Note: This lesson provides step-by-step instructions on how to search your desired business name for your Florida LLC. You can follow the video instructions directly below (which are more detailed), or the written instructions after the video.
Entity Name Search: Sunbiz Division of Corporations: Search Records
The first step to forming an LLC in Florida is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it is available for use.
Your Florida LLC name must be unique and must follow certain state requirements.
Florida LLC Name Requirements
Before searching your LLC name in Florida, there are a few requirements you need to know:
1. The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your Florida LLC name. The abbreviation “LLC” is the most common.
2. Because a Florida LLC is not a Corporation, your desired LLC name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.”, “Inc.”).
3. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in Florida.
Differences in designators (the identifiers at the end of a business name) and differences in grammar do not create distinguishability.
- LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
- singular, plural, and possessive
- A, An, The
- and, or, &
- hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
- three vs. 3
The following examples are NOT distinguishable:
- Smith Investments, LLC vs. Smith Investments, Inc.
- Apple Farm, LLC vs. Apple Farms, LLC
- Print Shop, LLC vs. The Print Shop, LLC
- Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
- Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
- Three Teachers Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Teachers Consulting, LLC
Searching the Florida Name Database
1. Visit the Database
Go to the Entity Name Search page:
Sunbiz Division of Corporations: Search Records
2. Search your LLC
Enter your desired LLC name in the the search box.
- Leave out the ending “LLC” and any punctuation.
- Capitalization doesn’t matter.
- To be thorough, just enter the first word or two of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar. (Ex: if your desired Florida LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “johnny apple”).
- To be even more thorough, just enter a part of the first word. (Ex: if your desired Florida LLC name is “Printing Solutions LLC”, just enter “print”).
3. Browse the Results
Click the “Search Now” button and browse the list of existing Florida businesses:
If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your desired LLC name is available for use.
If your desired LLC name appears in the list exactly as you want it, your desired Florida LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
If the results show a name that is deceptively similar to your desired LLC name, your desired Florida LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
Tip: And don’t worry, if you’re not 100% sure that your desired Florida LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with the state. If your name is not available, the state of Florida will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
Once you find a Florida LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: Florida LLC Registered Agent.
And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
Florida Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Florida Secretary of State at 850-245-6052.
Florida Division of Corporations: Corporation records search guide
Florida Division of Corporations: Fictitious name search guide
Florida Division of Corporations: Explanation of status terms
Florida Division of Corporations: Title abbreviations
Florida Division of Corporations: Division FAQs
Florida LLC Act: Section 605.01125
Florida LLC Act: Section 605.0112