The process to form a limited liability company in Florida consists of filing Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, either by mail, in person, or electronically. Once the Articles of Organization are filed, processed, and accepted, your entity will be considered formed and appear on Sunbiz.org, the state’s official business entity index and commercial activity website.
Formation Processing Times
That process can vary depending on the time of year and other factors that affect the Division’s processing times. Often online processing is quite fast, sometimes as soon as 24 to 48 hours, but at times the filings become backlogged. During early 2022, processing times became as long as three weeks, possibly even longer, with no way to check in on the status of your specific filing. In those instances, hand delivery is much quicker and usually maintains the 24-to-48-hour processing time. Hand delivery can be accomplished using a courier service for those who are not located near the walk-in office, which is at 2415 N. Monroe Street, Suite 810 Tallahassee, Florida. There is a fee associated with using a courier service, but at as low as $50 it is often worth the cost for those who are in urgent need of a new entity to keep a transaction or business plan on track. General processing times are available for review on the Division’s website here.
Getting the Operating Agreement
Is that all you need? No. You need an Operating Agreement between the members (owners) and managers (not necessarily owners) of the LLC. While an Operating Agreement can be oral, this is ill-advised. Instead, a tailored written operating agreement to fit your ownership structure (single-member, multimember, closely-held family company, non-related business partners, etc.) and other needs (e.g. consistent and coordinated with your estate plan and tax planning) protects you in numerous ways.
It is not advised to form an LLC without also finalizing the Operating Agreement at the same time, as it may fall by the wayside until it is needed when a dispute arises. The dispute can involve the owners, managers, or even a third-party creditor. So how long does it take to obtain an Operating Agreement? This can depend on whether you draft one yourself or use an online form without assistance of counsel (not advised as this important aspect of your business can be obtained from most lawyers at a very reasonable price) or whether you hire an attorney. It can also depend upon which attorney or law firm you retain to assist.
How Long Overall?
We are able to complete both entity formation through Articles of Incorporation and a finalized Operating Agreement within 24 to 72 hours in most cases. The main factor will be that the client promptly answer the intake questions completely and accurately. Please contact us for a brief consultation at no charge for more information on timing and any additional questions you may have.