Form Your Florida Corporation for Free with Inc Authority

Over 250K entities across the United States have trusted Inc Authority with their business formation for 30+ years. Save money today by forming your Corporation with them for free today.

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Things to Know Before Starting a Corporation in Florida

You may choose to start your Corporation in Florida for various reasons including the fact that the state is tax friendly compared to some states. Here are a few things to know before choosing to incorporate in Florida.

  • The tax on corporate income is 5.5 percent, and there is an option minimum tax of 3.5% if your taxable years start on or after January 1, 2021, but before January 1, 2022.
  • Florida has a sales and uses tax that starts at 6% and can go up to 7.02% if city taxes are added. While the general rate is 6%, it can be lower in case of certain exceptions.
  • Your total Florida registration fee is $87.75. This includes a filing fee of $35, a registered agent designation fee of $35, and an optional certified copy and certificate of status for $8.75 each.
  • You’ll be required to file your annual reports for profit-making corporations. This requires a filing fee of $150. This is higher than that charged by some states and lower than some.
  • Depending on the rules of your county and the type of business you own, you’ll need to acquire certain insurances and permits, such as Workers’ Compensation or building permits.

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Decide on Your Corporate Structure

If you’re starting a Corporation in Florida, or anywhere else, for that matter, you have two options to choose from. You can either choose to have your business taxed as a C-Corporation or as an S-Corporation.

Businesses looking to grow into large enterprises prefer a C-Corp structure. Smaller businesses looking to save on taxes prefer the S-Corp structure to evade the double taxation that comes with C-Corps.

Decide on Your Corporate Structure
Name Your Florida Corporation

Name Your Florida Corporation

If you want to check the availability of a potential business name, you can do so with a quick online search at the Department of State’s website. Unlike other states, you can’t reserve a business name in Florida.

When choosing a name for your Corporation in Florida, you’ll need to include terms like “corporation,” “incorporated,” or “company,” or their acronyms “corp.,” “inc.,” or “co.” to your legal business name.

Prepare Your Articles of Incorporation

File Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Department of State and pay a filing fee of $150. Unless a later date is specified in the Articles of Incorporation, it’ll be recognized legally from the date of filing. 

The Articles of Incorporation can contain a lot of information. However, at the very least, it must have the company’s name, official business address, stock structure, purpose, and registered agent details.

Prepare Your Articles of Incorporation
Obtain an Employee Identification Number

Obtain an Employee Identification Number

Next, you’ll need to obtain a tax ID number for your Florida Corporation. This is a nine-digit number that is given to businesses for tax filing and reporting. The IRS uses this number to identify taxpayers. 

You can get it on your own through the IRS website, although the process can be difficult and confusing for new business owners. Inc Authority can help you with this application if you choose any of the paid plans.

Choose Your Incorporators

Incorporators draft, sign, and file the Articles of Incorporation and include their contact information. Incorporators can be one or more people. In Florida, there are no stipulations about who can form a Corporation.

Unless the original directors are named in the Articles of Incorporation, incorporators are required to hold an organizational meeting after filing. They elect directors, appoint officials, pass bylaws, etc.

Choose Your Incorporators
Decide the Stock Structure for Yoru Florida Corporation

Decide the Stock Structure for Yoru Florida Corporation

A C-Corp can have more than one type of stock and each has its benefits. One may give you the right to vote while another may not. In your Articles of Incorporation, you must specify the framework of your stock.

You should specify the number of approved shares if there’s only one type of stock. If there’s more, then you must name each type and list the number of shares, preferences, restrictions, and rights for each.

Choose Your Board of Directors

Directors are the people in charge of running a Corporation and deciding its policies. They’re required to act in good faith on behalf of the Corporation. Shareholders appoint who sits on the board.

Unlike incorporators, directors must meet certain standards. For instance, you need to have at least one director, who must be older than 18 years. Directors do not need to be shareholders or Florida residents.

Choose Your Florida Registered Agent

A registered agent is a person or business that receives documents and legal mail on behalf of a business. When you file your Articles of Incorporation, you need both a registered agent and their physical address. 

Your registered agent must have a physical address in Florida and must agree to be your agent. It can either be a business registered in Florida or one that has permission to conduct business there.

Write Company Bylaws for Your Corporation in Florida

Corporate bylaws are your corporation’s internal governance document that outlines how the company will be run. Bylaws can include anything from shareholder responsibilities to profit-sharing rules.

You do not need bylaws to incorporate your business in Florida, but it’s crucial that every business has one. They’re drafted by the company’s directors or incorporators and must follow Florida’s laws.

State the Purpose of Your Corporation in Florida

State the Purpose of Your Corporation in Florida

It’s important to include the purpose for which you are starting a Corporation in Florida. You have the option of including it in your Articles of Incorporation as a wide and general statement. 

This provides flexibility if the purpose of your organization changes in the future. For instance, the online filing form for the state of Florida allows you to specify that you are filing “for any and all lawful business.”

