Florida Registered Agents
A Florida registered agent is an individual or legal entity that will accept service of process and other important notices on behalf of a business entity. If you want to conduct business in the state of Florida, your company must have a registered agent and registered office. A registered office is the designated Florida street address for the registered agent. While you can appoint yourself or an individual from your company as your registered agent, there are many benefits to hiring a registered agent service. You will need to designate a registered agent on your Articles of Incorporation/Organization when starting up your business, so read through the information on registered agents below to inform your decision.
Florida Registered Agents FAQ
What Does a Florida Registered Agent Do?
The duties of a Florida registered agent are:
- The agent must forward any process, notice or demand received to the Florida company they are representing.
- Upon resignation as registered agent from a company, the agent must provide notice to the company at the address most recently supplied to the agent.
What is Service of Process?
Service of process is the procedure by which a company is served time-sensitive legal documents, such as lawsuits and subpoenas. A service of process includes a deadline for a response from the company. Since a registered agent is the individual or legal entity who will accept service of process for a company, it is important to select a Florida registered agent who can receive these documents during regular business hours and forward them to the company in a timely manner.
Do I need a Florida registered agent? Why?
Yes. Every corporation, partnership and LLC that does business in Florida is required by state law to maintain a registered agent and registered office during the life of the company. All Florida companies are required to have a registered agent and a registered office with a physical location that is open during regular business hours in order to receive service of process and other important notices on behalf of the company. If a Florida company is without a registered agent, the company cannot prosecute, defend or maintain any action in a court in the state of Florida until it appoints a new registered agent and pays to the Department of State a penalty of $5 per day for each day it was without a registered agent or $500, whichever is less.
Who can be a registered agent in Florida?
A Florida registered agent must be either:
- An individual who resides in Florida whose address is the same as the registered office;
- Or, a foreign or domestic entity authorized to transact business in Florida whose address is the same as the registered office
Can I be my own Florida registered agent, and do I want to?
A business entity cannot serve as its own registered agent, but an individual within the business may serve as the entity’s registered agent. If a Florida company designates an attorney, accountant or spouse as registered agent, the individual’s duties as a registered agent supersede any other legal provisions which would seem to excuse them from fulfilling all their duties as a registered agent. So, appointing your spouse as your company’s registered agent will not preclude them from having to supply records or testimony about the company that the Florida Department of State may request.
There are a few reasons you may not want to be your own registered agent:
- The registered agent must have a physical address.
- You may not want to use your home address as the registered office because it will be listed publicly.
- If the business moves, you must give notice of registered office address changes quickly.
- Registered agents are required to keep regular business hours.
- You must have a registered agent in every state that you conduct business in.
If you don’t think an individual within the business will be able to comply will some or any of the requirements of a Florida registered agent, you may wish to hire a registered agent service.
How Do I Find A Florida Registered Agent?
Since having a registered agent is a legal requirement for corporations, LLCs, and partnerships in most states, including Florida, your options are to either hire a registered agent service or appoint someone within the company to act as registered agent.
Hired registered agent services are very beneficial to corporations, partnerships, and LLCs for a number of reasons:
Less paperwork to deal with
The registered agent service will keep track of notices and other documents the company receives and notify them of important due dates.
The registered agent’s address will be listed publicly, instead of your home address.
Your company won’t need a physical address
Since the service of process must be sent to a physical address, the registered agent’s office will be the required physical address. This benefit is particularly helpful to web-based entities.
Your company won’t need a physical address
The registered agent is required to receive documents during regular business hours. Hiring a registered agent service is beneficial to companies without a physical location open Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm.
Your company can easily conduct business in multiple states
Companies are required to have a registered agent in every state where they conduct business. It is easier for a company to have just one registered agent service, which holds a registered office for them in each state, than to set up a separate registered office in each state in which they do business.
Hired registered agent services might not be necessary for your company if you have less than ten employees, aren’t worried about the privacy of your address, and operate a physical storefront with regular business hours in Florida only.
Registered Agent How-To
How to appoint a Florida Registered Agent
Florida companies are required to designate a registered agent on their Articles of Incorporation (corporations), Articles of Organization (LLCs) or Certificate of Limited Partnership or Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LPs, LLLPs). When a registered agent is appointed by an entity, the agent must file with the Florida Department of State a written statement accepting the appointment and designation as registered agent for the entity. A statement of acceptance of registered agent appointment is already included on the Florida Articles of Incorporation/Articles of Organization/Certificate of LP or LLLP form, so all the registered agent has to do is sign under the statement and provide the mailing address of the registered office.
How to resign as a Florida Registered Agent
To resign as a registered agent in Florida, submit the appropriate Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent depending on whether the business is a corporation, LLC, or partnership along with payment for the processing fee, which varies by entity type, to the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. Include payment for the appropriate fee depending on entity type (active corporations and partnerships: $87.50; active LLCs: $85; inactive corporations: $35; inactive LLCs: $25). The Florida registered agent’s resignation is effective as of the 31st day after the Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent is filed with the Florida Division of Corporations or when a statement of change or other record designating a new registered agent is filed with the department, whichever comes first. The registered office also terminates at the same time unless otherwise specified. Upon filing their resignation with the Department of State, the Florida registered agent must notify the company they were representing. The resignation of a Florida registered agent does not affect contractual rights that the company has against the agent or that the agent has against the company. A registered agent may resign from a company whether or not the company has active status.
How to change Florida Registered Agents
All registered agent and/or registered office address changes need to be reported on the Florida company’s annual report for the current year. If the annual report has already been filed this year, or if no annual report is due this year, the entity must submit the appropriate Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent or Both depending on the entity type. There are separate forms for LLCs, corporations, and partnerships. Include payment for the appropriate fee depending on entity type (corporations and partnerships: $35; LLCs: $25). When changing a company’s registered agent, the written acceptance of the successor agent must also be included in the statement of change.
Florida Department Of State Fees
Limited Liability Companies
Limited Partnerships & Limited Liability Limited Partnerships
The Florida Division of Corporations accepts, checks, money orders, credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), debit cards (with a VISA or MasterCard logo), or you may use a Prepaid Sunbiz E-File Account. Only checks are accepted by mail. Make checks payable to “Florida Department of State”. All payments made by credit card must use the online application.
Online filings are usually processed within 1-3 business days. Standard processing of a mailed-in filing takes 3-5 business days. (Processing times may be longer during peak periods.) Most walk-in services can be completed while-you-wait. The Florida Department of State does not offer expedited services.
Contact the Florida Department Of State
Filings By Mail
Florida Division of Corporations
PO Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Florida Division of Corporations
2661 Executive Center Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32314
In-Person Or By Mail
Complete the fillable PDF by typing into the form and then print it. Or, Print the form and then fill it out in blue or black ink. Make sure to address the filing to the appropriate section depending on entity type and form type. LLC and partnership changes should be sent to the Registration Section and corporation changes should be sent to the Amendment Section.
To submit filings via fax, you must have an established Prepaid Sunbiz E-File Account. To set up your Sunbiz account, submit a Prepaid Sunbiz E-File Account Application and Deposit Slip to the Division of Corporations, Public Access Accounts Section with a check for a minimum of $300. Make checks payable to “Florida Department of State”. The fax number for corporate filings is 850-245-6014.
Some filings, such as Articles of Incorporation, can be submitted online and paid via credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) or debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo.