Business Formation
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13 min. read

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Florida?

cost of starting an llc in florida

It costs around $400 to $3,000 depending on the business. The price can increase based on these factors.

The classic saying is true: You have to spend money to make money.

Starting the LLC of your dreams is exciting — and you probably can’t wait to get started. But before you visit SunBiz.org to get started, you should prepare for the costs.

Your total cost depends on a wide range of factors — some of which we'll discuss below. The rough estimate for starting a business in Florida is around $400 to $3,000.

The bare minimum cost of $400 just covers the registration and paperwork required to start a business in Florida. The cost can go up to $3,000 or more depending on the size, industry, ownership and tax structure of your business.

This breakdown explains some of the costs you’ll face before, during and after you register your business in Florida.

Total costs to register an LLC in Florida

This overview shows some of the most common costs associated with starting your business. We’ll go into detail on these related costs below.

Jump to:

If you only pay for what’s technically required — the Florida filing fee, registered agent fee, business tax receipt and annual report fee — then you’ll only pay around $400. If you opt for additional costs, you could invest around $2,500 if you go with the average of some of the varying costs.

If you choose to go with a business registration service, the cost can increase to around $3,000. That price is likely to increase if you hire more employees, spend more time talking to your CPA or attorney, or have a more complicated tax situation.

Costs before you start your Florida LLC

Before you even register your business, there are costs that aren’t necessarily required — but they are a valuable investment. These include costs associated with hiring a CPA and an attorney.

Those aren’t just for big businesses. A CPA and attorney can offer guidance on how to legally structure your business and pick the best LLC tax election.

CPA costs (optional)

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) costs around $200 to $500 per hour.

No business owner is required to hire a CPA at any point. But if you do plan to hire one, the best time is before you start your business. Some of the most important decisions about your business are the ones you make before it’s even formed — like your legal structure and tax classifications.

Working with a CPA can help you understand the importance of those decisions and how they can affect your taxes. For example, you might start a single-member LLC without making any sort of tax election. A CPA might have advised you to make an S corporation election — which could have saved you thousands of dollars in self-employment tax.

 

Attorney costs (optional)

A small business attorney costs around $150 to $350 per hour.

Hiring a small business attorney is a good choice for businesses with more than one owner. An attorney can help you structure your business and draft contracts or related agreements between the owners.

Business partners don’t ever hope for things to turn sour — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan for it if that happens. You’ll want to have everything already figured out if that stressful time does come.

Even if you’re operating your business alone, attorneys can still be useful for figuring out your legal protections and other complicated aspects of your business, like having investors.

Costs to register your Florida LLC

You can either register your LLC yourself or hire a business registration service to do it for you. If you do it yourself, you should consider each individual cost below. If you hire a third party, you’ll pay one fee for them to handle the whole registration process for you.

Florida filing fee (required)

The cost to file your LLC with the state of Florida is $100.

This cost is simply a one-time state processing fee. This cost will cover your Articles of Organization, which are papers that will tell Florida that you’re a business.

Registered agent fee (required)

The cost to appoint a registered agent for your LLC is $25.

A registered agent is a person or entity who receives service of process documents on your behalf. That includes lawsuits, tax notices and other documents that require action from you. If you’d like to change your registered agent during the year, it costs another $25.

Registered agent service (sometimes required)

A registered agent service costs around $100 to $300 per year.

This is a separate cost from the state-required $25 registered agent fee. A registered agent service is an entity you pay on an annual basis to act as your registered agent in multiple states.

To register your business in any state, you need a physical address there — so a registered agent service is sometimes required. A registered agent service is optional if you’re only planning on only doing business in Florida, and hiring people from Florida.

Here are a few popular registered agent services:

Employer Identification Number (required)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) doesn’t cost you anything.

An EIN is just a number that acts like your business’ Social Security Number. You need to apply for an EIN if you want to hire employees, open a business bank account and file your tax return. It’s completely free to create.

If you choose to use a business registration service, they’ll probably apply for you.

You can apply for an EIN here.

 

Fictitious name (optional)

A fictitious name for your business costs $50.

A fictitious name, or DBA (doing business as), is a name for your business separate from your legal name — or like your business’ alias. For example, your business’ legal name might be GL Services, LLC, but you’d rather use Georgie’s Lawn Services in your marketing material or storefront. In that case, you would have to register for a fictitious name.

You can register for a fictitious name at SunBiz.org.

Business registration services (optional)

A business registration service costs around $675 to $730.