Appoint Your Corporate Officers

This step is especially relevant for larger corporations in Florida, as opposed to smaller corporations with a simpler structure. Corporate officers help make decisions and run the business’s day-to-day activities.

Corporate officers have titles like Company President, Chief Executive Officer,  treasurer, etc. They act as the company’s agents on its behalf. For smaller C-Corps, their directors also take up these roles.

Appoint Your Corporate Officers
Familiarize Yourself With Florida State Taxes

Familiarize Yourself With Florida State Taxes

If you start a Corporation in Florida, there are some state-level taxes you’ll need to pay, just like in most other states. So besides federal income taxes, it is important to familiarize yourself with these as well. 

For instance, Florida corporations are subject to a 5.5% income tax. The state does not impose income taxes on individuals but has an additional sales tax that starts at 6% and can go up to 7.02%.

Ensure You Remain Compliant with Florida State Laws

Florida requires all business owners to file an Annual Report to remain compliant. To file these reports, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $150. You’ll also need to say compliant with the IRS by filing your taxes.

Also, find out what insurance, permits, or licenses are needed for your C-Corp in Florida. Keep in mind that certain permits and licenses may be needed in some cities or towns but not in others.

Ensure You Remain Compliant with Florida State Laws

Raise Funds for Your Corporation in Florida

You’ll need a source of funds to start your business, considering all the fees you have to incur and the capital you need for your business. You can start with your savings, then explore suitable lending options. 

Business formation companies like Inc Authority provide lending solutions for up to $100,000 that you can explore. Besides, when you form a Corporation, you can raise capital by issuing shares.

Start Company Website

Having an official online presence in this digital age is not only beneficial but necessary. If your website is out of date or there isn’t one at all, your business loses credibility in the eyes of your potential customers. 

This could mean losing customers. You can avoid this by making sure you have an official website and a social media presence. It’s easy to find a website builder online, so take your pick form available options.

Start Company Website

Why Outsource Your Incorporation Instead of Doing It Yourself

Forming a Corporation in Florida requires a lot of effort. Besides the tedious paperwork, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the state regulations, county permit requirements, and much more.

While it may be expensive to outsource, here’s why it’s still worth it:


Minimal Errors

Minimal Errors

If you hire experts that do this kind of work often, you can rest assured that your application will not be rejected due to simple mistakes. The Inc Authority experts, for instance, will handle your application and ensure it’s perfect.

Saves time

Saves Time

Your application can be processed considerably faster when you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself Also, with Inc Authority’s premium expedited service, you can get same-day and rush filing if you choose to do so.

Simplified Process

Simplified Process

Instead of having to file paperwork, apply for an EIN, and then look for a registered agent separately, you can have all that done by one firm like Inc Authority. This simplifies the whole process for you and makes things easier.

File Your Corporation Today

Limited Liability Protection

C-Corporations have the strongest liability protection for their owners compared to any other business entity. Being separate legal entities with distinct formal structures owners are not liable for any business losses.

In case of any losses, the business is liable and the personal assets of the owners remain protected. This is also the case if the business gets sued. The owners will not be affected directly by such processes.

Limited Liability Protection
Minimal Owanership Requirements

Minimal Ownership Requirements

With Florida C-corporations there are no specific ownership requirements. C-corporations can have shareholders from any country in the world and the number is not limited either, unlike S-Corporations.

Also, the company can continue to function even if the owners leave as a C-Corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners. It’s also much easier to transfer ownership between shareholders.

Ease of Raising Capital

C-Corporations, in contrast to S-Corporations, have no limit on the number of stockholders they can have. This makes it possible to raise a lot of capital by issuing shares and going public.

A C-Corp permits any individual or entity to become a shareholder (including other corporations). C-Corps are also considered more credible making it easier to raise capital even from financial institutions.

Ease of Raising Capital
Tax Benefits

Tax Benefits

Typically, C-Corps have the least tax benefits as they’re subject to taxation both at the company and shareholder levels. However, this does not mean that there are no tax benefits to starting a Corporation in Florida.

For instance, your C-Corporation will only be subject to a 15% corporate income tax on the first $50,000 of its annual revenue. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy a lower tax rate if you reinvest corporate profits.

Easy Exit Strategy

You don’t start a business by thinking about its end, but this becomes inevitable sometimes. Unlike S-Corps, C-Corps give you a better chance of getting buyers if you decide to sell in the future.

This is because an S-Corp cannot be held by a C-Corp, another S-Corp, an LLC, a general partnership, or most trusts. A C-Corp, on the other hand, can be owned by other companies, LLCs, and trusts.

