Fictitious Name Registration

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If you own a small business, it’s likely that you are operating your business under a catchy name which describes the type of business you’re in or the type of service you provide, such as “Larry’s Low-Cost Landscaping” or “Al’s Affordable Auto Parts.” Even if you structure your business as a corporation or partnership, chances are good that you still advertise or promote your business under a different name. Any time you operate a business under a name which is different than your individual or company name, you are doing business under a fictitious name.

In order to ensure that consumers of business products and services know with whom they are dealing, Florida law requires that businesses operating under a fictitious name must register that name with the Florida Department of State. The only exceptions are businesses operated in the practice of their profession by attorneys licensed by the Florida Bar and by professionals licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Registration requires the filing of an Application for Registration of Fictitious Name with the Florida Department of State, using the Department’s registration form, accompanied by a $50.00 filing fee. The form and payment can be completed via the internet at https://efile.sunbiz.org/ficregintro.html. The Division of Corporations further provides public access assistance at (850) 245-6939. Registration is good for 5 years, except that if you sell your business the new owner needs to re-register under his own name within 30 days after buying your business.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Gary Kaleita, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. | Attorney Advertising

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