Florida business search
You can search for business entities registered and operating in the state of Florida by using the official business search tool. It is the Florida Business Name Search Tool. Read how to access the free tool below.
Why search for names?
Benefits of entity search tool
Checking entities in a state helps you as a business owner and a concerned citizen
You can check if your brand name is used by another company in a state.
To expand your business to another state, you can see check if your name is taken.
Find the people behind
As a concerned citizen, you can see the individuals and entities behind local businesses.
Before you file for trademarks, it is important to conduct thorough research into existing entity names.
Actions in Delaware
View step-by-step instructions on certain tasks you can do in the state.
How to form an LLC in Florida?
Follow these 7 steps:
1. Name your LLC
Think of a list of names for your business that your customers would find appealing. Show it to your friends and some customers and get their feedback. If you already have a few names in mind, great.
To check if those names are available in the state of Florida, go to the official entity search tool on the Secretary of State website. It’s free to search.
You cannot reserve an LLC name with the state. Florida is the only state where it is not possible. But, if you are filing Articles of Organization, you need not reserve a name separately.
Every limited liability company should be identified with a designator. At the end of your LLC’s name, you need to include the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or its abbreviations such as ‘LLC’, ‘L.L.C’, etc.
Make sure you follow LLC naming guidelines specified by Florida state as per FS §605.0112. This includes not using names similar to existing companies, etc.
2. Get a mailing address
If you are based in Florida, you can use the address of your office or factory as your official company address. Note that this address will be made public. You can even have your home address as your official company address if you want to.
If you would prefer not to worry about mailing, choose a virtual office address. This way, you pay a company for a street address and they handle all your mailing. You can then give this address to the state.
3. Hire a registered agent
If you are a resident of Florida, you can act as a registered agent for your LLC. All Florida businesses are required to have a registered agent in the state; if you are a resident of Florida, you may also be the designated agent for your LLC. However, your contact details will be made public and you must be available during all business hours to receive service of process.
There are companies that will provide a registered agent service for a fee. This means that you can keep your privacy and ability to freely move around without worrying about compliance.
4. File Articles of Organization
Once you've set up a registered agent and an official office address, you can go ahead and file Articles of Organization. You can do this online Florida Department of State Sunbiz website.
5. Create an Operating Agreement
In Florida, operating agreements aren't mandatory, but they're highly recommended. There are online websites where you can create them. Create an agreement and get it signed by LLC members.
6. Get Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Employer Identification Numbers are used by the Internal Revenue Service to identify business entities. You can create an EIN for free at the IRS website.
7. Open a business bank account
If you're an entrepreneur, it's important to separate your business and personal accounts. There are several ways to establish a business bank account. You can definitely open a business checking accounts at traditional banks like Chase and Wells Fargo, but there are also several modern banking solutions that offer plenty of benefits to entrepreneurs.
Every LLC should have a unique name in Florida. Florida maintains a list of names of entities in the state. Go through it to check if your chosen name is available.
Search for names
Go to the official website of the Florida business name search tool to see if the name you want is available.
You cannot reserve a name for your LLC in Florida. Alternatively, you can directly go ahead with the LLC formation without any reservation.
LLC naming guidelines
The name you choose for your LLC must the official naming guidelines.
Florida Statutes §605.0112
Here are some of the guidelines in simple language:
Must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” as will clearly indicate that it is a limited liability company instead of a natural person, partnership, corporation, or other business entity.
Don’t include terms that indicate that you are doing an activity that you are not authorised to do.
Your name should be ‘distinguishable’ in the Secretary of State records. Adding a punctuation or ‘the’ does not make it distinguishable.
Don’t use words that makes it seems like you are a governmental entity or has an affiliation.
Operating agreement is an internal business document that outlines the general rules and policies of the LLC.
It is not a legally mandatory document. However, it is recommended to have one since many courts, banks and financial institutions use it for verification. It is also nice to clearly outline the duties and relations between multiple members of an LLC—so you avoid any confusion in the future.
There is no ‘required’ format for an operating agreement. You can include anything reasonable in it. In general, it has the following sections:
Basic Business information
Contains name, address, names and details of members, purpose
Contains membership interest, decision making process, powers, duties.
Contains details on how to add or remove members and managers.
Accounting and tax
Contains details on how company records and distributions are maintained.
How to dissolve, wind up and terminate, due process to follow and exceptions.
Frequently asked questions
Business in Florida
Knowing the entity names that are available in Florida helps you run your business better. Read our guides to learn how to get started with these entities in Florida.