How to do a business entity name search in Florida?
A business name is the most important aspect of any type of business filing in Florida. Without a proper name, you will not be able to incorporate or register your startup. You have to provide a business name in most business documents. For example, Florida annual reports, applications for Amendment, SS-4 application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), cover letters, change of registered agent application, affidavit to change members, managers, officers, or directors, and articles of correction and dissolution among others all require a business name. Hence, conducting a proper Florida business name search is extremely important and there are several ways of doing it.
Visit Search Records
The first step towards how to conduct a business entity name search in Florida starts from the Florida Division of Corporation’s website also known as the Sunbiz Search Records option. The website provides several options to both new and existing domestic and foreign entities to conduct a Florida business name search through a comprehensive business name database.
Know the search options
There are different Florida business entity search options that you can consider depending on your requirements or needs. The options are as follows:
- Search by entity name – The first type of Florida business name search option is by searching using a chosen name. When opting for this option, you can search the name database for Limited Liability Companies, corporations, Limited Partnership, and Trademarks. If you are planning to start a corporation and you have chosen a name like Florida Hills Inc., then while searching using this name, you will find that it is not a unique name as you may find some other the entities with similar names in the Florida business name database you may find similar names like, Florida Hills Corporation, Florida Hills Corp., Florida Hills, Inc., and Florida Hills. In such a scenario, you will have to change the name and search again. For example, you can choose ‘Florida Hill Store’ and if the search shows this name is available, then you have the green light to use it.
- Search by registered agent – If you are planning to form a registered agent service or you want to conduct a Florida business entity search using the name of the registered agent then there is the option to do so. If you are searching for a registered agent service using the name ‘Registered Agents Inc.’, then the search will reveal several names along with the entity number.
- Search by trademark name – A trademark name is used primarily to identify brands or goods and hence is known as a brand name. In order to register a trademark name in Florida, you will need to do it through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Florida business name database of the division of corporations allows searching for trademark names. The database lists all trademarks as well as all service mark registrations by name and the result includes document numbers and status of each entity.
- Search by Trademark Owner Name – This type of Florida business entity search is conducted using the trademark owner name. The Florida business name database lists the trademark as well as service mark owners by their name and the results reveal the document numbers related to the names.
- Search by EIN – The EIN or the Employer Identification Number is a unique nine digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses. You can use the EIN to conduct a Florida business name search and the result may bring up several entities registered under a single Federal Employer Identification number (FEI) and EIN.
- Search Detail by Document Number – If you are wondering how to do a business entity name search in Florida then one of the options is conducting a name search using the document number of the business. The document number of a Florida business is a 6 or 12 digit number that has been assigned to an entity by the Division of Corporations during the registration or incorporation process. An example would be, if you search using a document number ‘F93200’ then it brings out the name of the entity and its filing information, status (active/inactive), and even the registered agent name and address.
Submit and view entity details (Active/Inactive)
The important step towards how to do a business entity name search in Florida is to use any of the name search options offered by the Division of Corporations. A Florida business name search can be conducted using the official state of Florida website (Sunbiz) for both active and inactive businesses. As an example, if you conduct the search using the document number ‘F93201’, it will bring up the following filing information:
- Name of the business
- FEI/EIN Number
- Date of registration
- Status (Active/Inactive)
- Principal address and mailing address
- Registered agent name and address
- Officer or director detail
- Annual Reports and filing dates