Florida Business Entity Searches and Naming Your LLC
We’re here to help you find the right business name for your Florida LLC. From searching for a business name with the FL Department of State to understanding naming rules or creating a “Doing Business As” name to register your entity, you’re in the right place.
Sunbiz Business Search
Start naming your business by first completing a “Florida business entity search” with the FL Department of State, or more specifically, the Division of Corporations. Florida's DoS website, called Sunbiz, has a helpful tool that lets you run an LLC and corporation search to see if someone already has your desired business name. Just enter the business name you want to use, then search to see if it’s already been taken.
The Sunbiz search tool lets you enter details and search all Florida corporations or LLCs by the following fields:
- Entity Name
- Officer/Registered Agent
- Registered Agent Name
- Trademark Name
- Trademark Owner Name
- Detail By Document Number
- Zip Code
- Street Address
If the business name is already used by an LLC or corporation in Florida, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it. Try searching for a different business name instead.
Florida Department of State business name search tool
Florida DOS Rules on Your LLC Business Name
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Florida Department of State naming rules. You will need to pay attention to these rules, as they will influence the name you choose for your Florida LLC.
Your LLC Business Name Must Be Unique
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Florida. This is why you should check business name availability on the FL DOS website.
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable With Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your FL LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Florida. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
Your LLC Business Name Must Contain Certain Words
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. These words should normally come at the end of the name.
Your LLC Business Name May Have Other General Restrictions
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or FL agency or organization (e.g. FBI, FDA, Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Police, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the Olympic organization
- Imply a purpose that it would be illegal for your business to carry out
Florida LLC Fictitious Names
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Florida, doing business under a different name is known as either a “Fictitious” or “Doing Business As” name. You might choose to use a different name from your FL formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Florida Keys Holding Company LLC and you have a chain called Hemingway’s Bookstores. You should file a fictitious name to let the Florida Department of State know. In Florida, you do that through a Fictitious Name Application, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.
The Florida DOS also requires you to advertise the LLC name you register at least once in a newspaper that is located within the county where your principal place of business is located.
Incfile’s Assumed Business Name service
Business Name Registration for Your Florida LLC
Once you’ve searched for your Florida business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your FL LLC name. Just file your Articles of Organization with the Florida Department of State, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Florida LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
How Do I Search for My Florida LLC Business Name?
Just go to the Sunbiz business search tool and enter your proposed business name. This will allow you to search the company register of the Florida Department of State, which will tell you if there are any FL corporations or LLCs with that name.
Are There Any Rules on Naming My Florida LLC?
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Florida). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in Florida?
Yes. Known as “assumed names,” “fictitious names,” “doing business as names” or “trade names,” you can choose to conduct business under a different name. Details are above.
Can I Reserve a Name for My Florida LLC?
No. The Florida Department of State does not have any provisions to allow you to reserve your business name.
Useful Resources for Naming Your Florida LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Florida LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name does not infringe is to carry out a trademark search through Incfile. If it doesn’t infringe, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Incfile Trademark Search and Registration service
Find the Perfect Name for Your Florida LLC
The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
- Appeal to your customers
- Be memorable enough to stand out
- Best represent your product or services
- Not be used by another business
Incfile guide to choosing a business name