchable using Florida Record Search.
What is the consequence if a business does not have a registered agent in Florida?
The Florida Department of State will shut down a business permanently if they fail to maintain a registered agent.
Find the best registered agent in your state
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