Do I Need A Lawyer To Set Up An LLC In Florida?

Setting up an LLC? Read how to set up one by yourself and the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a lawyer to get your LLC in Florida. 

How LLC’s operate in Florida

A Limited Liability Company is a legally recognised entity. The major advantage of forming an LLC is that it provides private asset protection should the business have a legal claim against it. In Florida, unlike in some other states, single-member LLC’s (where one person owns the business) are allowed. Read more information on how to start an LLC in the state of Florida.

  • It should be noted that having a lawyer assist you with forming your LLC is not a legal requirement. 

You can get an LLC in Florida by setting it up on your own or hiring a lawyer

Setting up an LLC on your own

The five steps to get you your LLC in Florida:

  1. Create a name for your LLC
  2. Pick a registered agent
  3. File the Florida Articles of Organization
  4. Set out an operating agreement
  5. Get an EIN

Create a name for your LLC

Your company name needs to follow the naming requirements set out:

  • Include either “Limited Liability Company” or at the least the abbreviation “LLC” in your name.
  • Words that can be mistook for government agencies (e.g. FBI/ Treasury) are not permitted.
  • Other words that are limited for use (e.g. bank) may require additional paperwork and/or a licenced professional to join your LLC. 

Pick a registered agent 

You can hire a registered agent service or the person can be from within your company, but they must be a full time resident of Florida. They will assist your LLC with notice of lawsuits, filing taxes and official communication with the government. 

File the Florida Articles of Organization

You are required to file a legal document called, “The Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporation” to register correctly. This can be done by snail mail, in person or conveniently online. 

Set out an operating agreement

This is not a legal requirement, but an idea worth considering. The operating agreement will dictate the terms of ownership and operation of the LLC to prevent conflict in the future. 

Get an Employment Identification Number (EIN)

This number will identify your business entity and it is required when reporting the business’s tax. It also will allow you to apply for a business bank account and hire employees.

Hiring a lawyer

If this sounds too time-consuming for you, or you would feel more comfortable with legal assistance, hiring a lawyer may be the best option. The main disadvantage with hiring a lawyer is the costly legal fees (especially for a start-up). 

Advantages of hiring a lawyer

  1. Strategic business advice: If you are undecided about whether or not an LLC is the right business structure for you or if there are complicated issues within your business that need professional guidance. 
  2. Properly drafted contracts: Assistance with drafting a standard contract for your business will provide your company with strong legal footing from the start. 
  3. Intellectual Property is protected: This can be from getting trademark protection for your company’s name to more complex issues such as getting a patent for a new technology. 
  4. Hiring and managing employees guidance: A lawyer’s assistance is advisable for hiring employees as your company needs to comply with legal regulations regarding labour laws etc.

Setting up an LLC in Florida by yourself is not difficult. The process is kept simple and quick with five steps. However, while hiring a lawyer may be costly, it may save you a lot more in the long run. Having the proper legal advice sets your business on the right track to avoid any unpredicted issues later. The many ways in which legal assistance can help your business is why many small businesses and individuals choose this route.