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How To File A DBA In Florida

Key Highlights

  • Learn how DBA permits firms to conduct business under a name other than their legal name.
  • Recognize DBA's different uses, including branding, market expansion, and rebranding following a merger or acquisition.
  • Understand the processes and fees that Florida firms must spend to register a DBA name.
  • Learn how utilizing a DBA may help with branding and marketing, even if it does not establish a new legal practice.
  • Learn about the restrictions of DBA names in California and why ensuring the name is both legal and pronounceable is critical.

What is DBA?

Understanding the underlying ideas and jargon is essential for business owners to manage a successful enterprise. A phrase that regularly appears in the US is "DBA," meaning "Doing Business As." DBA essentially describes a scenario in which a company uses a name distinct from the one that is listed on its state-registered documents.

Even though the term "DBA" is frequently used in the US, the same idea may go by an alternate title in other nations. According to the region, DBA may also be addressed as an "Assumed Name" or "Fictitious Business Name." In the latter instance, it is evident that the name used is just a false organizational alias and not the business's legal name.

Why do you need a DBA?

A company may decide to adopt a DBA name, which stands for "Doing Business As," for various reasons. Making a brand name that more correctly represents the company's goods or services is one of the primary motivators. A business may stand out from rivals and attract more clients by choosing a memorable or distinctive name.

A company may also use a DBA to avoid misunderstanding or create a unique brand identification when entering a new market. For instance, a business can use a different name to advertise a product line or appeal to a particular market segment.

A firm may also alter its name to reflect a change in ownership, corporate strategy, or brand identity. For instance, a company could change its name after merging or acquiring another company to reflect its new identity better. Alternatively, a business may change its name to disassociate itself from a bad reputation or improve its standing in the marketplace. Whatever the justification, it's critical to comprehend the legal ramifications of utilizing a DBA. Companies must register their DBA with most relevant state or local government agencies. If you don't, you risk fines, legal repercussions, and possibly legal action.

It's crucial to remember that hiring a DBA does not establish a new legal organization. Instead, a DBA is just a business name or alias a company employs. As a result, even while utilizing a DBA, businesses must abide by all relevant laws and rules, including paying taxes and acquiring all required permissions and licenses.

How to set up a DBA in Florida

Acquiring a DBA, or "Doing Business As" appellation, is a relatively simple process in Florida. Several stages must be taken to do this activity successfully, and each one necessitates carefully considering a particular set of elements. 

Selecting a Name

The first stage in establishing a DBA name in Florida is choosing a name that another state organization does not use. This is essential to ensure no disagreements or breaches with already-established businesses. This post will walk you through registering a DBA name in Florida.

Enrolling the Name

Once you've chosen a suitable name, the following stage is to submit a Fictitious Name Registration with the Florida Division of Corporations. Depending on your preference, you may do this online or by mail.

Payment of the Fee

It is essential to be aware that the cost of establishing a DBA does not vary uniformly throughout all counties but rather depends on the location of your organization. You can browse the detailed fee schedule offered for your county of residence on the Florida Division of Corporations website to get more information about the actual cost for your particular county.

Putting a Notice Online

To operate legally in the state, you should publish a notice in a local newspaper in your company's county. The notice, which must be published once a week for four weeks, must contain your company's name and address.

Getting the Essential Licenses and Permits

Obtaining a state tax identification number, a professional license, or other required authorizations may be required, depending on your business type. For business owners unfamiliar with the applicable laws, navigating the regulatory environment can take a lot of work. To get clear clarification on which licenses and permits are required for your particular company, it is advised that you get in touch with the Florida Department of Company and Professional Regulation.

Florida DBA name restrictions

Several limitations apply to using Doing Business As (DBA) names that should be considered while registering a DBA name in Florida. Some of the most important constraints to be aware of are listed below:

Availability of Name

The primary restriction is that no other Florida-based company may already be using the DBA name you have chosen. You may check the availability of a name by using the Florida Division of Corporations website to ensure it is available.

Names That Are False or Deceptive

The DBA name you select cannot be false or misleading. It shouldn't imply that the company is doing something it isn't. A company cannot, for instance, employ a DBA name that suggests it is a government entity or connected to one.

