What is Sunbiz?
Sunbiz is an online directory for companies operating within the state of Florida. It is managed by the Division of Corporations within the Florida department of state. Its main functions are to legally recognize Floridian businesses that register or file for recognition and to provide the public information and verifications of a company’s registration or filing. In order for an entity to be legitimately and legally recognized by the state of Florida they must file or register themselves on sunbiz.org. A business can either file electronically through the sunbiz website or they can print and mail the respective forms needed for registering their business. Once a business has been filed on sunbiz, they are required to file an annual report to sunbiz. This is required in order to avoid an individual’s business from being labeled inactive and even dissolved.
Forming a Profit or Non-Profit Corporation
To create a profit or non-profit corporation you must file a “Profit Articles of Incorporation” form or “Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation” form to sunbiz. The minimum cost of filing a new Florida corporation is $70. You have the option when filing your corporation to request a “Certified Copy” and “Certificate of Status”, each at a cost of $8.75.
Filing an Annual Report for a Corporation
Once you form your corporation you will have to file an annual report in order to prove that the corporation is still active. The cost to file an annual report for a Profit Corporation is $150 and the cost to file an annual report for a Non-Profit corporation is $61.25. Profit Corporations must file their annual reports before May 1st or they are subject to a $400 penalty for not filing their report before the deadline. Thus, if the annual report is received after May 1st you must pay $550 Non-Profits are not subject to this penalty as the May 1st deadline does not apply to them. If you wish to change certain aspects of an annual report you have already filed for a profit corporation, you must pay an additional $61.25.
Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation)
To create an LLC you must file an “Articles of Organization” form to sunbiz. The minimum cost of filing a new Florida LLC is $125 You have the option when filing your LLC to request a “Certified Copy” and “Certificate of Status” at a price of $30 and $5 respectively.
If you want a partnership LLC, we highly suggest you look at creating an operating agreement. To find out more click here.
Filing an Annual Report for an LLC
Much like corporations, sunbiz requires LLC’s to file an annual report to prove that they are still active. Filing an annual report for LLCs cost a total of $138.75. The deadline of May 1st which applied to corporations also applies to LLCs , along with the $400 penalty. This means that if you file your LLCs annual report after May 1st , the total cost of your annual report will be $538.75. If you wish to change things within the annual report you have already submitted then you must pay an additional fee of $50.
Figuring out which legal structure is right for your business is an incredibly important decision to make. Without proper knowledge of corporate structures you may find yourself making decisions that will have immense consequences on the future of your business. We recommend that you seek legal counsel whenever you feel uncertain about which legal structure could be right for your business.
PereGonza The Attorneys can offer a free consultation and give you insight on what the best course of action for what your specific case may be. Fill out our personal intake form for more information.