Florida Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: March 19th, 2024
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If you’re planning to start a new business in Florida, you’ll need to check whether the desired business name is available for use. You can perform a business entity search on the Florida Division of Corporations website.

You may search for registered businesses in the state using various search criteria, including entity name, officer name, registered agent name, document number, street address, ZIP Code, etc.

Florida business search tips

When searching for a business on the Florida Department of State website, ensure that you keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you find the information you’re looking for:

  • The organization name search is not case-sensitive, and all letters are considered uppercase in the search tool.
  • You should not add or remove spaces in any of the company names that you are looking up.
  • You may broaden your search by making use of single keywords. For example, if a company name contains multiple words, type the first two words of the name into the search tool for the broadest results.
  • Some of the registered names will be grouped together, and in the event that certain names contain unusual punctuation marks, they will be removed before being displayed in the search results.
  • When conducting a corporation search using the entity number, enter the letter C prior to entering the seven-digit entity number.
  • When searching a Florida LLC name or limited liability company name using the entity number, all you need to do is punch in the 12-digit entity number,  and no other information is required.

Business search by name

Refer to the Florida Department of State: Division of Corporations webpage

In order to search for any type of business in the state, you’ll need to visit the Florida Department of State: Division of Corporations webpage below.

The process remains the same regardless of the entity type or whether you’re searching for a corporation, LLC, limited partnership, etc.

Enter the entity name

Type the entity name into the search bar and click search. If matching results are found, you’ll be able to see the document number and status of every business that’s registered under that specific keyword.

Also, note that the document number is unique for every business.

Review the results

Once the list appears, you can get detailed information about every company name by clicking on the respective corporate name.

Business search by an officer, registered agent, or partner name

Refer to the Florida Department of State: Division of Corporations webpage

This method of searching for registered businesses in the state allows you to enter the name of the company’s partner, officer, or registered agent. However, the names need to be entered in the appropriate format.

You need to enter the last name first, then the first name, and the middle initial after that.

However, the system is also designed to recognize partial names. In this specific example, the last name “Smith” and the first name “Alan” is used.

Review the results

If matching search results are found, a list will appear with the name of the organization as well as the entity number of the company.

If you require further information on a specific business, click on the relevant officer or registered agent’s name, and you’ll be redirected to the Division of Corporation’s database containing further details about the business.

Business search by EIN or FEIN

Refer to the Florida Department of State: Division of Corporation’s webpage

If you’d like to search for a registered business using a Federal Employer Identification Number or Employer Identification Number, also referred to as a FEIN for EIN, then you may return to the relevant search page and select EIN as the search parameter.

Type the EIN number into the search tool, and if results are found, it will display in the next window.

You’ll be able to view the relevant corporate name and document number of the business. Additionally, the results will display EINs that are a close match.

Business search by document number

Refer to the Florida Department of State: Division of Corporations webpage

You may also search for a registered business using its unique document number on the Department of State’s website. This search criterion gives you the most accurate results.

In this specific example, the document number P0 9000037849, which is the document number for Florida Profit Corporation, is used.

This document number will display the business matching this document number on the Division of Corporation’s database.

Business search results

Irrespective of whether you search by company name, EIN number, document number, or registered agent’s name, you have access to the following information on the Secretary of State’s website

  • EIN number: This is the 9-digit code assigned to businesses by the IRS.
  • Document number: This is a 6-digit number assigned to businesses in the state
  • Date filed: The date the organization was formed or date of incorporation
  • State: State of formation
  • Status: Whether the entity is active or inactive
  • Principal address: Physical address of the business
  • Mailing address: The address that the state uses to send legal documents to the business
  • Name and address of the registered agent: The name, address, and contact details of the registered agent are displayed
  • Director/office information: Officer/director or any other natural person authorized to act on behalf of the Florida business

You may or may not find annual report information as well. Additionally, there are seven different statuses for businesses, which are as follows:

