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.

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 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.

General Information


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


Company Secretary (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

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