Whether you reside in Florida or some other state, naming your business isn’t that easy. If you want to register your Corp/LLC or any other business in Florida then the name should comply with some rules. To find a valid name, you must perform a business search. So in this guide, we will explain how to perform a Florida business entity search to name your new business.
Why Do Florida Business Entity Search?
As a rule of thumb, you are not allowed to name your business after an already registered business in the state. This is one of the exact reasons to perform a Florida business entity search before proceeding with registering your business. This enables you to check records of businesses on the Florida secretary of state’s website. Thus, you can come up with a distinguishable name from other businesses. Not doing so may result in failure in registering your business.
Florida LLC Naming Rules
Before you do a Florida LLC search you need to be aware of the following rules for naming your LLC.
- You’ll have to use the phrase limited liability company or LLC.
- Your name shouldn’t imply illegal activity.
- It shouldn’t have words that suggest a different type of business than the one you’re gonna mention in your final formation documents.
- You shouldn’t use words that confuse the LLC with a government agency like – Treasury, Florida Police, FBI, and so on.
- The name shouldn’t be similar to existing businesses in Florida.
Florida Corporation Naming Rules
You should know the following corporation naming rules before doing a Florida Corporation search.
- You’ll have to add either of the following terms or an abbreviation – corporation, company, incorporated.
- The name shouldn’t have words that imply illegal activity.
- Your name cannot include words that suggest that the corporation is a government agency.
- The name should be distinguishable from other businesses in the state.
Florida Business Entity Search Methods
The Florida secretary of state’s website provides details on all registered businesses on their database. Following are some of the methods you can do a business search in Florida.
1. Search By Name – You can search different names to know whether your desired one already exists or not. Aside from that, you may also search existing businesses to gain more information like their document no., EIN, status, annual reports, etc.
2. Search Registered Agents – This is used for a background check of different registered agents. It is a person who would receive your different business documents such as tax notices, subpoenas, etc. This search will help you know which businesses are handled by specific agents.
3. Trademark Name/Owner Name – You need to ensure that the name you’re gonna use doesn’t have a registered trademark in Florida. You can do this by trademark name search. You may also search owners’ names to know their registered trademarks in the state.
4. Search the EIN & Document No. – All registered businesses in Florida have a unique EIN and document no. Searching any one of these will give you a unique result of the business associated with that number.
Similarly, you may also search zip codes or street addresses to know businesses in certain locations.
How To Run a Florida Business Entity search?
Now that you are aware of the different business search methods, let us explain how to do a Florida SOS name search and select a unique name for your business. This will also cover what to do after finalizing a name.
1. List business names – First, you need to make a list of names that suit your taste or business niche.
2. Do the Florida name search – Once you have the list, go to the Florida secretary of state business search page and search all names one by one in the ‘entity name’ search field.
3. Review results and finalize a name – If your searched term shows results with similarly named businesses that means you should avoid using that name regardless of whether it’s active or inactive. We suggest you look for a different name.
4. Reserve the name (optional) – This is optional, but you can reserve a name you like if you are not quite ready to register your business immediately. It’ll cost you about $25 to 50$ depending on your business type (LLC/Corp./Limited partnership). Your name will be reserved for 120 days.
5. Register the name – You can skip the reservation and directly register your business with the Florida secretary of state. Once your business is registered successfully, no one else can use that name.
Other Considerations Before Naming Your Business
After performing the Florida name search, there are a few more things that you need to make sure of before finalizing the name. Knowing these will help your business in many ways.
- Trademark search – You may also want to ensure that the name/phrase doesn’t have a registered trademark outside the state if you want to expand the business nationally. To do this you can perform a trademark search on the USPTO website.
- Domain name – Your online website should have the same domain name and business name. This helps customers to find you online. So you should check whether a domain with a similar term is available or not. If yes, then buy that domain to prevent others from using it.
- Social media name – Your social media handles should be similar to the business name. It’ll improve your visibility online.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much does it cost to reserve a business name in Florida?
You’ll have to pay a filing fee of $30 to reserve a business name in the state. This amount will be payable to the Florida secretary of state.
2. How do I find a registered agent to handle my Florida business?
You may search for different registered agents on the Florida SOS business filings and select a reliable agent who’s handling well-known businesses in the state.
3. How do I name my business in Florida?
Your name should comply with the Florida business naming rules and it should be unique from other businesses in the state. For this, you can check for name availability on the Florida SOS business search portal.
4. How much does it cost to register a trademark in Florida?
A Florida trademark registration cost is $87.50 per class. This will secure a name, slogan or logo for 5 years.
All in all, to successfully register your business, you must conduct a Florida business entity search and finalize a unique name. Visit the Florida SOS website to check for name availability. Once you find a suitable one, either reserve it or register your business with the SOS, Don’t forget to research the Florida LLC and Corporation naming guidelines.