  • Active: The business’s status is active, and the business name is taken.
  • Inactive: The status of the business is non-active, and the name is available for use.
  • Inactive/UA: The status of the business is non-active, and the name is available after a certain period. In the event that a business is revoked or dissolved administratively, the business’s name will be available for use after a certain period of time, or approximately one year from the date of dissolution or revocation. If the business is dissolved voluntarily, then the name is not available for a period of 120 days following the date of voluntary dissolution. After this period, the business’s name will become available again.
  • Inactive/MG: The status of the business is non-active due to a merger with another business.
  • Inactive/CV: The business entity’s status is non-active as a result of conversion.
  • Name HS: This is the previous name of the relevant business.
  • Cross Ref: This is the business entity’s name in its home state. This means that this business entity name was not available in Florida, and as a result, the business must use a different name in the state, which is referred to as the cross-referenced name.

You can go through the details made public by the Florida Secretary of State to ensure whether the business name is taken or not. You can also find other business details, such as the nine-digit EIN number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. 

After going through all the details, you can determine whether the desired business name is available or not and whether you can proceed with the registration of that specific name.

Copies of documents and certificates

If you’d like to receive certified copies of a business’s documents, you must submit the request in writing. It must include:

  • The business’s name
  • The document number
  • The document type
  • The date the document was filed with the state
  • Proof of payment. The state accepts payment in the form of money orders or checks.

Once you’ve compiled the necessary information, send the request, along with proof of payment, to the Certification Section at the Division of Corporations.

Learn more about the certified copy fees on the Department of State’s website. 

Business name availability

If these company name searches on the state website do not reveal any results, then it means that the name is still available for use. Therefore, you can go ahead and decide if you’d like to register your new business under the desired name.

Alternatively, if the business name is not available, you can always use a business name generator to help you find the ideal Florida business name.

Domain name availability

When deciding on a name for your business, it’s essential that the name is also available as a web domain. While this may sound like a fairly small aspect of starting a new business, ensuring that you have a good business name and a web domain that’s easily searchable by potential clients can have a huge impact on your business in the future. 

One of the best ways to check domain name availability is to use a professional domain name availability checker like namechk.com. This excellent website will help filter domain names and also give you suggestions that could be a fit for your business.

Fictitious business name search

If you’d like to conduct business under any other name aside from your legal business name, then you need to register a fictitious name in the state. A fictitious name is also known as a DBA which is an abbreviation for “doing business as” name. 

However, before you register any DBA in the state, you need to conduct a DBA name search on the Department of State’s website. This ensures that the name isn’t already taken by another company. 

The search tool on the Florida Department of State’s website allows you to search for DBA names by fictitious name or trademark owner name.

Additionally, you may want to also check the trademark database for names that have been trademarked. The trademark electronic search system will come in handy when doing a trademark name search.


How do I find a business entity in Florida?

You’ll need to go to the Sunbiz Secretary of State’s website in order to search for businesses in the state. On this page, you also have the opportunity to search an entity of any type by name, registered agent, officer, document number, or EIN number.

What is the purpose of a business entity search?

The purpose of this specific type of search is to find out whether the name you’re contemplating when registering your new business is available. The search will determine if you can still make use of this name by bringing up businesses with a similar or the same name.

What is a business entity?

A business entity is defined as an organization that’s created by either one individual or a group of individuals to engage in a trade, conduct business, or take part in similar activities. Some examples of these organizations include sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations.

What are the requirements to register a business in Florida?

To register a Florida-based business, you’ll need to file Articles of Incorporation, also referred to as Articles of Organization, with the Florida Division of Corporations. Additionally, you may need to acquire specific permits and business licenses prior to operating your business. The Department of State’s website will contain all of the information you need to successfully register a Florida-based business.

How do I find a company in Florida?

To search for companies in the state, you’ll need to go to Sunbiz.org. You can look up any entity on the site using a number of search criteria.

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