Florida Business Search

You can do a Florida Secretary of State business search to find out if your business name is available or to learn more about an existing corporation, LLC, limited partnership, or other Florida business entity.

Our Florida Business Search guide will give you instructions on how to do a Florida corporation search, so you can lookup all Florida business entities, including corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) with the Florida Division of Corporations.

Recommended: If you are forming an LLC, visit our Florida Form an LLC guide for step-by-step instructions, including how to search and register your LLC name.

Florida Business Name Search

When you register your Florida company or LLC, you’ll need to complete a Florida business name search, follow the naming guidelines, and then complete the LLC application documents to officially register your name.

We also recommend searching domain names and trademarks at this time.

Complete a Florida Business Entity Search

When you form an LLC, you have to make sure your business name is available and distinguishable from other business names. This is why we strongly recommend businesses form an LLC to begin with, rather than a sole proprietorship or an unofficial entity type.

Often sole proprietorships want to transition over to limited liability companies or limited partnerships only to find their business name already in use in the search results of the Florida Division of Corporations database. Now they have to change business names, which means losing their corporate branding and website, and other information provided to the public.

To verify that your business name is unique, you’ll need to complete a Florida business entity search on the Florida Department of State Business Entity Search webpage.

TIP: It's also worth searching just the first two words if you have a desired business name with numerous words in it.

If you find that your desired business name isn’t available, we recommend taking a look at our LLC Name Generator tool and our How to Name Your Business guide for help with coming up with a unique name.

Recommended: Complete a domain name search to make sure your domain name is available.

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US Trademark Search

Perform a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System and it will tell you whether someone else has trademarked your name. The cost of trademarking a name is usually too high for a startup business, but it’s good to know if your name is already taken.

To learn more about trademarks and the steps you will need to get one, read our How to Trademark Your Business guide.

Follow Florida Business Name Guidelines

Most LLC filing rejections are due to business name issues. This happens when the name isn’t distinguishable enough from other business names or when the name doesn’t meet state guidelines.

Florida Naming Guidelines:

  • The name of your LLC must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” so as to clearly indicate that it is a limited liability company instead of a natural person, partnership, corporation, or other business entity.

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

  • The name must not contain language stating or implying that the company is organized for a purpose other than a purpose authorized in this chapter and its articles of organization.

  • The name must be distinguishable in the records of the department from the names of all other entities or filings that are on file with the department. This includes Florida reserved names.

  • The name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Florida reserved names. We will help with this step in the search for your business name section below.

Visit the Florida LLC naming statute for a full list of naming guidelines.

In Florida, your business name is officially registered when your LLC is approved. Use our free step-by-step Form an LLC in FL guide to get started.

Form an LLC

Florida Corporation Search

When you register a corporation in Florida, you’ll need to complete a Florida corporation search, follow the Florida business name guidelines, and then complete corporation registration documents to officially register your name.

The first step in doing a Florida corporation search is to go to the website of the Florida Division of Corporations. On this website, you will be able to search for corporations by name or by filing number within the Florida Secretary of State Division of Corporations database.

If you are searching for a corporation by name, you will need to enter the name or partial names of the corporation in the search box. You will then be given a list of results that match your search criteria. If you are searching for a corporation by document number, you will need to enter the document number in the search box.

Once you have found the corporation that you are looking for, you will be able to view more detailed information about the corporation. Other entity type businesses can be searched on the same page.

We also recommend searching domain names and trademarks at this time.

Complete a Florida Business Search

When you start a corporation, you have to make sure your business name is available and distinguishable from other business names.

To verify that your business name is unique, you’ll need to complete a business entity search on the Florida Department of State Business Entity Search webpage.

TIP: If your potential business name has several words in it, you should also search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.

If you find that your business name isn’t available, we recommend taking a look at our Business Name Generator tool and our How to Name Your Business guide for help with coming up with a unique name.

Recommended: Complete a domain name search to make sure your domain name is available.

GoDaddy

Follow FL Corporation Naming Guidelines

Most business filing rejections are due to business name issues. This happens when the name isn’t distinguishable enough from other business names or when the name doesn’t meet state guidelines.

Florida Corporation Naming Rules:

  • The name of your corporation 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.

  • The name must 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.

  • The name must not contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for a purpose other than a purpose authorized in this chapter and its articles of organization.

  • Entity names must be distinguishable in the records of the department from the names of all other entities or filings that are on file with the department. This includes Florida reserved names.

  • The name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Florida reserved names. We will help with this step in the search for your business name section below.

Visit the Florida corporation naming statute for a full list of naming guidelines.

In Florida, your business name is registered when your corporation is approved. Use our free step-by-step Start a Corporation in Florida guide to get started.

Start a Corporation

FL Department of State Business Entity Search

If you need to search existing business entities in Florida, visit the Florida Department of State Business Entity Search and include any detailed information you have on the business in the search field.

How to Register a Business Name in Florida

After performing a business name search, you can register a business name in Florida by forming a corporation or LLC.

This will involve filling out the correct business formation documents with the Florida Secretary of State. This could be an LLC application, which in Florida is called the Articles of Organization. If starting a corporation, you'll fill out the Articles of Incorporation.

These documents will ask for your principal address (usually your street address), mailing address, registered agent, and Members' names, including the middle initial.

You won't need an EIN number or Social Security Number to register your business, but we recommend an Employer Identification Number be obtained after your corporate name status has been approved, and your entity's correct formation document number approved.

Recommended: Read our guides to learn more about forming LLCs and corporations.

FL SOS Business Search FAQ

How do I name a small business?

Naming a small business is often a do-it-yourself job. Small business startup budgets usually won’t support hiring someone to help name your business. For easy step-by-step instructions on naming your small business, visit our How to Name a Business guide.

How do I come up with a catchy business name?

The first step to naming your business is figuring out what business structure you will use for your new company. After that, you will brainstorm at least 4-5 possible names. The more you brainstorm the better. Once you have some names, you can test the names against best practices, name availability, and state guidelines.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.

Should you name your business after yourself?

Naming your business after yourself has its benefits. Unless you have a name like John Smith, your name can help you find a .com domain name. If you are coming up with innovative ideas or a new approach, using your name can help create a strong brand.

There are also reasons NOT to name your business after yourself. If you don’t want to be the face and name of your business, it won’t work. If your type of client or customer base would prefer a company name, then you should give them a company name to work with.

If you want your business to someday run on its own, without you working there every day, then you shouldn’t use your name.

Can I sell my trademark or buy someone else’s?

Yes, you can sell or buy a trademark. A trademark is considered intellectual property which means it can be sold like property. It’s important to consult with an attorney before buying or selling intellectual property, especially trademarks.

Is my trademark application public?

Yes, your trademark application, including your personal identification information, is public. By law, your trademark information must be easily searchable by the public.

Where should I buy a domain name?

Our top choice in web hosting and domain registrars is GoDaddy. We like their domain search tool — you can search for the exact name you want or make suggestions based on keywords and available names. There are also several other companies to choose from that will provide a good experience.

Visit GoDaddy to search for domain names.

Can I put the word “company” in my business name?

Yes, you can. Neither the term “company” nor any of its abbreviations has any legal connotations. A company is simply an association of individuals.

Do I have to write “LLC” after my company name?

If you choose to use a limited liability company structure for your new business, most states will require that you use LLC after the name. You can also use the full term limited liability company.


If you are marketing your business, you usually don’t have to use LLC after the name.

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