Floridians wishing to start a profit or non-profit corporation will have to do so through the filing of what is called the Articles of Incorporation, in accordance with Chapter 607. This filing can be accomplished by the downloading of a PDF form, or using the e-filing function on the Division of Corporations website. Both processes are displayed below in individual tutorials and each will cost a minimum filing fee of $70 payable to the Department of State. Those wishing to purchase a Certificate of Copy or Certificate of Status may do so during the filing procedure, each will cost an additional $8.75.

How to File a Profit Corporation (Online)

Step 1- The first step of starting any business is to think of a unique name which bares no similarities to the name of any other entity within the State of Florida. In order to check the availability of the name in question, you can search the Florida Department of State name database to see if it is currently in use.

Step 2- Once you’ve chosen and secure a name, you can proceed to this webpage and read the disclaimer statement before checking the box that indicates that you’ve accepted their terms. To continue onto the filing forms, click Add Filing & Pay Fee.

florida-domestic-profit-online-1Step 3- Start by entering in the following filing information:

  • Effective Date of filing
  • Corporate Name
  • Number of Corporate Stock Shares

You are also given the option of obtaining a Certificate of Status or a Certified Copy of your filing for an additional $8.75 each.

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Step 4- You will then have to enter in the address of the principle place of business and corporate mailing address (if different).

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Step 5-The appointment of your registered agent must be done by providing the name and address of the individual or business. The signature field is reserved for an individual name, therefore either the registered agent or an individual signing on the behalf of the business entity will need to sign.

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Step 6- Provide next the Name and Address of the incorporator as well as their e-signature indicating that they have read the notice of the annual report statement and that all the information of these Articles of Incorporation are true.

florida-domestic-profit-online-5Step 7- You must provide, in 240 characters or less, the corporate purpose of your business. Checking the box will automatically supply the quick answer of “Any and all lawful business”. They warn you that if you are filing as a professional association you should provide a more specific answer.

florida-domestic-profit-online-6Step 8- Enter in the office and director information at this juncture.

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Step 9- Be sure to review the document to ensure that all information is correct, then proceed to the payment page on which you will be required to enter your credit card number and all other billing information to cover the $70 filing fee.

How to File a Profit Corporation (PDF)

Step 1- Perform a Business Search online to check the availability of the name you’d like to use for your Corporation. If it is not listed, or is listed but the status is dissolved or inactive, you are permitted to file using that title.

Step 2- Proceed to download the PDF form of the Articles of Incorporation and provide the following information:

Cover Letter

  • Proposed corporate name
  • Select filing fee/additional form option
  • Name, address, phone number, email address of filer

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  • Article I: Name of corporation
  • Article II:Principle place of business as well as the mailing address if different
  • Article III: The corporation’s specific purpose
  • Article IV: The total number of shares of the corporation
  • Article V: The titles, names and address for all directors/officers

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  • Article VI: The registered agent’s name and address as well as the signature of the agent or of individual representing the business to be assigned as RA
  • Article VII: The name, address and signature of incorporator and the date of filing

fl-articles-2Step 3- Once you’ve completed both pages, make a check out to the Department of the State for the amount you selected in the Cover Letter. Attach your finished form to the check and mail them both to the below address to await confirmation of your filing.

Mailing Address

Department of State: Division of Corporations

Corporate Filings, P.O. Box 6327

Tallahassee, FL 32314

Courier Address

Department of State: Division of Corporations

Clifton Building, 2661 Executive Center Circle

Tallahassee, FL 32301

How to File a Nonprofit Corporation (Online)

Step 1- As with all entity types in the State of Florida, a corporation must be represented by a name which is not already in use by an active company. To ensure that your chosen name is unique, in compliance with Title XXXVI  617.0401, you may perform a Business Inquiry on the Department of State website.

Step 2- Next, navigate to this webpage and read the disclaimer statement to understand the terms of the online filing. Once you’ve finished and feel comfortable with the process, you can check the box and click on the Add Filing & Pay Fee link.

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Step 3- Next, you’ll be asked to choose the effective date of the commencement of your corporation’s business followed by the corporate mame and the method in which the board of directors will be assigned.

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Step 4- Provide the principal place of business and the mailing address if different.

florida-non-profit-online-3Step 5- The information for the registered agent will need to be supplied next. This will include whether it is to be an individual or a business, the address of either and the signature of the agent or representative of the business to serve as the agent.

florida-non-profit-online-4Step 6- Supply the name and address of an incorporator as well as their electronic signature. Below this, you must enter in the Corporate Purpose using 240 characters or less.

florida-non-profit-online-5Step 7- List the name and address of each director and officer into the fields below. You will need to provide their title, name and street address.

florida-non-profit-online-6Step 8- Click Continue and review the information you’ve submitted. The filing will be processed within 2-3 days of the credit card payment confirmation of the filing fee. The information for your credit card can be entered on the following screen.

How to File a Nonprofit Corporation (PDF)

Step 1- The first step will be choosing a name and ensuring that it is not already in use by another business within the State. To do so, use the Business Entity Search on the Division of Corporations website.

Step 2- Once your name has been proven original, you may proceed by downloading the PDF form of the Articles of Incorporation. The following information will need to be supplied:

Cover Letter

  • Proposed corporate name
  • Select filing fee/additional form option
  • Name, address, phone number, email address of filer

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  • Article I: Name of corporation
  • Article II:Principle place of business as well as the mailing address if different.
  • Article III: The corporations specific purpose
  • Article IV: The manner in which the board of directors is to be assigned/elected
  • Article V: The titles, names and address for all directors/officers

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  • Article VI: The registered agent’s name and address as well as the signature of the agent or of individual representing the business to be assigned as RA
  • Article VII: The name, address and signature of incorporator and the date of filing

florida-articles-of-incorporation-non-profit-3Step 3- Once you’ve completed all the necessary fields you will need to write a check made payable to the Department of State, for the filing fee of $70. You may also request a Certificate of Copy or a Certificate of Status for an additional $8.75. When ready, send your filing package to either of the below addresses for processing.

Mailing Address

Department of State: Division of Corporations

Corporate Filings, P.O. Box 6327

Tallahassee, FL 32314

Courier Address

Department of State: Division of Corporations

Clifton Building, 2661 Executive Center Circle

Tallahassee, FL 32301

Tips

Corporate Bylaws –The corporate bylaws of a corporation are designed to outline the business structure of the company as well as detail the managerial tasks and rights of each director, officer, and shareholder. This agreement is often the most significant legal document on file with any organization as it is the only one that states the relationship held between the management and the entity. Click on the link found at the beginning of this paragraph to access our free template,downloadable in both MS Word and Adobe PDF formatting.

Renewal– All corporations are required to renew each year through the submission of an annual report. This document must be filed between the 1st of January and 1st of May of each year in order to maintain the status of “Active” and to avoid paying a $400 late fee on top of the pre-existing $150 regular filing fee (profit corporations exclusively). The filing fee for nonprofit corporations is significantly lower at $61.25. The renewal must be performed online using the Division of Corporations website (access to the renewal page can be obtained through click on the heading of this paragraph).

EIN–An Employer Insurance Number should be applied for upon confirmation of Incorporation by the Department of State. This number will permit you to perform any number of financial transactions and will allow IRS to identify you as a legitimate, tax-withholding business entity. You can acquire the EIN either Online through the IRS website or with the Form SS-4. Click on the heading of this paragraph for more info.