Establishing a company in Florida

Florida is the 22nd largest state in the U.S.; it is located in the Southeast bordering on the Gulf of Mexico to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the states of Alabama and Georgia to the north. Its beaches are only a handful of miles from the Caribbean countries of Cuba and the Bahamas. Along with the official English language, the voices of Florida natives can be heard just as commonly in Spanish, due to its close proximity to Spanish-speaking countries. The early European settlers in the region were the Spaniards arriving in 1513, and the state names originates from the Spanish term “flowery”. It is ranked fourth in terms of population size, and considered a prime location for American pensioners thanks to its temperate and warm climate. Florida has a long and exotic coastline, tropical weather, endless tourist and vacation spots, and is generally considered a state that offers great quality of life.

The state capital is Tallahassee, but the biggest cities are Miami and Jacksonville. State population numbers 19.5 million citizens. Incorporation of foreign companies in Florida is a popular choice, particularly in the local real-estate market, but there are also advantages for other activities and associations. Some of the best-known tourist sights are the gigantic Disneyworld amusement park, Universal Studios in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center, Epcot Theme Park, Water World and many more. Small wonder the state brings in over 23 million tourists each year.

Three things you did not know about Florida:

In the 2000 elections, Florida was the center of great drama as unfolding events conspired to make it the tiebreaker for the nationwide results. After many weeks of repeat ballot counts, petitions to the courts and allegations of election irregularities, it was determined that George W. Bush would be the next American president, by a margin of only 537 votes (out of over 6 million!), thus winning the general elections. This was a particularly pivotal year for Florida, an always important electoral state.

Florida is usually thought of in relation to vacation spots, the pensioners’ heaven, and so on. But it is also home to an endless variety of unique natural wonders and wildlife, including alligators, pumas, sea life, wild deer, whales and dolphins.

Miami’s Brickell Business District has the largest concentration of foreign and international banks in the U.S. – even more than Wall Street.

Florida’s economy

Florida has a strong and diversified economy that contains several active sectors such as tourism, finance, life sciences, health industry, aerospace industry, manufacture industry, agriculture and resource mining. GDP is 750 billion USD (fourth in size in the U.S.), and annual per capita income is 40,000 USD. Tourism contributes significantly to the state, as it has a great variety of attractions and activities. PortMiami the largest in the world in terms of seagoing trade of tourist cruises. The city of Miami houses several of the world’s largest shipping companies, including Carnival Cruises owned by Micky Arison.

The state agriculture is exceedingly developed and is mostly based on various tropical produce and citrus fruits. This economic expansion has brought in many companies to Florida that specialize in various life sciences, medicines, pharmaceuticals and health products, and conversely the national aerospace centers have drawn companies specializing in aerospace and aeronautics (including NASA headquarters). 

In terms of taxation, Florida is a comfortable environment for incorporation of companies. The state imposes no income tax on individuals and VAT is only 6%. Municipal authorities may impose a small additional tax.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Florida:

General
Type of company
LLC
Relevant Companies Law

FL Statutes - Title XXXVI Business Organizations Chapter 607 - Corporations
 

Offices
Florida law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
USD
Corporate tax rate
5.5%
Standard share capital
Irrelevant
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Not required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Irrelevant
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Irrelevant
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required (called “manager” – not “director”)
Obligation to appoint local company director
Not required
Minimum number of directors
1
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required (called “members” – not “shareholders”)
Obligation to register local shareholders
None
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Irrelevant
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Manager – Accessible to the public, Member – May be Accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required