Restrictive Terms

In Florida, the use of specific terms in DBA names is prohibited. For instance, only businesses that are lawfully formed as corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs) may use the terms "corporation," "incorporated," "limited," or any abbreviation of these phrases in their DBA names.

Occupational Names

Some words may not be allowed in DBA names for professionals like doctors, lawyers, and accountants. These limitations differ by profession, thus it's crucial to seek advice from the appropriate licensing body.

Dedicated Names

Certain names might be reserved for use by particular organizations or people, like state or federal agencies, political parties, or well-known people. Making sure that the name you select is not one of these restricted names.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Florida

To begin registering a DBA in Florida, a "Fictitious Name Registration" form, sometimes known colloquially as a "Florida DBA form," must be duly filed to the appropriate authorities. To obtain this form, go to the Florida Department of State website and browse the Division of Corporations page.

Before beginning the registration process, be certain that the DBA name you've chosen is not currently in use and is accessible. Simply type the name into the name search field stipulated on the Division of Corporations' website to complete this task. Following that, you must obtain and complete the fictitious name registration form.

Florida DBA filing & registration

Filing and registering a DBA (Doing Business As) in Florida is a relatively simple process. DBAs are fictional names companies can use to do business under names other than their legal names. Another name for it is "trade name" or "assumed name." Companies may use a DBA name for legal, marketing, or branding reasons.

Selecting a name another company isn't using is the first step in submitting a DBA in Florida. You may see if a name is available using the name search feature on the Division of Corporations website. A Fictitious Name Registration form can be submitted to the Division of Corporations once you have ensured the name is available.

The DBA name will be registered, and the company may use it as soon as the Division of Corporations receives and processes the Fictitious Name Registration form and filing fee. Remembering that a DBA name does not create a legal company or offer any legal protection for the business name is crucial.

It is critical to remember that the form must be notarized before submission. This can be done by going to a courthouse or a notary public near your location.

When the notarization and payment processes are completed, the registration form must be sent to the Division of Corporations. This can be completed in person at the Tallahassee office or by mail.

It is critical to note that the DBA registration must be renewed every five years to be legal. The renewal procedure, like the initial registration procedure, includes a charge.

Florida DBA tax considerations

Significant tax ramifications and concerns exist when a firm conducts its operations in Florida under a DBA name. Although a DBA doesn't create a new legal organization, all applicable tax rules and regulations must be followed.

Understanding that a DBA name does not impact a company's tax responsibilities is crucial. The company must submit tax returns and pay all necessary fees, including employment, sales, and income taxes. The firm must still use its Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) when filing taxes, even if it uses a DBA name.

If a company employs people, it is required to open a Florida Reemployment Tax account and pay the necessary taxes. Additionally, the company must withhold from employee paychecks and remit federal, state, and employee-related Social Security and Medicare taxes.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Florida?

If you're considering registering a Doing Business As (DBA) in Florida, remember that the cost may vary based on your company's location. Depending on the jurisdiction, the DBA filing costs may be a real pain, ranging from $50 to $100.

Let's look at some specific cases. The filing fee for a DBA in Miami-Dade County is $84.25, whereas it is $50 in Hillsborough County. But don't get too thrilled just yet: the filing price in Orange County is likewise $50, with an extra $5 charge for recording the DBA name. And if you live in Palm Beach County, be prepared to pay a hefty $100 filing fee, plus an additional $40 for the pleasure of submitting.


In conclusion, a DBA, or Doing Business As, is a simple and legal way for companies to conduct business in Florida under a name other than their legal name. This procedure includes checking the availability of the selected name, completing the required paperwork, having it notarized, and paying the relevant expenses.

Businesses may also need to fulfill additional criteria, such as acquiring a local business tax receipt and paying filing costs that vary by county for DBAs in Florida. However, businesses can ensure they are legally using the desired name by conducting adequate research and understanding the procedure.

A DBA can assist firms in differentiating their brands, entering new markets, or rebranding after a general merger or acquisition. Businesses can use a DBA name and expand and succeed by taking the necessary actions and abiding by the law.

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Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

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