If you want to register a corporate name in Florida, it is important to perform a search to make sure the name is not already in use. Failure to conduct a preliminary name check may cause state officials to reject your company's incorporation documents. You can also search other databases to find the location and further details about the corporation, and whether the name is trademarked.
Visit the website of the Florida Department of State's Division of Corporations. Click the "Search Our Records" link located on the left side of the page.
Click on the "Inquire by Name" link. Enter the name of the Florida corporation in the search box. Avoid using suffixes such as "incorporated," "corporation," or "company." If a message such as "Inactive" or "Inact" appears, that means the corporation name is available for use. If the word "Active" or "Act" appears, that means the corporate name is already in use by another entity. The state of Florida does not allow businesses to reserve a company name.
Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to determine if the name of a Florida corporation is federally trademarked. Conduct an online name search for the corporation using USPTO's trademark electronic search system. Click on the "Basic Word Mark Search" on the TESS menu. Enter the name of the corporation in the search box. Click the button that says "Submit Query." You will be notified if the name of the corporation appears in the USPTO database, which means the name is federally trademarked.
Search the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. Type the name, city, state and zip code of the Florida corporation. The corporation may not be registered with the bureau, which could be the reason the company name does not appear in its database. If the corporation is registered with the BBB, information such as the business type, company phone number, and BBB rating will be provided.