If you own a business anywhere, not just in Florida, you probably are incorporated or structured around some sort of entity designed to separate your personal activities from business-related ones. If you aren't, it is probably a good idea to do so, especially in today's litigious society. Enjoy the benefits of having your personal assets protected. Just as easy as it is to file a corporate structure in Florida, it is just as easy to lose those benefits if you don't keep up with the requirements. This article will provide you with some guidelines on the requirements necessary for maintaining your corporation or LLC.
By now, we all should have received this email from the state corporation department:
"Your 2017 Annual Report is now due. Annual reports for all corporations,
limited liability companies, limited partnerships and limited
liability limited partnerships are due each year between January
1st and May 1st. An annual report is a required report that
is used to update or confirm the Florida Department of State,
Division of Corporations' records. It is not a financial statement..."
This email is important! Although it states that you have until May 1 st to file your annual report, it is best to take care of this sooner rather than later. Your annual report is not a complex document, and it costs only $138.75 for an LLC, or $150 for corporations. Not filing your annual report on time will be extremely bothersome to fix. Not only will you be required to pay the filing fee, but a $400 late fee in addition, and have to deal with the numerous problems in regards to insurance and other liabilities.
Additionally, be wary of possible scams. Either through email form or in the mail, you may receive notification requiring you to file "corporate minutes" and the associated filing fee. This is not required in the State of Florida, only the fees described in the official email are needed; all of which can be filed and completed on sunbiz.org. Sometimes I see business owners who pay the scam filing fee, and think they are covered- and not filing the actual fee! If you are unsure about certain official emails or correspondence, be sure to contact Cynthia with Common Sense Business Solutions, who will be happy to inform you on the legitimacy of the correspondence.
Corporate structure provides the benefits of limited liability, ensuring that business owners are not personally responsible for the debts, liabilities, and litigation surrounding your business. In Florida, we have an affordable way to maintain this corporate protection, and if you follow basic guidelines you can ensure this protection remains in place. File your fees today!
Common Sense Business Solutions has been helping small to medium sized businesses in the Southeastern United States since 1993. Call 813.661.0049 or visit csbspro.com to learn more about fixing issues plaguing your business, or what you can do to bring it to the next level.