Establishing and operating a business is something that not only demands hard work, intellect, and creativity.
Also, it requires adherence to various laws, business regulations, and best practices.
For many businesses, establishing a fictitious name is one such step that a business may take in order to protect their best interests.
Establishing a fictitious name, though, is a legal process that a business must take care in performing.
At the law offices of BrewerLong, our Florida business lawyers can guide you through fictitious names in Florida, as well as how to cancel a fictitious name in Florida. Please contact our lawyers today to learn more.
What Is a Fictitious Name?
As found in Florida Statutes Section 865.09, a “fictitious name” is defined as any name under which a person transacts business in this state, other than the person’s legal name. For businesses, operating under a fictitious name is very common, and is known as “doing business as,” or DBA, another name.
For example, if Jane Doe establishes a bakery, rather than operating as “Jane Doe,” she may decide to operate as “Sweets and Treats.” This means that Jane Doe is doing business as “Sweets and Treats,” and that she has established a fictitious name as such.
Registering for a Fictitious Name in Florida
Most businesses, even sole proprietors, want to establish a fictitious name – this is a common practice. In order to establish a fictitious name in Florida, registration with the Florida Division of Corporations is required.
The process for registration is straightforward, and can be done online or by mail. All of the instructions for fictitious name registration can be obtained online.
How to Cancel a Fictitious Name in Florida
For a range of reasons, a business owner may wish to change or cancel their fictitious name at some point, perhaps because they wish to do business in their actual legal name, because they want to change the name to something else, or because they are dissolving their business.
In any case, it is important that the business owner understand the requirements for properly canceling a fictitious name in the state.
In order to change or cancel a fictitious name, use the Fictitious Name Registration application (accessible online). According to the Florida Division of Corporations, completing sections one through four of the application can simultaneously cancel and re-register a fictitious name.
These sections include questions about the fictitious name of the business, the business’ mailing address, the FEI number of the business, the registrant’s name and address, and a signature. For cancellations only, only section four of the form must be completed.
This section clearly states that the registrant is canceling the fictitious name – the registrant must provide the date that the fictitious name was originally registered and the assigned registration number. In addition to the cancelation form, a fee of $50 must be paid. Additional fees may be paid for a certificate of status or a certified copy.
Working with a Lawyer When Establishing or Canceling a Fictitious Name
If your business wants to establish or cancel a fictitious name in Florida, working with a lawyer is strongly recommended. The benefits of working with an attorney are numerous, including:
- Ensuring that you register for a name that is not already in use;
- Ensuring that all paperwork related to the registration of a fictitious name is filled out accurately and in full;
- Managing all filing of paperwork and the payment of applicable fees;
- Guiding your business through the benefits of fictitious name change or cancelation; and
- Managing the re-registration/renewal of a fictitious name.
As a business owner, there are numerous things that you must deal with on a daily basis to ensure the smooth operation of your company. When you hire a skilled attorney to manage things such as fictitious name registration and cancellation, you have one less thing to worry about that demands your personal attention.
This allows you to focus your efforts on other important elements of running your company and provides peace of mind that legal elements are being handled properly.
Call Our Florida Business Lawyers Today
Most business owners choose to register a fictitious name rather than do business in their own, personal legal name. However, there may come a point when a business wishes to cancel or change their fictitious name.
Whether you need assistance in registering for, canceling, or changing your business’ fictitious name, our business lawyers in Florida are ready to assist you.
We have been providing legal services to businesses throughout the state for years and are knowledgeable in all areas of business law and the many requirements that businesses in our state are bound by.