Do-it-yourself Florida S Corporation Kits
You might be surprised to learn that setting up an S Corporation in Florida is quite straightforward. In most cases, small business owners and investors need only complete three steps.
Accordingly, in addition to the general S corporation information provided at this website, I also publish and sell for a modest price two downloadable Florida S corporation kits for small business owners and investors, as discussed below.Note: If you want to skip the background information and just purchase a Florida kit, page down to the buttons that show below.
For those people who are interested in the background stuff, let me go over the three basic steps you take to form an S corporation in Florida:
Step One: Form Eligible Entity
I need to start by explaining something. An S Corporation is not really a corporation. Rather an S Corporation is an eligible entity which has elected to use the tax accounting rules contained in subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code.
Therefore, you set up an eligible entity as the first step in setting up an S corporation.
In the state of Florida, small businesses and investors have two obvious choices for an "eligible entity:" a traditional corporation or an LLC. And the Florida Secretary of State provides simple, free forms nearly everyone can fill out and submit, thereby creating the new entity. (Forms for starting a corporation are available here, and forms for starting an LLC are available here.
Note: Because historically only corporations elected to use the subchapter S rules, entities that use the rules are usually called "Subchapter S" corporations. But you just did read the preceding paragraph correctly: an LLC may also be treated as an S corporation. People still call these LLCs "S corporations" though. Which is weird. Really, people should probably call them "Subchapter S LLCs" or "S LLCs."
Step Two: Obtain Employer Identification Number
After formation of the eligible entity, the entity needs to acquire a federal employer identification number also known as an EIN. Note that applying for and obtaining an EIN is usually pretty easy, too. The IRS supplies a one page form called an SS-4 which you use to obtain your EIN.
The www.irs.gov website also provides links to an online EIN application you can use to get your EIN nearly instantaneously. The online application in general works during normal business hours, but not always at other times of the day or night.
Step Three: Elect Subchapter S Status
Step three, the final step, is making the election to use subchapter S tax accounting rules. Making the subchapter S election using the 2553 form, also available from the www.irs.gov website, is what makes an entity a subchapter S corporation or LLC. Once the IRS accepts the 2553 application, the corporation or limited liability company is treated for income tax purposes as an S Corporation.
And a final, quick note: Some states require eligible entities to make an additional, separate state subchapter S election, but Florida does not. Florida accepts, or recognizes, the federal election.
Need a Little Help?
Here's the truth about S corporations: The steps are pretty straight forward. Some people, many people in fact, can probably prepare the forms themselves with almost no additional assistance. But it's helpful often to have a roadmap for the process. And so I've created simple, short do-it-yourself kits that provide more detail about each of the three steps, that give you some additional background information on maximizing the tax savings related to setting up an S corporation, and that provide the governing documents (such as corporate by-laws) that you can't get from the state of Florida or Internal Revenue Service website.
Option 1: Florida S Corporation Kit (the LLC Version)
If you want to base your S corporation on an LLC, purchase and download the LLC version of the Florida S corporation kit. This version of the Florida kit provides a 20+ page pdf document that discusses and describes the benefits of creating an S corporation using a limited liability company and then the steps for forming the entity, for obtaining the EIN and for electing subchapter S status.
The free kit includes examples of completed Florida and federal IRS tax forms so you know exactly what your set up documents should look like.
The Florida kit also includes two sample LLC operating agreements (the governing document for an LLC), one for a single member Florida limited liability company and one for a multiple member Florida limited liability company.Purchase and Download
Option 2: Regular Florida S Corporation Kit (the Corporation Version)
If you want to base your S corporation on a traditional, old-style corporation, purchase and download the corporation version of the Florida S corporation kit. This version of the Florida kit provides a 35 page pdf document that describes using a regular, traditional corporation as the starting point for a Florida S corporation. As with the LLC version of the kit, the regular corporation version provides step-by-step instructions for completing both the Florida forms and the IRS forms and it supplies sample corporate by-laws to use for your governing documents.Purchase and Download
Additional Information You May Find Useful
If you want additional information about how to maximize the tax savings related to running a business or investment venture, you may also be interested in one of our downloadable e-books (see descriptions below). Each book covers a category of tax planning topics that easily save a business owner significant amounts of income or self-employment taxes (potentially thousands of dollars a year) and is instantly downloadable.
One of the most powerful tactics for saving small business taxes is maximizing your deductions. You can literally save thousands in taxes each year.Read More
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