Step 1) Select a Name for Your Florida Corporation

Choose a Business NameWhen starting a business in Florida, first select a business that is distinct from any other businesses registered with the Florida Division of Corporations.

In addition, your business name should have ‘Company’, ‘Corporation’, or ‘Incorporated’ in its name. The abbreviations ‘Co.’, ‘Corp.’, or ‘Inc.’ can also be used.

Once a name has been selected, double check for duplicates using the Florida business name search tool found on the Division of Corporations website.  Since the Division of Corporations does not allow for name reservations, wait until you’re ready to get your business up and running before you complete this step.

Step 2) File the Certificate of Incorporation

Register an LLCA Corporation is only legally formed upon the filing of a Certificate of Incorporation to the Florida Division of Corporations. When filing a Corporation in Florida, you must include the following information as these are required in the form:

When incorporating in Florida, you can file online or through postal mail.

Filing fee: $70

Step 3) SeLect a Florida Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentYou cannot legally file a Certificate of Incorporation without the assistance of your Registered Agent. Therefore, it is essential that you select an agent for service of process in order to legally operate as a Corporation.

This Registered Agent in Florida may be an individual or a business entity that will recieve all legal documents sent to your business by the Florida Secretary of State. The Florida Registered Agent should be recognized to operate in Florida and should have a street address.

Instead of painstakingly interviewing and selecting a Registered Agent, consider delegating Rocket Lawyer to find a qualified Registered Agent for your Corporation.

Step 4) Start a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsCreate a Corporate Records Book as your begin your Corporation. This book will act as the record keeper for all pertinent paperwork relevant to your Corporation, which may include: business licenses, permits, and tax paperwork, as well as your Florida Corporation registration documents.

A Corporate Records Book can be bought at your local office store or online through Amazon.

Step 5) Elect an Initial Set of Directors for Your Florida Corporation

Choose the Initial DirectorsAs you start your your business, you must select an initial board of directions to work along side you as you decide upon crucial corporate matters.

Directors will serve on your Florida Corporation’s board until the first annual shareholder’s meeting.  Once the incorporator has elected directors, he or she must excute an Incorporator’s Statement, including the name and address of each director.  This document should be signed and filed into the corporate records book.


Step 6) Organize AN Initial Meeting with Your Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsNow that you have selected your corporation’s initial directors, conduct a meeting with your directors to review relevant information.  This initial meeting is crucial, as your agenda will include the following:

Should the Corporation have an S status, this shall be decided during your initial meeting. Don’t forget to keep minutes of all matters you discuss.  At the conclusion of the meeting, each director of the Corporation should sign the minutes.  Minutes should then be placed in the Corporate Records Book.

Step 7) Take Care of Florida Business Tax Requirements and Corporation Licensing Obligations

Business LicensesAs a sensitive requirement to operating your business and as part of your Florida Corporation maintenance requirements, you need to comply with the following for your business taxes.

  1. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) at the IRS website for free.
  2. Make sure to learn, understand, and follow each requirement of your Florida business taxes.  (Check our Florida Tax Guide for more information).
  3. As mentioned earlier, for an S Corporation status, a Form 2553 S Status Election should be filed separately (voluntary).

For your Florida business licenses, there are several requirements from both the federal and state government that your Corporation may qualify for so make sure to look into these requirements closely. You can use our Florida Business Licenses and Regulations Guide to help you figure these.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountTo avoid any tax, asset, or financial confusion as a Corporation, you should open a separate checking account for your business. This will keep all personal and business assets separate for when it is time to pay your taxes.

From CitiBank to Chase, there are many options for you to choose from. For a quick look at some of our favorites, see this review.


To-Do After Starting a Florida Corporation

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are officially a Florida Corporation. Other than those 8 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful Corporation. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Write a Funding Ready Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA business plan is an internal corporate document that summarizes the mission, goals, and how to achieve those goals.

While it is not filed to the Secretary of State, a business plan brings order and direction to your business. Thus, it increases the likelihood of your business’ growth as it progresses through its day-to-day operations.

This is also an instrumental tool to help you get the funding you need. So it’s time to write a business plan now! Learn how to write a solid one at that with the links below.

Write a Business Plan Quick Links


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteNowadays, building a professional website is important, especially if you want to be taken seriously by your customers.

With WordPress, you’ll be able to build a professional yet less complex website for your Corporation in minutes. No need to hire a professional designer. Learn how to get started through this simple step-by-step guide.


3) Make Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsFlorida Corporate bylaws is the internal rulebook of your Corporation. This document controls your day-to-day operations, ensuring smoothly running operations to ensure that your business is able to function normally.

Although this document is not filed with the Articles of Incorporation, this document is an integral part of your Corporation and proves your legitimacy as a business.

This is a reminder that this article is an informational guide and not a legal document. For questions and specifics on how to form a Corporation in Florida or starting a business in Florida, your lawyer is still the best person to refer to.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom