DBA Florida

DBA Florida means "doing business as" in Florida and is used when an organization wishes to operate with a name other than that which they registered as when they initially started doing business. For instance, if a coffee store initially named as "Karen's Coffee" wants to do business as "Greenwich Village's Best Coffee" then the owners have to submit an application for a DBA in order to make the change. This article will help you understand what a DBA is, the specifics of a DBA under Florida law, and how to file a DBA.

Specifics Under Florida Law

DBA laws vary from state to state. According to Florida law, a company has to file a DBA if they wish to operate under a different name, regardless of whether it is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a larger scale corporation.

Businesses are entitled to apply for a DBA before their company is legally formed; however most opt to do so after it is operational. After DBA has been approved, the business can use its new name in order to conduct transactions, open bank accounts, and advertise the company.

Filing a new fictitious name or "DBA" can provide a company with a persona that makes it stand apart from the owner's personal name or the business' registered name. It should be noted that the name must be unique and not in use by another business. If the name is too similar to that of an existing business, the DBA application may be rejected. The company can register their new fictitious name via the Florida Division of Corporation's name registration service.

What Needs to be Registered

All businesses, regardless of industry, size, and whether they are operating from home, online, or a physical workspace must register with the county and state and obtain a bank account under the company name.

Under the state of Florida, all businesses must acquire permits and licenses in order to be allowed to operate. The requirements vary depending on the industry of the particular business and its location and municipality; however, if a business is discovered to be operating without the necessary license or permit then they could receive fines, or the business may be closed.

In the state of Florida, all businesses that are operating as LLCs, Nonprofits, Corporations, and Partnerships must register under the Florida Division of Corporations.

How to File a DBA

The steps to follow in order to file a DBA are relatively straightforward and outlined below.

  • Decide upon a name for your company, ideally something unique yet indicative of your company's activities.

  • Search the Florida Division of Corporation's name database to ensure that the name you have chosen is available. If so, you can proceed.

  • The name must exclude entity phrases. For example, "corporation" or any derivatives of such words. If the name submitted includes these words, the DBA will be rejected.

  • File the relevant application forms with the state of Florida. This can be done online.

  • The information required to complete the form includes new name the company would like to operate under, mailing address, name and address details of each business owner, the identification number of the federal employer, and whether or not the business is a corporation.

  • Read the state of Florida's fictitious name registration page and review all relevant laws and information specified here before proceeding to ensure that you are clear with the process and requirements.

  • Publish a notice that specifies your intention to file a DBA.

  • Publish an official statement via your local newspaper so that people in your area know that you are now operating under another name. Generally speaking, the paper will then send you a certificate to prove that this statement has been published.

If at any point in this process the business changes hands to another owner, it must file a cancellation and re-register within 30 days of this occurring. Once a DBA is given, it is valid for five years at which point the company will need to apply for renewal if they wish to continue operating under the amended name. The Florida Division of Corporation will mail a notification that the DBA is up for renewal to the most recent mailing address that they have on file when the renewal year comes up but not receiving this document does not make the business exempt from having to apply for a renewal.

If you are looking to apply for DBA in the state of Florida and you are unsure about any aspect of the process, or you need any further advice regarding the requirements, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's Marketplace. UpCounsel only accept the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site, and they come from schools such as Harvard Law or Yale. Our lawyers have an average of 14 years of legal experience, and this includes working with prestigious companies like Google and Airbnb.