Everything you need to know about Sunbiz name search feature
Florida is one of the biggest economic powerhouses in the USA. With so many ports, airports, major tourism destinations, and serious exports, it only makes sense that so many people set up new businesses to seize the growing profitable market share. As a result, Florida is ranked 3rd in the US for the most number of small businesses in the state.
To manage all of those business entities, the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations created a centralized repository of certified business information called Sunbiz including a Sunbiz name Search feature. This is a website, Sunbiz.org, where you can e-file many of the common needs and forms to operate and run a corporation in the state of Florida.
Sunbiz Name Search
An essential feature of Sunbiz (referred to as Sunbiz name search) is to look up important information about any business or corporation located in Florida. This is extremely helpful when you are setting up a new entity. You cannot have two companies operating under the same name and designation within the same area. It is confusing to consumers, the state, and legal proceedings.
For this reason, Sunbiz created a Name Search function of their site where you can explore what other entities exist in the state and adjust your business name accordingly. This is the first step in creating a new business. When you perform a name search, you’ll get results with labels like:
- Active – already in use.
- INACT – business formally dissolved, and the name may be available.
- INACT/UA – inactive company, but the name is not available.
- InActive – business dissolved voluntarily, and the name may be available.
- INACT/CV – the business is inactive due to entity conversion, and the name may be available.
- NAME HS – the name was used as part of the history of a company that has since changed.
- CROSS RF – a cross-reference report that the business attempted to qualify and the name may be available.
How Do I Perform a Name Search?
When you visit the Sunbiz.org website, you’ll come to a homepage with a menu option titled Search Records. This is the first step for practically any inquiry you want to make about the name of any business in the state. Almost all other links will redirect back to this Sunbiz name search option whenever they refer to finding an entity. You can reach that directly at this link.
You’ll see an open white box in the middle of the page next to Entity Name. That is where you’ll enter the name you want to use or the name of the company you’re trying to research. There are other options for searching, including:
- Officer/Registered Agent
- Registered Agent Name
- Trademark Name
- Trademark Owner Name
- Detail by Document Number
- Zip Code
- Street Address
You may not see an exact match for the name you searched. However, you can use the “next” or “previous” buttons to scroll similar names. When you click on the fictitious names, you’ll be sent to a detailed page with the entity’s business and operating registration information.
Why does Sunbiz name search exist?
Being able to look up the legitimate business operations of corporations around the state of Florida cuts way down on nefarious actors wishing to commit fraud or falsify information. Having a centralized location like Sunbiz name search for all the verifiable documentation makes business and legal proceedings move faster with fewer costs to the general taxpayer.
Where do I begin?
Start your Name Search of Florida’s businesses by visiting the Sunbiz website and clicking on the search options. This is a free service provided by the state to ensure proper verification of information and communication with the many different and beneficial businesses and corporations available. Take your time searching to verify your search is accurate. There are a lot of entities in Florida, and it is not uncommon to mistake one for another. Happy searching!
Need help using Sunbiz name search?
It can be overwhelming to open a new business, LLC, or other company entity. There is so much information to verify as you search for records and names to avoid any potential misunderstandings in the future. Let our expert team at H&S Accounting & Tax Services guide you through maze of information and financial dealings involved in operating your successful business. Reach out today and connect with our team to learn more. We are experienced in using the Sunbiz name search feature and know where to find answers to any needs you may have about your particular business.