Florida DBA & Fictitious Name

Fictitious Name Registration Forms in Florida

Florida DBA: How to file a Florida Doing Business As (DBA) and information on Florida Fictitious Name filings. Free DBA Forms and instructions. A step by step guide to filing your Florida DBA.

Doing Business As (DBA) is a name that a Florida business is required to operate under.

Without a DBA fictitious name, Florida law requires the real name of the owner or partners.

Filing a DBA allows a business or a business owner to put the DBA fictitious name on a bank account for managing the business and accepting payments in the DBA's name.

Forming a DBA in Florida

The only legal stipulations are that a business owner must do business, accept payments, and advertise under the declared DBA name.

A DBA filing in Florida averages three to five business days and the overall creation of a business with a business license takes up to ten days.

Overall, a DBA is a great way to do business without tying a personal name to a business.

Advantages of a Florida DBA Registration

There are many advantages to officially registering a DBA for a Florida business. A fictitious name, or DBA business name, is legally published and discourages competitors from using the same name or a similar name.

The name can reflect goods or services sold, and as mentioned above, a bank account can be used to operate and open a bank account, and even write and cash checks under the business name.

Additionally, it allows a corporation to operate multiple businesses with different names without making the owner create a separate corporation for each. For example, say you want to open a doughnut shop in several towns.

If using a regular name, all of the donut shops will have to be named the same thing. Using a DBA, each doughnut shop can have a different name. The biggest advantage to using a DBA is that it is easy to setup and easy to maintain.

Other statutes covering Florida DBAs can be found in chapters 607 and 614 of Florida law. For instance, when using a DBA in Florida, it may not contain the words, corporation, incorporated, or the abbreviations.

Who can Register a Florida DBA

The good news is a DBA can be used for a corporation, LLC, limited liability partnership, or limited partnership.

The information necessary to file a DBA is the name of the business, the operating address, and the name and address of each owner.

If a person is using a DBA for a corporation, the Federal employer’s identification number is required as well as a Florida registration number.

Additionally, any other information that is necessary for public and governmental identification needs to be submitted. DBAs in Florida are valid for five years and expire on the last day of the year at the end of the fifth year.

The DBA will cancel if it is not renewed or re-registered under another person. The good news about filing and renewal is that both can be done online with minimal paperwork required.

Florida DBA Legalities

Some of the common questions surrounding DBAs can be found on legal preparation websites and attorney sites. Even though DBAs discourage others from using the same name, is it illegal for them to use the same name as another Florida DBA?

The answer to this question is no, it is not illegal for another person or entity to reuse the same name.

What forms are needed to create a Florida DBA? A Florida Business Name Certificate form must be completed and filed with the Florida Secretary of State’s office.

In addition to filling out the document, it must notarized and filed properly without errors so that it can be published.

What is a specific advantages of filing a DBA in the state of Florida? First, a Floria DBA can be used in the courts for a lawsuit against the business.

This means a person using a DBA can enforce any contract signed under the business name instead of a personal name.

Common Florida DBA Misconceptions

What are some of the misconceptions surrounding DBAs? First, a Florida DBA is not a way to set up a Florida business to lower fees.

In all cases, a corporation or LLC must be formed first, followed by forms to operate under a different name. Second, a DBA does not provide any sort of protection for a company.

While the name is an advantage by discouraging others from operating under the same name, as mentioned earlier, there is no naming protection.

Finally, a DBA is not a way to change the company name as Articles of Amendment are required for that process.

Filing the Florida business forms for a DBA is neither hard nor tedious. One can do it alone or with the help of an attorney or document-preparing agency.

If a corporation, LLC, or other business is being created along with the Floria DBA name, then other forms for creation of the new business will need to be filed first.

Florida DBA Forms

Doing Business As (DBA) is a way for an individual to do business under a different name. It offers many advantages and requires little paperwork to setup.

In fact, there are only two forms associated with the creation and renewal of a DBA in the state of Florida. Any existing Florida business owner can use these business forms to create a Florida DBA.

The Florida Department of State Division of Corporations provides both forms with instructions on how to file for a DBA.

To create a Florida DBA, a corporation or LLC must be existing and in operation. A registration fee is required when filing the form, but the fee is relatively small.

Download the Florida Fictitious Name Application.

Filling out the Florida DBA Forms

The following instructions explain each part of the application for registration of fictitious name:

  • Section 1 - Begin by listing the fictitious name to be registered, mailing address of the business, the county of operation, and FEI number. (FEI = Federal Employer Identification)

  • Section 2 – This section is to list the name, address, and FEI number of the owner(s) or entity that owns the business.

  • Section 3 – In this section the owner or entity listed in section 2 must sign, date, and provide a phone number certifying that the information is correct.

  • Section 4 – In the event that a business owner wants to cancel the DBA then only section 4 needs to be filled out with name itself, the date it was registered, and the registration number. In addition, the owner must sign and date the form. Section 4 can also be used to change ownership of a registration or change the name of a registration.

  • Note: At the bottom of the form, there are two check boxes. Mark whether the form will be a certificate of status or a certified copy.

Once the form is processed, an acknowledgment letter will be mailed. This form is only a sample form, and any actual forms should come from the Florida Department of State, an attorney, or a document-preparing agency.

Renewal of Florida DBA Registration

The second form mentioned above is a Florida Business form to renew the fictitious name or DBA. The information contained in the second form is identical to the first form, but incorporates a slightly different format and allows current owners to add additional owners or make changes to the current owners by listing names, addresses, and FEI number.

Immediately following the first form is a sample renewal form from the Florida Department of State website. Again, it is only a sample and actual forms should come from the Florida Department of State, an attorney, or a document-preparing agency.

Download the Florida Fictitious Name Renewal Application.

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