Sunbiz: Here is what you didn’t know
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Sunbiz is something that every prospective entrepreneur in the state of Florida hears about at some point. You put in a lot of effort to come up with a novel business concept, find the right team members, and advance a few short-term loans to get the company off the ground. However, you were recently informed that you must register with Sunbiz and maintain an “active status.” You may faintly recall reading about it somewhere while doing your research on inaugurating a company in Florida, but you have no idea where to begin or what to do next.
Do not worry. The situation is not as complex as what meets the eye. Yes, the establishment of a corporation is not easy, but it is not rocket science either. In this article, you will find everything you did not know about Sunbiz and how you can approach it. Let us take it step by step.
What is Sunbiz?
Sunbiz, which is also referred to as Florida Biz at times, is an online platform managed by the Florida Department of State through the Division of Corporations. The entity is primarily responsible for providing businesses with legal status in Florida and providing the public information that helps them verify the legitimacy of a certain business. That means, if you want your business to attain an authentic and legal status in Florida, you must have knowledge of this website and get your business registered on it.
Main services of Sunbiz
It is clear that Sunbiz is just any people or business searching site but a government body providing essential services and authentic information. You may use the website to:
- Register a business
- Fictitious name registration
- Terminate a company you have already registered
- Change your business’s information
- File annual reports
- Request different certificates.
- Obtain various forms and documentation
- Search business records and information
How do I register my business on Sunbiz?
As mentioned above, the website’s primary role is to register and recognize a Floridan business. You may register for three types of organizations:
- Profit corporation
- Non-profit corporation
- Limited liability company (LLC)
You can either register your business online through the Sunbiz e-filing tool on the website or print the form, fill it out, and mail it.
The respective forms you will need to register your business include:
- Profit Articles of Incorporation for a profit company
- Non-profit Articles of incorporations for a non-profit organization
- Articles of Organization for limited liability company
- Registration form for partnerships
Other forms you can access on Sunbiz include:
- Profit Articles of Amendment
- Profit Articles of Dissolution
- Statement of Withdrawal
- Article of Correction
- Resignation of Officers/Directors
- Revocation of Dissolution of Profit Corporation
- Restated Articles of Incorporation
- Revocation forms
- Merger forms
Do I have to file an annual report?
You have successfully filed your business. But that is not the end of it. Once you have been registered with Sunbiz, you need to file an annual report to prove that your business is still active and avoid an administrative dissolution. Usually, the deadline to file an annual report is the 1st of May and any late submission results in a massive penalty.
What type of certification does Sunbiz provide?
Besides filing your corporation, you also have an option to request a few certificates from Sunbiz. The first one is ‘Certificate of Status’, which basically is the same as a Letter of Good Standing. Additionally, you can also request a ‘certified Copy’ which is basically a copy of an original document with an endorsement that the former is a true copy of a certain document. You will, however, pay an extra fee for these.
Can I deregister my business from Sunbiz?
It is hard to understand why you would want to do that, but yes, you can. Simply fill out the dissolution form available on the website and follow the procedure.
What is a Fictitious Name?
This is a very interesting service provided by Sunbiz. You might have realised that some people use a different name at work from their personal name. You might have thought this is illegal, but no, it is not. However, you need to legally register such a name with the Division of Corporations in accordance with the Fictitious Name Act. Also, this name has to be renewed every five years.
What are the costs and penalties?
Sunbiz provides services for which it will also charge you a fair fee. Moreover, late submissions of the required reports will result in heavy penalties. Here are some of the most common ones:
- The fee for filing a new profit/non-profit corporation is $70
- The fee to register an LLC is $125
- Requesting a ‘Certificate of Status’ and ‘Certified Copy’ for-profit/non-profit organization costs &8.75
- Requesting a “certified Copy’ for LLC costs $30
- The cost of a ‘certificate of Status’ for an LLC is $5
- The cost to file an annual report for a profit corporation is $150.
- The cost to file an annual report for a non-profit organization is $61.25
- Filing an annual report for an LLC costs i38.75
- Filing an annual report after the deadline results in a $400 penalty
What other services does Sunbiz provide?
Apart from the above, you may also use Sunbiz to extract a variety of reliable and useful information. In addition to the basic information such as a business’s name, address, and tax ID, you may also find information regarding an entity’s registered agent and any trademark names.
Can I get more information?
Yes. in fact, the second most crucial function of Sunbiz is to provide relevant and helpful information to those who wish to avail these services. You may use the website to get information on:
- Business registration
- Tax compliance
- Tax registration
- Industry reports
- Internet trade, and much more
Summing up, Sumbiz.org serves various purposes, with business registration and provision of information being the basics. It offers a vast pool of services and information on a single website hence saving both time and money. Also, it is mandatory fr every new business established in Florida to register with Sunbiz.
Keith Dunn is a regular contributor at kredilife.com for technology and business niche articles. He is a retired IT Professional with technical expertise in Linux Server Administration. He also worked at the IT Startup he founded (LinuxHeads Inc. ) and has expansive knowledge about SME’s adn Start-ups.