PLLC vs LLC in Florida: A Quick Guide for Professionals
Choosing between a Florida PLLC vs a Florida LLC
The type of Florida business entity – such as an LLC, PLLC, or a corporation – that you decide on has wide-reaching consequences. It determines a lot about your business, including how it will be taxed and what kind of liability protections you’ll enjoy as the owner. Deciding between a Florida PLLC and a Florida LLC, however, hinges upon different criteria than other types of businesses. This guide will help you figure out which entity will best meet your needs and help you achieve your professional goals.
Florida LLC Basics
The LLC is one of the most popular business entities in Florida for good reason. Business owners often form LLCs when starting out to benefit from the entity’s flexibility, liability protection, and the ability to choose between pass-through taxation and corporate taxation. Florida LLCs are highly customizable, and they’re easy to get up and running, too. Essentially, an LLC combines similar liability protections to a corporation with the pass-through taxation available to sole proprietors and partnerships.
Florida PLLC Basics
A Florida PLLC, on the other hand, is a business entity only available to “professional service providers.” This entity has similar benefits to an LLC but doesn’t provide quite as much liability coverage. You’ll also need to provide the state with proof that you’ve obtained the necessary licenses to practice your profession in the state of Florida. Furthermore, a PLLC can only have licensed professionals as members, and can only conduct business in their specific professional field.
What do Florida PLLCs and Florida LLCs have in common?
Florida PLLCs and LLCs have more in common than not. The owners of Florida PLLCs and Florida LLCs are known as the company’s “members.” PLLCs and LLCs in Florida are both formed when the organizing members file Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations. Both entities can be customized based on your needs and plans for the future. This includes the ability to choose pass-through taxation, or to elect corporate status instead and operate as an S corporation.
What makes a Florida PLLC Different from a Florida LLC?
The extent of liability protection is the main difference between a PLLC and an LLC in Florida. In most cases, you’ll also need to provide your licensing credentials to the state before you can form a PLLC. Professional service providers are held to a higher standard because their work requires years of education and often involves people’s health, finances, or livelihoods. Accordingly, a PLLC’s members can still be held personally liable for malpractice claims as well as any personal guarantees made when taking out loans.
That said, PLLC members can’t be held liable for malpractice committed by other members. While the company’s finances and any money the non-liable member invested in the company will be on the line, the unoffending member’s personal assets will remain safe and sound.
Who Can Form a PLLC in Florida?
A Florida PLLC is an option for all professional service providers working in our state, such as doctors and other types of physicians. Florida state statutes define a professional service provider as any occupation that requires licensing or any other kind of legal authorization. While this is not a comprehensive list, professional service providers include:
- Certified Public Accountants
- Chiropractic Physicians
- Life Insurance Agents
Don’t Know if You Need a Florida PLLC vs. a Florida LLC?
If you’re still unsure if your profession is considered a professional service, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our attorney for guidance. Because of our firm’s extensive experience in business formation, we can help guide you through the process from start to finish while offering advice all along the way.
The Florida business entity that you select is one of the most important decisions that you’ll make when first starting out as an entrepreneur. Our business attorney has helped organize countless LLCs, corporations, and non-profit organizations in the state of Florida. For more on our business formation services, call us today at (727) 279-5037 or visit our helpful business formation page.