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

If you are planning to start a new business in the state of Florida, the first thing you need to check the availability of the business name by doing a Florida business entity search with the Division of Corporations under the umbrella of Florida Department of State.

Every business owner needs to ensure that the required business name of their liking is available for registration with the relevant authorities. The Florida Division of Corporations provides this service through their website which you can access from anywhere around the world, without any charges.

The search on the website can be performed through various parameters.  It can be done on entity name, registered agent name, officer name, partner name, zip code, street address, document number, and even through Florida Employment Insurance Number (FEIN).

We will give a rundown of the complete process to make it easy and convenient for you to verify whether the business entity name of your liking is available for registration in the Sunshine State or not.

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Search by Name

Step 1

In order to search the name of General Partner (GP) or Limited Liability Partner (LLP), you can visit this webpage. The following page will appear on your screen:

Florida Business Entity Search

Whereas, to search the name of any other business entity type, you can visit this webpage.  After opening this webpage, you will see the following screen.

Florida Business Entity Search

The process of the search remains the same whether you are searching for GP/LLP or any other business entity type like Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLC) etc. For simplicity, we will be looking into the search process for the latter as they are more common and prevalent than GP/LLP.

Step 2

We select “Entity Name” as the parameter and write “John” in the search engine. The following results are provided.

As you can see, a list appears with the document number and the status of every business entity name that has the name “John” in it. The document number is unique for every business entity name. There are seven different statuses of business entity names, which are as follows:

  1. Active:  The status of the business entity is active and the business name is taken. 
  2. Inactive: The status of the business entity is non-active and the business entity name is available for use.
  3. Inactive/UA: The status of the business entity is non-active and the name of such business entity is available after a certain period. In case of a business entity name being revoked or business entity dissolved administratively, the business entity name will be available for use after a period of one year from the date of dissolution or revocation. On the other hand, if the business entity name is voluntarily dissolved, then the name is not available for a period of 120 days following the date of voluntary dissolution. After this period, the business entity name will become once again available.
  4. Inactive/MG: The status of the business entity is non-active due to merger with another business entity.
  5. Inactive/CV: The status of the business entity is non-active as a result of conversion.
  6. Name HS: This is the previous name of a business entity.
  7. Cross Ref: This is the name of the business entity 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 of Florida, which is the cross-referenced name.

Step 3

Once the list appears, you can get the individual detail of every business entity name by clicking on the respective Corporate Name for which you require more information.

Florida Business Entity Search

You can go through the details that have been made public by the Florida Department of State to ensure whether the business entity name is taken or not. You can also find other details such as the nine-digit EIN number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to the respective business entity. You can also find other information like the date on which the filing for the business entity name was done. Principal and Mailing address for that respective business entity name along with the name of the Registered Agent will also be given. In addition to this, you can also view details of Officer or Directors of the business along with the Annual Reports if available as public record. 

After going through all the details, you will be able to finally determine whether the business entity name to your liking is available or not and whether you can proceed with the registration of that particular name.

Search by Officer/Registered Agent/Partner Name

Step 1

If you want to search the business entity name through an agent or partner, then you can return to the respective webpages for GP/LLP and other business entity types and select the “Officer/Registered Agent” as the parameter.

Webpage For Other Business Entities:

Florida Business Entity Search

Webpage For GP/LLP:

Florida Business Entity Search

You need to ensure that the name of the agent/partner is entered in the correct format. The system requires that the last name be entered first, followed by first name and then the middle initial. However, the search engine also has the ability to accept partial names as well. We will be using Smith (last name) and Alan (first name) for searching the database in our example.

Step 2

Once the search is done in the required format, the list appears as shown below with Entity Name and Entity Number:

Florida Business Entity Search

For more information, you can click on the respective Officer or Registered Agent. You will be taken to the page of the business entity in the Division of Corporations database that is registered against the Officer’s or Registered Agent’s name.

Search by EIN/FEIN   

Step 1

If you want to search the business entity name through Federal Employer Identification (FEI) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) then you can return to the respective webpages for GP/LLP and other business entity types and select “FEI/EIN” as the search parameter.

Webpage For Other Business Entities:

Florida Business Entity Search

Webpage For GP/LLP:

Florida Business Entity Search

The nine-digit FEI/EIN can be entered in the search tool here. If the nine digits are accurate, then the first result will show the exact FEI/EIN number searched. In our case, we searched for”543288296” and it gave us the respective document number and the corporate name shown in the image below. Meanwhile, the remaining results show the FEI/EIN numbers that are a near match of the searched number.

Florida Business Entity Search

Search by Document Number   

Step 1

If you want to search the business entity name through a unique document number then you can visit these respective webpages for GP/LLP and other business entity types.

Webpage For Other Business Entities:

Florida Business Entity Search

Webpage For GP/LLP:

Florida Business Entity Search

This is the only search criteria that gives specific results according to the search parameter. For our reference, we will use the Document Number P09000037849, which is the document number for Florida Profit Corporation (the same business entity which was taken as example in “Search by Name” category). The search will take us directly to the page of the business entity in the Division of Corporations database against that respective document number.

After doing the searches on the respective parameters, we hope that you have found a business entity name as per your liking which has not been taken already. 

Cite/Link to This Article

  • Stewart, Suzy. "Florida Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)". One Brick Court. Accessed on March 7, 2021. https://onebrickcourt.com/florida-business-entity-search/.

  • Stewart, Suzy. "Florida Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)". One Brick Court, https://onebrickcourt.com/florida-business-entity-search/. Accessed 7 March, 2021.

  • Stewart, Suzy. Florida Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide). One Brick Court. Retrieved from https://onebrickcourt.com/florida-business-entity-search/.