Florida Secretary of State Business Search

All businesses should complete a Florida Business Name Search before forming a Florida LLC.

We'll show you how to check LLC name availability in our Florida Secretary of State Business Search guide below.

Need help forming an LLC? Read our Best LLC Services review.

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  1. Follow Florida Naming Guidelines
  2. Do a Florida Business Name Search
  3. Search Available Domain Names
  4. Reserve Your Florida Business Entity Name

Florida Entity Search

1. Follow Florida Naming Guidelines

We recommend making sure your business name meets guidelines before completing your business name search.

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Florida naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

Be sure to follow these naming guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

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

2. Do a Florida Business Name Search

Before filing your fictitious name request, you can use Florida’s Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired name. To perform the most effective search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC.” This will return all entities using the same or similar names. If your business name is several words, you can even search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.

If you register a name online, the website automatically prompts you to do a search first. Be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your paperwork to avoid rejection. Once you have registered your business name, Florida also requires you to advertise the business name in a newspaper. (Related Reading: Florida LLC Lookup)

3. Search Available Domain Names

Another important consideration to make when selecting a business name is whether or not your desired web domain name is available. Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This seemingly 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 your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.

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4. Reserve Your Florida Business Entity Name

The Florida Department of State handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 120 days.

The Department of State does not provide a form for LLC name reservation. Instead, applicants must submit a letter to the state indicating their desired name and their contact information.

After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.

File Florida LLC Name Reservation

Request a Name Reservation by Mail With the Florida Department of State

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Fee: $25

Mailing Address:
Department of State
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314

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Other Considerations

While reserving the name for your LLC is straightforward, there are some other things you should think about when choosing the best name for your business. You may want to do a Trademark and Social Media search for your name to see if it's available for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.

Trademark Search

Conducting a trademark search of your business name and associated slogans or logos before registering can help prevent costly litigation in the future. Discovering that another entity has trademarked your business name does not automatically disqualify you from using it.

However, it is important to know who is using the name, what industry they operate in, and where they are located to be sure you do not inadvertently infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights.

To complete this step:

  • Search Florida’s trademark records to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state.
  • Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic records to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business name.

Social Media Search

Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring that your business name is available for use across social media platforms. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.

Bottom Line

Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using Florida's Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will be able to find your business online. Registering your name with an Application for Registration of Fictitious Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.

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What's Next?

Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in Florida, where we can guide you every step of the way.

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