Instead of applying for an EIN, finding a registered agent service and completing their Articles of Organization themselves, many small business owners opt to hire a third party business registration service to do it for them. This is optional, but it takes the stress out of the process for you and ensures everything is handled correctly.

The most popular services are LegalZoom and ZenBusiness. There are also services like DiMercurio Advisors that offer formation services and personalized advice on how to form your business to help you save on taxes.

Here’s how much they roughly cost, including the Florida filing fee and registered agent service costs:

Costs after registering your Florida LLC

There are still some costs to consider after you’ve filed your Articles of Organization. This is the stage where you’ll probably make the biggest investment on your business.

You may not have to pay some of these costs right away, like your annual report fee and tax return costs. But you should prepare to pay for these within your first year of business.

Annual report fee (required)

Filing your annual report for your Florida LLC is $138.75.

The Florida Annual Report is a simple form you file to tell the state that you’re still an active business, and that your information is correct and up-to-date. The deadline to file it is May 1. That’s important because the late fee is a whopping $400.

 

The form only takes a few minutes to complete — so there’s no reason to subject yourself to that late fee.

Business tax receipt (required)

A business tax receipt costs around $100 to $200.

A business tax receipt is a document you need to operate in any Florida city. Some cities’ receipts are more expensive than others — but they all have one.

The cost can increase depending on what type of business you own. A hotel’s business tax receipt in Orlando, for example, can cost around $600. But for the owner of a restaurant with a handful of employees, it would only cost about $100.

You’ll need to register for one at your city’s website. Here’s a list of every Florida city business website.

Liability insurance (optional)

General liability insurance costs around $20 to $50 per month for one or two employees.

Liability insurance covers a range of damages to your business, excluding employee injuries.

This may seem like something you don’t need right away, but it’s not something you should put off. By the time something bad happens to your business and you find yourself needing it, it might be too late.

You can get liability insurance through an agency or a broker. Rates vary depending on how you sign up and can increase if you have employees.

Workers’ compensation (required if you have employees)

Workers’ comp for employers costs around $50 to $80 per month.

Florida requires workers’ comp for any employer with at least one employee. Workers’ comp exclusively covers employee injuries. General liability insurance basically covers everything else.

The price can vary depending on your industry. Construction companies are probably going to pay more in workers’ comp than marketing agencies.

You may also be able to get workers’ comp through your payroll provider. Gusto allows you to sign up for AP Intego through its platform and ADP Run does the same with its in-house insurance agency. (We recommend small businesses use Gusto for payroll over ADP Run.)

You can get workers’ compensation from an insurance agency or a broker if you don’t get it through your payroll software.

Tax return costs (optional)

It costs around $100 to file your personal and business tax returns with TurboTax. It costs about $1,100 for a CPA to file your personal and business returns.

If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is under $73,000, you have the option to file your tax return for free using IRS Free File. However as a business owner, claiming deductions and credits can get complicated, so it’s best to have an expert handle it for you.

Using TurboTax is typically less expensive than using a CPA to file your taxes. However, TurboTax is best for traditional W-2 employees — not business owners. A CPA is more likely to maximize your savings by getting to know you and your business.

Bookkeeper costs (optional)

A bookkeeper from an accounting firm costs around $200 to $300 per month.

 

You don’t necessarily need a bookkeeper right away, but you still need to do your books. However, having a good bookkeeper (or being your own) can help you save a lot of time in the long run by keeping your books clean, handling your sales tax and running financial reports. 

Payroll and accounting software (optional)

A payroll software starts at around $40 per month. An accounting software starts at around $30 per month.

Having payroll and accounting software will make your bookkeeping — and your taxes — a whole lot easier. You can do your books and payroll yourself without software, but that can cause a host of problems later on like audits and penalties.

We recommend using Gusto for payroll and Xero for accounting. They do most of the work for you, which leaves you with more time to focus on the parts of your business that you love.

The price of payroll software usually increases with every employee you add, and both types of software can increase if you opt for additional features.

The bottom line

Starting a business takes a lot of effort. It takes some cash, too. It costs at least $400 to start an LLC in Florida — but your investment can go past $3,000 with different additions, like a business registration service, registered agent service and more.

Prices can also vary depending on your size, industry and even your city. You might not get a true reflection of the total cost of registering your LLC until you talk to an expert.

Schedule a free call with a DiMercurio Advisors team member today to take the stress and confusion out of registering your business. You shouldn’t have to cut through all the red tape by yourself.

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