Choosing the perfect name for your business takes time, ingenuity, and legal compliance. Entrepreneurs often spend hours creating their name. After all that work, many businesses choose to protect their names by reserving them with their Secretary of State.
Usually, a business name reservation gives a business time to form their business without losing their name. However, Florida does not offer name reservations.
In this guide, we’ll cover how you can claim your business name without a hitch.
Guru Tip: If you’d rather officially incorporate in Florida rather than file the extra paperwork to register a business name, there are many good incorporation services that can do it for you.
Step 1: Follow Business Naming Rules
There aren’t too many rules to follow when it comes to naming a business in Florida. The primary thing to remember is that your name must be distinguishable from other business names. (We’ll cover how to determine distinguishability in step 2).
Your name also need to include an entity identifier as part of your name. For example, any corporation needs to include an abbreviation like “Inc” or “Corp.” as part of their name. LLCs would need to use LLC, Ltd., or a similar identifier.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Business Name is Available
Like we mentioned in Step 1, your name must be distinguishable from other names in use in Florida. You can check if your name is distinguishable by running an Entity Name Search. Simply type in the name you’re hoping to use. The search tool will pull up any results that are the same as or quite similar to the name you’ve entered.
If no results pop up that are very similar to the name you’d like to use, then you’ll need to make changes to your name. Once you’ve made a few changes, run another search just to be sure.
Step 3: File Your Business Formation Documents — Quickly.
By now, you’ve ensured that your name is available. But the fact that it is available now doesn’t mean it always will ble. There is some risk that another business could be considering the same name you’ve chosen. In these circumstances, whichever business files its formation documents first is the one which gets the name. So in theory, you could lose the race for your name.
To avoid this, you should file your formation documents as quickly as possible. Only when you’ve formed your business is your name completely protected. You can form your business online using Florida’s SunBiz or you can find the forms you need here.
The primary drawback to this policy is that you’ll need to have all your start-up affairs in place as quickly as possible. As you’re likely aware, this includes paying fees, setting up your business plan, appointing a registered agent, and much more.
That said, once you’ve filed your formation documents, you’re all set! You’ve successfully named your business and formed it. We wish you the best with your new Florida business.