DBA is the abbreviation for “doing business as”. Companies use DBA as fictitious trading names that their businesses work under, mostly for branding purposes. A DBA is not the company’s legal name and it does not specify the business structure.

DBA’s are needed when a company is rebranding or branching out their current registered business or when a sole proprietorship or partnership does not want to work under their personal names.

How to file a DBA in Florida

For business owners who would like to know what the steps as well as the legalities are when applying and registering a DBA we have compiled a guide on how to file a DBA in Florida.

Step 1: Do a Sunbiz Florida Fictitious Name Search

Visit the Sunbiz Florida Fictitious Name Search portal to establish if the sought after name is available. Business owners should try and keep their DBAs as unique and distinguishable as possible. TRUiC provides a great business generator tool on their website to help business owners choose and create the perfect business name for their companies.

In Florida a DBA used for partnerships or sole proprietorships may not have any suffix like LLC, Incorporated, Corp ect. A DBA may also not include any terms given to financial institutions like bank or credit union ect.

Business owners should also do a search in the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System to make sure no other companies have trademarked their fictitious name. Do a web domain name check as well to see if the domain name for the DBA is available.

Step 2: Pulich a Notice for the Florida Fictitious Name

In Florida it is required that any and all fictitious names be published in a newspaper before it is registered. Business owners will have to file their legal notice of intent to file a fictitious name in a newspaper where the businesses principal location is. Contact a local newspaper to publish the notice.

The requirements as set out by Chapter 50 of Florida Statutes are: 25% the publication has to be written in words; the publications must be printed at least once a week; the publication has to have been in existence food at least one year; the publication has to be admissible as periodical in the post office in the country where it is published ant should be available and interesting to the public.

For more information with regards to publications in countries without a newspaper or publishing online see Chapter 50 of Florida Statutes for more information. Business owners who have signed the form stating that the publication has been done, without doing it will be held criminally liable in Florida.

Step 3: Register the Florida Fictitious Name with the State

A Florida business owner can register the DBA with the secretary of state. The application can be filed online at the Sunbiz fictitious name portal or the application for registration of fictitious name can be completed.

The application will require certain information about the business. The information required will be to list the new fictitious name, business address and principal place of business. A certificate of status can be requested by the business owner and owners can change or cancel their current DBAs through this application.

Where can I apply for a DBA in Florida?

DBA applications can be done via mail to the Fictitious Name Registration, PO Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314.

Business owners can also submit their fictitious names in person at Division of Corporations, Clifton Building, 2661 Executive Center Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32314.

Business owners can also do an online application that can be filed on the Sunbiz DBA page.

What does a DBA cost in Florida?

The fees that are payable when submitting a Florida Fictitious Name application would be $50 for a processing fee, $10 for a Certificate of Status fee and $30 for a Certified Copy.