Are you forming a corporation and struggling with filing Articles of Incorporation in Florida? Filing Florida Articles of Incorporation is a necessary step, but it can be a bit of a headache. Luckily, ZenBusiness is here to lend a hand. We’ll walk you through the form and show you how to submit it to the relevant authority.
Before we get to filing Articles of Incorporation in Florida, make sure you know the other steps required to form a corporation in Florida. If you find it confusing, or just want some help, take a look at our Form a Florida Corporation page.
In Florida, Articles of Incorporation are submitted to the Florida Secretary of State (SOS). Be aware that any information in the Articles of Incorporation of your Florida corporation will become public record.
How to Complete the Florida Articles of Incorporation Form
In this walkthrough, we’ll explain what you need to do to file Articles of Incorporation in Florida.
Florida allows for both online and mail filing. If you’d rather file by mail, you can download the forms from the Florida Department of State.
If you’re filing online, you can pay the fees with a credit card. You can also fill out the form online, print it, then mail it. Alternatively, you can print it, fill it in by hand, then mail it. For mail, you’ll have to pay with a check.
To fill the form you will need:
- Name of your corporation: Under Florida law, your corporation’s name must be distinguishable from that of any other Florida business. You can do a business name search to check whether the one you’ve chosen is available. Additionally, the name must contain one of the following words or abbreviations: Corporation, Corp., Incorporated, Inc., Company, or Co. If you’re filing for a professional association, the name must contain the words, Chartered, Professional Association, or P.A. If you have a name but need more time before filing Articles of Incorporation in Florida, you can reserve the name for 120 days for a fee. Check out our name reservation service to learn more.
- Address: The street address of your corporation’s principal office. This cannot be a P.O. box.
- Mailing address: The mailing address of your Florida corporation. Here a P.O. box is acceptable.
- Registered agent’s name, address, and mailing address: A registered agent can either be a person or a business, as long as they have a street address, not a P.O. box, within the state of Florida. A registered agent receives and accepts legal notices, such as service of process, and official state mail on behalf of your business. ZenBusiness can help you with this with our professional registered agent services for your Florida corporation.
- Name and address of incorporator: The incorporator is the person or entity that prepares and signs the Articles of Incorporation and submits it for filing. They don’t need to be the same people who will own it.
- Corporate purpose: This is where you state the purpose of your corporation. Non-professional corporations don’t need to state a specific purpose. When filing online, you can choose to tick the “Any and all lawful business box.” If you’re forming a professional association in Florida, you must enter a single specific professional purpose.
- Correspondence name and email address: All future communication will be mailed to this address.
- Name and address of each officer and or director: In this section, you’ll write the name and address of each officer/director of your Florida corporation.
- Shares: This is where you specify the number of shares. One is the minimum to file Articles of Incorporation in Florida.
- Delayed date (optional): Fill this in exclusively if you want the Articles of Incorporation to take effect at a time other than the time of your filing. An effective date can’t be more than five days before the date the state receives it or 90 days after the date of filing.
Other Relevant Forms You Might Need
When filing Articles of Incorporation in Florida, you can also ask for a Certificate of Status, known in most states as a Certificate of Good Standing. This certificate is optional, and there’s an accompanying fee. It certifies the existence of the corporation and that fees have been paid. ZenBusiness can help you acquire this.
You can request a certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation. It includes a filed stamped copy of your Articles of Incorporation. There’s also a fee for this.
Foreign (out-of-state) corporations need to attach equivalent Articles of Incorporation filed the original jurisdiction of incorporation. Additionally, they’ll have to file the Application by Foreign Corporation for Authorization to Transact Business in Florida. This document includes a cover letter and asks for more advanced information about your corporation, including:
- Roles of directors
- Date of duration (if other than perpetual)
How to File Your Articles of Incorporation
You can file your Articles of Incorporation either online or using mail. There’s a filing fee for each method.
New Filing Section, Department of State
Division of Corporations, The Center of Tallahassee
2415 N. Monroe St., Suite 810
Tallahassee, FL 32303
The Florida Secretary of State’s turnaround time is approximately one to three days if you’re filing online. For mail filing of your Articles of Incorporation, you may have to wait eight to 17 days. However, this is an estimate, and it can vary according to the time of the year.
To avoid the headache of filing on your own, and to have the security of a smooth process, consider working with us! ZenBusiness is here to help. Check out our business formation plans.
Florida Articles of Incorporation FAQs
- What does it cost to incorporate in Florida?
Check the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations website to see the most current information on fees and methods of payment available.
- How long does the incorporation process take in Florida?
The Florida Secretary of State’s turnaround time is approximately one to three days if you’re filing online. To file your Articles of Incorporation by mail, you may have to wait eight to 17 days. This is an estimate.
- Who processes the Florida Articles of Incorporation?
The Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations processes your Articles of Incorporation.
- What Florida statute governs Articles of Incorporation?
Florida Statutes Chapter 607: Corporations.
- Do I need an attorney to file Florida Articles of Incorporation?
No, you don’t need an attorney to file Florida Articles of Incorporation.