A Sunbiz LLC name search is the first step to creating an LLC that will operate in the state of Florida. This search function allows you to see what other LLCs already exist in the state and whether the name you want to use is available.

Florida LLC Name Search using Sunbiz

In your search of the Sunbiz site, you will see one of these labels in the status column:

  • Active: An active status indicates that an LLC exists in Florida with that name, so it would not be available for use.
  • INACT: An “inact” or inactive status means that an LLC went through the administrative dissolution process and has been formally dissolved. The business name could be available for use.
  • INACT/UA: This status means that the name is inactive but unavailable, which indicates that the company that owns the name hasn't filed its annual report. If the report isn't filed within the required timeframe, the name may become available within a year.
  • InActive: An inactive status means the company was dissolved voluntarily, so the name could be available for use.
  • INACT/CV: This status means that the company has become inactive due to its filing of an entity conversion. The name might be available for use.
  • NAME HS: This status stands for name history, which indicates that the company has changed its name.
  • CROSS RF: This status stands for cross reference, which means that the company made an attempt to qualify in the state. A business may have had a name in a different state that wasn't available in Florida, so it would use an alternate name to operate in the state of Florida. This alternate name is known as the cross reference, so the name you want to use might be available.

The name of an LLC operating in Florida must follow all requirements in the state and be unique and distinguishable from other business names. Before you decide on an LLC name or start the Sunbiz LLC name search, it's good to understand the requirements:

  • The abbreviation for limited liability company (LLC or L.L.C.) must be used at the end of every LLC name
  • Since an LLC isn't a corporation, the name you want to use can't include the words “incorporated”, “corporation,” or any of the acceptable abbreviations (inc. or corp.)
  • An LLC name must be unique, distinguishable, and different from any other business operating and registered in Florida

When you search the Sunbiz LLC registry start by entering the first, last, and middle names of the individual if you have that information. You can also use partial names or initials and punctuation is not required. You can also search by keyword using partial or full words. For example, if you wanted to use “Little Red School House” for your business, you could search “Little Red Sch.” The records on the Sunbiz site are listed in alphabetical order. You will see the registered business names that are closest to the name for which you search at the top of the list.

If you don't see an exact match, scroll backward or forward using the “next list” and “previous list” buttons. This will show all names indexed after and before the names on the current page. You can click on any of the fictitious names to view more detailed information about the business and its registration.

If you are searching by document number, an error message reading “record not found” indicates that the document number you entered doesn't exist in the Sunbiz records. You can search by name or re-enter the number. When searching by number, always use zero instead of the letter “o.” If you are searching by name, the same error message indicates that the business name you're searching for isn't registered.

The Sunbiz database can be searched by:

  • Owner name: includes the name of every business owner registered in the state of Florida
  • County for the prior week: includes all business registrations that were filed in the last week.
  • Registration number: includes detailed information about the business name associated with the identification number issued by the Department of State
  • Owner document number: includes a list of business name registrations that are owned by the business entity associated with the document or charter number you included in your search
  • Fictitious name: creates a list of business registrations alphabetically, based on the business name
  • Owner's FEI number: includes the registrations for all fictitious names associated with the number entered

If you need help with a Sunbiz LLC name search, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.