Do I Need a Florida Fictitious Name for My Business?
Many times for some businesses you will see an LLC or Corporate business name, and then right next to it, you will see another business name. Later, you may see the same LLC with an entirely different business name than the one you saw initially. How and why are they doing this? It’s simple. If a business is operating under any name other than its legal business name, it is using what’s known as a fictitious name.
What is a Fictitious Name Exactly?
A fictitious name, also known as a DBA or “doing business as” name, is a name other than the legal business name. Think of it as a nickname, if you will.
For example, “Joe’s Home Services, LLC” may operate under the name “Joe’s Plumbing”. Or, “Jane Jones” who has a writing business may operate her business under the name of “Writer Plus”.
Although a business can use a fictitious name, it cannot use the name without permission and registration. Without properly filing a fictitious name with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, a business or business owner would need to operate solely under the legal name of the business.
Florida Law on Fictitious Names
The Fictitious Name Act states that no one can engage in business with a fictitious name until the business has registered the name with the Division of Corporations.
Without filing the fictitious name with the state, the business is operating illegally and unknowingly harming others by hiding its true business identity.
How to File or Register a Fictitious Name
File the fictitious name with the Division of Corporations at its Florida Secretary of State website. Florida law requires the registrant to list the following on the application:
- The fictitious name to be registered.
- The mailing address of the business.
- The name and address of each registrant
- The Florida document registration number for domestic or foreign businesses
The fee to register a fictitious name is $50.00, with additional fees if you desire a Certified copy or certificate of status. The fee must accompany the application whether you pay online or submit the application through the mail.
How long is a Florida Fictitious Name Good For?
A Florida fictitious name is valid for 5 years upon the date of registration. The name will expire on December 31 of the 5th year. The name can be renewed for another 5 years with payment of another fee of $50.00
In the event the business or business owner would like to cancel the fictitious name and no longer use it, the name can be cancelled for $50.00 as well.
When You Need Help Registering Your Florida Business Name with the Division of Corporations, Contact Our West Palm Beach Business & Corporate Law Attorneys.
If you need to file a fictitious name for your Florida corporation, contact the West Palm Beach business & corporate law attorneys at Kelley Fulton Kaplan & Eller at 561-264-6850 for a consultation. We will help you get your name filed properly with the Division of Corporations to make sure you are in compliance with Florida laws. We offer our business and corporate law clients personalized service, strategies and comprehensive document preparation.