Under Florida Statute §865.09, a fictitious name means any name under which a person transacts business in this state, other than the person’s legal name. This is also known as DBA, or “doing business as.”
Why is a Fictitious Name Registration Important in Florida?
A fictitious name registration is important for several reasons:
- Businesses entities may operate various businesses under different names without having to form a separate business entity for each;
- It gives a sole proprietorship an opportunity to open a bank account and receive payment in its business name;
- It maintains certain legal protections to businesses operating under a name other than its legal name.
When is a Fictitious Name Registration Not Required in Florida?
A fictitious name registration is not required in Florida if the business is formed:
- By an attorney actively licensed to practice law in Florida;
- By a person actively licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation or the Department of Health for the purpose of practicing his or her licensed profession; or
- By any corporation, limited liability company, partnership or other business entity that is organized or registered and in active status with the Division of Corporations of the Department of State.
How to Register a Fictitious Name in Florida?
A Fictitious Name Registration Form must be submitted to the Division of Corporations along with a $50 processing fee. The registration form must contain the following:
- The name to be registered;
- The mailing address of the business;
- The name and address of each registrant;
- If the registrant is a corporation, it must provide its Florida document registration number and its federal employer identification number;
- Certification by at least one registrant that the intention to register such fictitious name has been advertised at least once in a newspaper in the county in which the principal place of business of the registrant is or will be located; and
- Any other information the Division of Corporations may reasonably deem necessary to adequately inform other governmental agencies and the public as to the registrant so conducting business.
What is the Penalty for Failing to Register a Fictitious Name in Florida?
If a business fails to comply with the statute’s requirements, neither the business nor the person(s) engaging in the business may maintain any action, suit, or proceeding in any court of Florida with respect to or on behalf of such business until the requirements are met.