The company formation package covers the critical, basic requirements of starting your new business. However, there are a few additional things that you may or may not require at this time. The following services are available at very reasonable cost. Please review the information below and complete the required information, should you decide you’d like Widerman Malek, PL to help with those things.

Fictitious Name Registration

  1. What is a “fictitious name”? A fictitious name is any name your company does business as that is not its full name as registered with the state of Florida. It’s sometimes referred to as a “d/b/a” name. Under Florida law, your company is only authorized to do business under the full corporate name. So, if your company is registered under the name Acme Widgets, Inc. (or Acme Widgets, LLC), then you must conduct business using that name in full. That means all your advertising and invoices, all letterhead and business cards and your website and everything else that describes your company must use the full name. If you want to do business under a different name, whether it’s “Acme Widgets” (without the corporate suffix) or “Acme,” or something entirely different like “Widget World,” you must register that name as a fictitious name. If you don’t register a fictitious name and your company does business under anything other than its full name, the penalties can be substantial fines as well as the inability to file any lawsuit or other court proceeding until the name is registered.
  2. How do I register a fictitious name? The good news is registering a fictitious name is a relatively simple and inexpensive endeavor, although there are a few steps involved. The first step is to search the Florida fictitious name registry (http://www.sunbiz.org/ficinam.html) to be sure the name you want to use is not already in use, or to see if there is a name in use that is very similar. It’s also a good practice to search the Internet to look for those same things. We can certainly help with those things. What we ask for below, is that you give us three alternatives, your first, second and third choice of names, just in case.
    NOTE: A fictitious name registration is not the same thing as a trademark registration. Registering a fictitious name does not convey any ownership rights in the name and does not affect anyone else’s trademark or other rights in the name or any similar name. If you desire to register the name as a trademark, that’s a separate matter. Please let us know if this is a consideration and Widerman Malek, PL would be happy to assist in that effort.
  3. Once the name is finally chosen, the name must be advertised at least once in a newspaper, in the county where your principal place of business is located.
  4. The state of Florida charges a $50 fee to register a fictitious name. The cost of the newspaper is generally around $20. Fictitious names are valid for 5 years and expire on December 31st of the fifth year. This means your registration must be renewed (assuming it’s still in use) between July 1 and December 31 of the fifth year.

State and Local Business Licenses

If you’re starting a new business in Florida, you may be required to obtain a business and/or occupational license from one or more agencies of the State of Florida and/or the county or municipality where the business is located. There are a number of variables affecting your need for a business or occupational license. These include whether you offer services to the general public, whether you must collect and pay sales taxes, what type of facilities you operate from, where your business is located and the type of services you provide, to name a few.

Please contact us to review your specific situation should you need our help deciding whether and what type of licensing you might require for your business.