Doing Business in Florida
Well known as an ideal vacation (or meeting!) destination, Florida also enjoys a good reputation for doing business. It is relatively inexpensive to incorporate in Florida and there are no complicated compliance requirements. Document retrieval in Florida is quite user friendly; you can easily pull copies of past filings online. However, privacy is more of an issue than say in Delaware: Florida companies list the principal business address (which can be anywhere in the world) as well as member and manager information online. At least one manager or member plus the principal business address must be listed in the company formation documents.
LLC formation is growing disproportionately higher in Florida compared to other states, most likely for two reasons. Florida is especially convenient for internationals, as it is known as the Gateway to Latin America. Furthermore, creating an LLC to purchase real estate gives the owner accelerated depreciating opportunities and allows them to avoid estate tax. Purchasing a first or second home in Florida? Consider creating an LLC!
Annual fees are $138.75 per year and can be filed online. Remember though that if you are doing business in another state, you will probably need to register there. Please be sure to consult with your attorney or tax professional before choosing to incorporate in a state other than your home state, or the state in which you primarily do business.