How to Search Available LLC Names in Florida
1. Check Florida LLC Naming Guidelines
Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.
Some key guidelines for Florida LLC names include:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state, except for certain fictitious name registrations, general partnership registrations, and limited liability partnership statements.
Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.
Additionally, in Florida, LLC names cannot contain language implying that the LLC is organized for an unlawful purpose or one not stated in its articles of organization.
For more information, check out Florida’s official state statutes.
2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search
Once you know your LLC name meets Florida guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by searching the Florida Business Entity Search tool.
It is important that your name be distinguishable from any existing business in the state, except for certain fictitious name registrations, general partnership registrations, and limited liability partnership statements.
In Florida, a distinguishable name is one that is substantially different from another name. Florida does NOT consider the following differences to be distinguishable:
- Business type suffixes (e.g., LLC, Corp.)
- Articles (the, a, an)
- The word “and” and ampersands (&)
- Plural or possessive forms of words
- Punctuation and symbols
Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.
What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in Florida, it’s time to come up with some new ideas.
How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name
Register Your Name
If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. Florida provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization.
Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, known as a fictitious name in Florida, is a separate process that requires filing with the Secretary of State.
Florida LLC Name Search FAQ
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Florida?
You can use the Florida Business Entity Search tool to see if your preferred business name is available.
Should I name my LLC after myself?
While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this.
One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.
What words can’t be used in a Florida LLC name?
Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.
Additionally, Florida LLC names cannot contain language implying that the LLC is organized for an unlawful purpose or one not stated in its articles of organization.
Should I use an LLC name generator?
If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.
What is a brand name?
A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.
Do I have to include LLC in my name?
Yes. Florida requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.
Do I need to renew my business name in Florida?
Florida does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but fictitious names must be renewed by December 31st of the fifth year after registration and every five years after that.
Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Florida?
Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or a fictitious name in Florida.
In Florida, fictitious names are filed with the Secretary of State.
Does my LLC need a DBA name?
Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Florida DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Florida from the dropdown menu.