Easy Exit Strategy

Free Package

Here’s what you get on the free plan: 

  • Company name check: You can use the free search tool provided by Inc Authority to check if your chosen company name is already in use in Florida.
  • Registered agent services for one year: Inc Authority will act as your Florida registered agent for one year, for free.
  • Formation of a corporation: Inc Authority files your Corporation paperwork for free with the Florida Secretary of State’s office.
  • Digital document storage: Your business documents can be accessed from one central location through your Inc Authority account.
  • Business financing analysis: A business finance professional will evaluate your financial needs and recommend reliable funding options.
  • Tax advice: To ensure you select a tax structure with the most tax savings, Inc Authority assigns a tax expert to you.
  • S-Election and Reporting: Inc Authority completes and files an S-election form to get you the S-Corporation status for federal income tax purposes.

These are all essential services that every business needs during formation. Besides these, Inc Authority offers more services in the paid plans, as we’ll discuss below.

Price: $0

Starter Package

Here’s what this plan includes:

  • Corporate bylaws: When you sign up for Inc Authority’s Starter plan, you’ll get access to corporate bylaws templates that you can then use to draft your own. This makes the process much easier.
  • Stock certificates: Inc. Authority can assist you in the issuance of stock certificates to shareholders of your Florida Corporation by providing you with templates for these certificates.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): As already stated, you’ll need to apply for EIN to report taxes on your Florida Corporation. This feature is included in Inc Authority’s “Starter” package.
  • Corporate forms package: Since you’ll need lots of documents to start and run your corporation, Inc Authority makes things easier for you with this feature. You can get templates for all these documents.
  • Annual compliance notifications: As a new business, it can be hard to keep track of your compliance requirements, like annual filing. Inc Authority sends you reminders in time so you don’t forget.
  • Detailed tax advisory: Unlike the free plan, this feature provides a more in-depth analysis of your company’s tax needs and the best feasible tax-saving measures you need to take.
  • A domain name and 5 official email addresses: Get a domain name that’s also your company name and 5 professional email addresses when you start a business.

Price: Custom

Fast-Track Package

Besides the services from the Starter package, you can opt for the premium plan and get even more features.

  • Customer success manager: An experienced advisor will guide you through forming your Florida Corporation, until your company is up and running, answering any questions you may have along the way.
  • Private banking specialist: If you are an Inc Authority premium customer, you will get a private banking specialist who will advise you on the best banking solutions and checking accounts for your corporation in Florida.
  • Customized business advisory: Another great perk to being on the fasttrack plan is that you get personalized business advice, tailored to your business needs, to help you grow and scale your business.
  • Expedited filing: With this feature, your application will be given top priority by the Inc Authority team of professionals and it will be reviewed and submitted to the Secretary of State on the same day.

This plan is great for businesses looking for premium services and expedited filing processes. It also offers more tailored, high-touch services for clients that want the best-in-class experience when forming a Corporation in Florida.

Price: Custom

Add-On Services

Aside from its paid plans, which are an extension of Inc Authority’s formation services, the business provides additional services as well.

Here are the additional services that you can get:

  • Trademark registration: Inc Authority provides trademark registration services to corporations. You’ll also receive 3 years of monitoring for trademark infringement.
  • Business plan creation: Inc Authority drafts and revises your business plan. This includes your business purpose, marketing research, financial projections, executive summary, revenue model, and much more.
  • Business financing analysis: The goal here is to make it easier for businesses at all stages to gain access to financing. Inc. Authority can also help connect your business with a network of low-interest lenders.
  • Web design and SEO marketing: Inc Authority can put you in touch with a web designer who will tailor your website to meet your needs. You’ll also get a dedicated SEO marketing assistant, a custom logo, business cards, etc.
  • Living trust benefits: Inc Authority can draft a revocable living trust for you if you’d like to avoid probate and get a head start on your estate strategy.


An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is owned by one or more individuals while a Corporation is owned by shareholders. LLCs are also much easier to form as they involve less paperwork and have a less complex structure compared to corporations.

Also, LLCs enjoy pass-through taxation, while C-Corporations are subject to double taxation unless they choose to elect an S-Corp status.

Starting a corporation in Florida is easy. Here is a step-by-step process you can follow to start a Corporation in Florida:

          1. Decide on your corporate structure
          2. Name your corporation
          3. Prepare your articles of incorporation
          4. Obtain a tax ID number/EIN
          5. Choose your incorporators
          6. Decide your stock structure
          7. Choose your board of directors
          8. Choose your business’s registered agent
          9. Determine your company bylaws
          10. State the purpose of your corporation
          11. Appoint your corporate officers
          12.  Familiarize yourself with state taxes
          13. Ensure you remain compliant
          14. Raise funds for your business
          15. Start company website

No. A Florida LLC is not synonymous with a Corporation. An LLC combines the liability protection of corporations with the tax benefits and flexible structure of a partnerships to form a unique business structure.

You’ll incur a total of $87.75 in state registration fees to form a Corporation in Florida. Any other extra costs will depend on any other county and city permits required.

A simple name search on the Florida Department of State website will reveal if your prospective name is already in use by other businesses. Alternatively, you can use the free business name check service offered by Inc Authority, which is easier and quicker.