If you’re searching for the right business name for your Florida C Corporation, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a Florida Department of State business search, plus business naming rules, fictitious names and trademarks.

 

General Rules for Corporation Names

These rules generally apply to all corporations, wherever they're formed.

1
Your Corporation Name Must Be Unique

The name you select cannot be in use by any other business in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Florida Department of State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.

2
Your LLC Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

It’s not enough for your corporation name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of another business in the state. In addition, you cannot use any of the following features in an attempt to differentiate your corporation name from that of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., etc.
  • Articles, such as “A,” “An” or “The”
  • The conjunction "And" or “&"
  • Numbers in place of numerals (or vice versa), e.g., "One World" is the same as "1 World"
  • The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
  • Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
3
Your Corporation Name Must Contain Certain Words

All corporations must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited” or their abbreviations.

4
Your Corporation Name May Be Subject to Other General Restrictions

Most states will not allow you to incorporate with names that:

  • Are similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Patrol, Treasury, etc.)
  • Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
  • Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
  • Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out

Specific Rules for Florida Business Names

In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Florida corporation laws that apply to naming your business.

For example, per the state's Corporation Code § 607.0401:

A corporate name:

Must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” or “incorporated” or the abbreviation “Corp.,” or “Inc.,” or “Co.,” or the designation “Corp,” or “Inc,” or “Co,” as will clearly indicate that it is a corporation instead of a natural person, partnership, or other eligible entity.

May not contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for a purpose other than that permitted in this chapter and its articles of incorporation.

May not contain language stating or implying that the corporation is connected with a state or federal government agency or a corporation or other entity chartered under the laws of the United States.

Must be distinguishable from the names of all other entities or filings that are on file with the department, except fictitious name registrations pursuant to s. 865.09, general partnership registrations pursuant to s. 620.8105, and limited liability partnership statements pursuant to s. 620.9001 which are organized, registered, or reserved under the laws of this state. A name that is different from the name of another entity or filing due to any of the following is not considered distinguishable:

  • A suffix
  • A definite or indefinite article
  • The word “and” and the symbol “&”
  • The singular, plural, or possessive form of a word
  • A punctuation mark or a symbol

Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name

Finding the perfect business name can be difficult. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:

Appeal to your customers

Be memorable enough to stand out

Not be used by another business

All CA corporations must issue stock to shareholders

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.

Florida Corporation Name Search

Once you have an idea of the name you want, perform a Florida business lookup to make sure another company isn't already using that name.

You can use the FL Department of State's business search engine to perform a name search.

You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search tool, which will search the state's business registry for you.

Use Incfile’s free tool to find out whether your preferred name is available for your corporation in Florida.

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Florida Corporation name doesn't infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to ensure you're not infringing is to perform a trademark search through Incfile. If the trademark isn't already in use, you can even register it yourself.

Make sure your corporation is starting off on the right foot when it comes to intellectual property.

Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.

 

Register a DBA in Florida

You may do business under a name different from your corporation's legal name. While many states refer to this as an assumed name, trade name or "doing business as" (DBA), it's a fictitious name in Florida. You may decide to use a fictitious name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your primary business may be called Sunshine Hospitality, Inc., and you have a chain called Sunshine Events and Catering. You could register a fictitious name just for that brand. You'd do that with by registering your fictitious name with the Department of State, Division of Corporations, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf with our DBA service.

In order to keep your business names unique, you can also use the Florida business entity search. You can perform a Florida fictitious name search to find out whether any other companies are already using the fictitious name you want. We can also help you with this via our DBA name service.

Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.

Register and manage a DBA or fictitious name through our easy-to-use service.
 

Register Your Business Name with the Florida Secretary of State

You’ve performed a Florida Department of State Corporation search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need a fictitious name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.

1

If you don’t want to form your corporation right away, you can reserve the business name. You'll do this by submitting an application to the Department of State with the required information set out by Florida's Business Corporation Act § 607.04021. The name will be reserved for 120 days. If you're starting your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name

2

If you’re ready to start your corporation, you can indicate your chosen business name when you file your Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations. Or you can have Incfile do this for you.

Incfile can handle all your Florida Corporation formation paperwork for you — and we’ll do it for free!

Create a Corporation in Florida for $0 + State Fee ($70)

FAQs About Naming Your Corporation in Florida

How Do I Find an Available Corporation Name?

Use our free Business Name Search tool and enter your chosen business name. You can also perform a search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether any other corporations or LLCs in the state are already using that name.

Are There Any Rules for Naming My Corporation in Florida?

Yes. Most corporations will be bound by general rules (applicable to all corporations) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Florida). We’ve detailed these rules above.

Can I Do Business Under a Name Different from My Corporation in Florida?

Yes. You can conduct business under a fictitious name. Details are above.

Can I Reserve a Name for My Corporation in Florida?

Yes. The Florida Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you're not ready to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you do want to start your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.

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