How To Create A Fictitious Name In Florida

This may seem as a strange concept for some readers, but it is a widely used practice around the country, but it usually referred to as a “D. B. A.” (doing business as) but Florida uses the term “Fictitious Name.”  The benefit of creating one for your small business is that you can legally create a name for your business that, while still legally yours, allows a degree of separation from your “real” name.  There are several examples of why a company – either a sole proprietorship or a corporate entity might choose to create a fictitious name.  

One of the most common reasons companies need to create a Fictitious Name is for practical business use – for example, a company that needs to develop brand awareness and needs a friendlier name to promote a new product or business owner that is involved in several activities and wants to keep them separate.  Under the Fictitious Name protocol, you don’t have to go to the trouble of creating a new LLC or entity, you can simply file for a Fictitious Name and be ready to get to work.  
Closer to home, especially given the number of Shopify and Amazon-based businesses, an owner who works elsewhere full-time may choose to use a Fictitious Name for within the company documents.  While still searchable in SunBiz, this would provide a small degree of separation from your online business and your job.

Requisites for Creating a Fictitious Name

It’s easy to understand why Florida wants a clear record of who is using a fictitious name – there has to be an easy way to track who is doing business as whom.  At the same time, it is important to remember that simply creating a fictitious name does not legally change your own name, or your company’s name, nor does it rescind any tax obligations you have as a result of that fictitious name.  There are some caveats for filing as well – attorneys, certain types of partnerships, and corporate entities are usually excluded from filing Fictitious Name registrations.  
Instructions for Creating a Fictitious Name

The good news is that creating a Fictitious Name for business purposes in Florida is very easy.  Sunbiz lists the requirements right here.  Basically, once you have met the requisites for a Fictitious Name, you can follow the instructions in this link.   One of the things we like about Fictitious Names is that the instructions are so clear and concise:


At that point, all communication and verification steps will be handled through the email address you’ve entered – and the fees associated with setting up your fictitious name will be assessed and paid, then you are all set up.  

One of the challenges for owners of more than one business is keeping incomes, liabilities, and disbursements separated properly.  By using a fictitious name for your bookkeeping in a particular business scenario, you and your bookkeeping professional can easily make sure that monies flow properly through your company or companies and that your taxes and payments are all sourced from the correct accounts.  Of course, it is critical that you have a bookkeeper that is experienced enough to be able to follow up and use these systems.  If you’re the least bit worried, then the smart thing to do would be to reach out to an accounting professional you can trust. If you do not know of any we would be happy to help just click here to contact us.


By: Chris Groote

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