Making a business in Florida – Part 7 of 9
A foreign or non-Florida businesses is one that is registered in another State or Country. Florida encourages and provides an easy means for those foreign businesses to register to conduct business legally in Florida.
If you want to do business in Florida, you can form a business here or if you already have an out of state business or one in another country, you can continue to use that business entity and legally conduct business in Florida.
It is easy to register your foreign business in Florida
The registration method is similar to creating a business here and is done online on the State’s website called Sunbiz. If a foreign business as it is called, either a corporation or LLC, has a credit card, internet access, and a registered agent to accept service of process of lawsuits, it can register to do business here. There are even businesses in Florida that cater to such foreign businesses and offer their services as a registered agent for the foreign business in Florida.
Why do you need a registered agent in Florida
A registered agent is just an adult person physically in the State of Florida who is capable of receiving service of process. The business lists its registered agent with the State when it registers and each year thereafter when it files its annual report, which is also conveniently done online at Sunbiz. The Division of Corporations will communicate with your business through the email you use when you register to do business in the State. Service of process, however, is physical delivery of notice to the company for lawsuits, for example.
A registered agent is required for each business so that it can receive the required due process if it is sued. But the agent for service of process does not have to be part of the business such as a director, officer, or employer. That is why independent businesses in Florida can provide the service of being a registered agent to a foreign of even Florida business. The business can change its registered agent at any time simply by logging onto Sunbiz and paying to update that information.
If the foreign business does not maintain an office in Florida for the customary transaction of its business and does not wish to pay another business to act as its registered agent, it can nominate any adult person physically in the State willing to undertake this responsibility.
You don't always have to register your foreign company
A foreign business does not always or absolutely have to register to do business in Florida. If it is only transacting business on a limited basis the registration may not be of great benefit aside from perhaps the marketing benefit of being able to represent that it is lawfully registered in Florida, But the benefit of registering here affords the business benefits that it would not otherwise enjoy.
How such benefits will apply to a particular foreign business and whether it is helpful for a particular business to do so is a topic best addressed in a discussion with corporate counsel. The Law Office of David Steinfeld employs a great deal of technology to move at the speed of its business clients. Therefore, a foreign business wishing to discuss these topics will find it easy to do so from anywhere in the country or the world.
The Palm Beach Business Lawyer Blog
Board Certified expert in Florida business law, David Steinfeld has almost 25 years legal experience.