When doing an LLC lookup in Florida, there are a few things to first keep in mind. These will help you in choosing a name for your LLC that will be more likely to be accepted. 

You must use LLC, L.L.C., or Limited Liability Company at the end of your company name. Because you are opting to become an LLC and not a corporation, you cannot use any version of Incorporated, corporation, or their abbreviations like Inc. and Corp. either. 

The name you choose for your LLC must be unique and easily distinguishable from other businesses already approved in Florida. Changing up only the differentiator at the end of your name or a difference in grammar is not enough to make a business easily distinguished. These include:     

  • LLC, L.L.C., Corp., Inc.        
  • A, An, and The      
  • Singular, Plural, or Possessive       
  • Two versus 2      
  • Hyphens, Em Dashes
  • Commas, Period     

For example, the following names are not easily distinguished:         

  • Banana Farm, LLC vs. Banana Farms, L.L.C.      
  • Embroidery Shop, LLC vs. The Embroidery Shop, LLC       
  • Morning & Night, LLC vs. Night and Morning

How to Do an LLC Lookup

When you decide to form an LLC or incorporate your business, one of the initial steps is to verify that the name isn't being used by anyone else in Florida. Thankfully, the Florida Department of State makes it easy to do the search online:      

  • Go to: http://www.sunbiz.org       
  • Hover over Document Search        
  • Scroll down to LLC         
  • Move the cursor to the right and click on "Inquire by Entity Name"

Next, you will enter pertinent details of the search. If you are searching for an individual's name, you will enter Last Name, First Name, and Middle Initial. Partial names work, and punctuation is not required. You do not need to use the entire name either. You can search by a partial corporate name, too. For example, you can use Little Blue High instead of Little Blue High School. 

Those results that come closest to your search criteria are listed with corporate name and fictitious name. If you don't find an exact match, you can opt to scroll forward or backward using "Previous List" and "Next List" to see what was indexed before and after. 

If you find an LLC name you want to know more about, click on the fictitious name to see more about the registration. Try clicking on the name to get more details on the registration or business with corporate records. If you search by document number and get an error message saying "record not found," it means that particular document number doesn't exist in the Florida database. An error message when searching by name means the business name you're searching is not actually registered with the office. 

Search Options

You have a number of different search options:     

  • Owner Name     
  • Owner Document Number      
  • Owner's Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)    
  • Fictitious Name     
  • Registration Number      
  • Registered Agent           
  • Trademark Name        
  • Trademark Owner Name

Once you get into the Corporation and LLC search, you can submit a specific name to check status. If your search returns 15 individual search results for Mary the Crafter, LLC, there is information to the right of each name that talks about the specific statuses.                           

Some of the different statuses you might see include:        

  • Active — Name is not available.          
  • INACT — The company is inactive and was dissolved as a result of an Administrative Dissolution.    
  • InActive — This means the company was voluntarily dissolved, and the name may or may not be available.  
  • INACT/UA — Name is not available now, but may be in a year; usually the status because company forgot to file their annual report.  
  • INACT/CV — Entity Conversion caused this company to be invalid, and the name may or may not be available.
  • NAME HS — Means Name History. A company changed its name at one point; the name may or may not be available.    
  • CROSS RF — Means Cross Reference and it may or may not be available because they attempted to qualify their business, but at the time, the name wasn't available; used alternative name to qualify, which is where the cross reference comes from.

After finding a name that doesn't come up in the Florida LLC database, you are ready to proceed and choose your registered agent. If you still have questions, the Florida Secretary of State Office is willing to try and help via phone at 850-245-6052. 

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