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Check LLC Name Availability in Florida
Take these steps to check if your business name is available in Florida:
1. Do a Florida Business Name Search
Use Florida’s Division of Corporations Business Entity Name Search tool to check the availability of your desired name.
If your name isn’t available via the Florida LLC Search, our LLC Name Generator will help you brainstorm new business names.
2. Search Available Domain Names
When you’re choosing a business name, you’ll need to make sure there’s a web domain name available.
Having a web domain (URL) for your own business that clearly matches your business name is important. This small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.
The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it online using a domain registry like GoDaddy.
Find a Domain Now
3. Follow Florida Naming Guidelines
Each state has its own LLC naming guidelines. Here’s Florida’s naming requirements:
Ensuring Clarity and Distinction
When starting a business as a limited liability company (LLC), it is crucial to select a name that clearly identifies your company as an LLC and sets it apart from other types of entities. Here are some essential guidelines for limited liability companies to follow when choosing a name and doing a Florida business entity search:
- Include Indicators: Your LLC name must contain the words "limited liability company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C." or "LLC." This ensures that it is unmistakably recognized as an LLC rather than a natural person, partnership, corporation, or any other business entity.
Example: Smith's Baking LLC, Johnson & Co. Limited Liability Company
- Be Distinguishable: Your LLC name should be unique and not already in use by another entity registered with the appropriate department. However, there are exceptions for fictitious name registrations, general partnership registrations, and limited liability partnership statements organized, registered, or reserved under the laws of your state.
To use a name that is not distinct, you will need written consent from the other entity, filed with the department during your LLC's registration.
Example: ABC Services LLC (if no other entity already registered under the same name)
- Non-Distinguishing Factors: Certain elements in a name will not be considered as factors of distinction, meaning they do not make your name unique. These elements include:
- Suffixes (e.g., Corp, Ltd)
- Definite or indefinite articles (e.g., The, A, An)
- The word "and" or the symbol "&"
- Singular, plural, or possessive forms of words
- Punctuation marks or symbols
Example: Smith & Sons LLC (if there is another entity called Smith and Sons LLC)
Staying Within Legal Boundaries
To maintain compliance and avoid misrepresentation, there are two more considerations when selecting an LLC name:
- Appropriate Purpose: The name should not imply that your LLC operates for a purpose other than what is authorized by law and defined in your LLC's articles of organization.
Example: XYZ Marketing Solutions LLC (if your LLC offers marketing services)
- Avoiding Government and Chartered Entity Associations: Your LLC name should not suggest any affiliation with a state or federal government agency, or a corporation or entity chartered under the laws of the United States.
Example: Federal Business Solutions LLC, State Agency Support LLC
You can find a complete list of LLC naming guidelines on the Florida state statute website.
Registering Your Business Name
If you’re ready to form your LLC, you can fill out your state’s LLC formation documents to officially register your business name.
If you’re not ready to start your business, you may want to reserve the name to ensure someone else doesn’t take it.
We’ll walk you through both processes.
Register Your Name
In Florida, you register your LLC name when you submit your LLC application to the Department of State.
Online: Submit your online application with a credit card.
By Mail: Mail a printed PDF form to the Division of Corporations with a check or money order made payable to the Florida Department of State to:
Department of State
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Professional LLC formation services will register your LLC name when they form your LLC. Learn more in our Best LLC Services review.
Reserve Your Florida Business Entity Name
If you’d like to reserve your business name before officially forming your LLC, you can file a name reservation with the Florida Secretary of State.
Florida name reservations last for 120 days and cost $25.
By Mail: There is no specific form provided by the Department of State for LLC name reservation.
Instead, you’ll need to draft a reservation request letter according to the state’s requirements (FAQ 3) and send a letter along with the $25 fee to the Florida Division of Corporations to:
Department of State
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Federal Trademarks, Social Media, and Branding
When naming a business, we recommend searching for federal trademarks and securing your social media handles. Later, you might consider using a DBA for additional branding.
Trademarking Your Business Name
For small businesses, federal trademarking isn’t generally necessary. Under normal circumstances, it can be prohibitively expensive and something you can do as your business grows.
If you plan to build a business with a national presence, you can check now to see if your business name is already trademarked at the federal level.
You can search the US Federal Trademark Database on the USPTO website.
To learn more about trademarking your business visit our How to Trademark Your Business guide.
Social Media Handles
After you’ve picked a name for your business, you’ll want to secure a username on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.
You’ll want to pick a username that is available on all platforms and one that aligns well with your business name. This will help people recognize and connect with your business on social media sites.
To learn more, visit our Social Media Guide for Small Businesses.
Using a DBA (Doing Business As)
A “doing business as” or “DBA” name is any registered name a business uses that isn’t its official legal name.
If you have multiple businesses under one LLC, DBAs can be used to better brand the other businesses.
For example, if you own a party supply company that also rents inflatables, you might get a DBA for the inflatable company to better differentiate what you are offering.
To learn more about DBAs, visit our How to File a DBA guide.
Branding Your Business Name
Learn more about branding your business name with these resources:
How do I file an LLC name in Florida?
There is no specific form for LLC name reservation provided by the Department of State. To file an LLC name in Florida, you must submit your desired name and contact information of your business entity in a letter to the Florida Division of Corporations.
How do I choose an LLC name?
When deciding on an LLC name, it is crucial to consider factors like simplicity, originality, and relevance that reflect your business’s identity. Verify whether your desired business name is available for use in your state.
Use our free LLC name generator to get inspiration for picking a name that aligns with your brand.
Can another LLC have the same name in Florida?
No, another LLC cannot have the same name in Florida. The state law requires LLC names to be distinguishable from any other entity’s name registered with the Division of Corporations. The requirement ensures that there is no confusion between different business entities and protects the public from any potential misrepresentation.
Can I use a business name that already exists?
Florida limited liability companies cannot use a name that has already been registered by another business. Each state maintains its own database of registered businesses and their corresponding names, and using a name that has already been registered can cause confusion for consumers.
How do I name my small business?
Naming a small business is not just a matter of creativity; it also carries substantial implications for branding, marketing, and protecting your intellectual property. It is essential that you choose a name that has not already been registered in your state to avoid confusion with other businesses.