Florida Secretary of State Business Search (Step-By-Step)

Are you forming a corporation, LLC, or business entity in Florida?

How do you do a Florida Secretary of State Business Search?

Looking for an awesome step-by-step guide?

We are super excited to begin!

Let’s search in the Florida Secretary of State Business Search database!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Florida Business Search Registry

In Florida, the state offers an online database to the public allowing anyone to perform a search to locate any business entity registered in the state.

To search for a business entity, you’ll need to access the Florida Secretary of State Business Search registry.

It looks like this:

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 1 Business Search Registry

Once you access the online business database, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Database Search Methods

You can search for different types of business registered with the state, such as:

  • Domestic Profit Corporation
  • Domestic Non Profit Corporation
  • Foreign Profit Corporation
  • Foreign Non Profit Corporation
  • Domestic Limited Liability Company
  • Foreign Limited Liability Company
  • General Partnership
  • Domestic Limited Partnership
  • Foreign Limited Partnership
  • Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
  • Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
  • Domestic Limited Liability Limited Partnership
  • Foreign Limited Liability Limited Partnership

Also, there are different methods that you can use to search for business entities, such as:

  • Search by Entity Name
  • Search by Officer or Registered Agent
  • Search by Registered Agent Name
  • Search by Trademark Name
  • Search by Trademark Owner Name
  • Search by FEI or EIN
  • Search by Document Number
  • Search by Zip Code
  • Search by Street Address
Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Database Search Methods

Let’s look at each of these search methods one by one.

Method 1: Search by Entity Name

The search by Entity Name is a widely used type of business entity lookup.

All you have to do is to enter the name of the business entity you are searching for to see if there is a match in the database or not.

Once you have entered the required fields, click the button “Search Now”.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 1 Search by Entity Name

Method 2: Search by Officer or Registered Agent

The next possibility is to search for a company using the name of the company’s officer or registered agent.

For example, if a company has John Smith as its registered officer, you can enter his name and all business entities registered in Florida with a person named John Smith will appear on the search results page.

If you are entering an individual name, you must enter the last name, first name, and then middle initial.

You can also enter partial names for your search.

Once you’re done, you hit the “Search Now” button.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 2 Search by Officer or Registered Agent

Method 3: Search by Registered Agent Name

The next option is to search for an entity using the business entity’s registered agent as declared with the Florida Secretary of State.

A registered agent can be an individual or a company who is appointed to receive service of legal process on behalf of the company.

If you are entering an individual name, you must enter the last name, first name, and then middle initial.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 3 Search by Registered Agent Name

Method 4: Search by Trademark Name

You can also do a Florida Secretary of State Business Search platform to look for a trademark name. 

You’ll need to enter the trademark name to see if it is registered in Florida.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 4 Search by Trademark Name

Method 5: Search by Trademark Owner Name

In connection with trademarks, you are also given the option to search using the name of the person or entity who owns the trademark.

In this case, you’ll be searching for the trademark owner in the database.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 5 Search by Trademark Owner Name

Method 6: Search by FEI or EIN

An interesting search option offered in Florida is that you can search for a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, or other business entities using their FEI or EIN.

FEI stands for Federal Employment Identification and EIN for Employer Identification Number.

Most business entities require an EIN to operate their business. 

For that reason, with this search method, you can find a business entity in Florida in a highly targeted way.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 6 Search by FEI or EIN

Method 7: Search by Document Number

The search by Document Number allows you to search for a business entity by locating a specific document.

The State of Florida associates a reference number to a document filed and with that number, you can perform a search.

If you do a search and it results in a “Record Not Found”, it means that the document number does not exist in the Sunbiz database.

It’s also important to use the number zero (“0”) instead of the letter “o” to do a search to avoid error messages.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 7 Search by Document Number

Method 8: Search by Zip Code

Another interesting search option is to search for a business entity using the zip code associated with their registered address.

What you’ll need to do is to enter the zip code and you’ll get all the matching results.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 8 Search by Zip Code

Method 9: Search by Street Address 

The last search option is similar to the “zip code” search, this time it’s by using the company’s street address.

Enter the business entity’s street address and you’ll get all companies who are located on that street.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 2 Method 9 Search by Street Address

Step 3: Business Entity Search Results Page

Once you’ve performed your desired search, you will then be presented with the business entity search results.

If you did a search using a corporation, LLC, partnership, or entity name, you will see the following search results page:

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 3 Business Entity Search Results Page

The search results page presents to you the following information:

  • Corporate Name
  • Document Number
  • Status

If there is a company or business having a name that matches your search query, you will see it on the search results page.

Step 4: Select entity 

If you have found a business entity matching your query or a company that you would like to get further information on, you should click on the hyperlinked business entity name from the search results page.

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 4 Select Business Entity

Step 5: Business entity information

To complete your business entity search in Florida, you’ll end up getting the business entity records or information made available publicly by the state.

The entity information page looks like this:

Florida Secretary of State Business Search - Step 5  Business Entity Information Page

The business entity information provides some valuable information about the business entity selected.

Here is a quick overview:

Detail by Entity Name

  • Entity Name
  • Entity Type

Filing Information

  • Document Number
  • FEI/EIN Number
  • Date Filed
  • State
  • Status

Business Entity Address

  • Business Entity Address
  • Business Entity Mailing Address

Registered Agent 

  • Registered Agent Name
  • Registered Agent Address

Officer/Director Detail 

  • Officer Name
  • Officer Title
  • Officer Address

Annual Reports

  • Details on any annual reports filed 

Document Images

  • Image of any filed documents

Takeaways 

There you have it!

You have now performed a Florida Secretary of State Business Search?

Let’s look at a summary of the process.

  • Step 1: Go to the Florida business registry website
  • Step 2: Do a search by entity name or other search options offered by the state
  • Step 3: Assess the search results 
  • Step 4: Select the matching company in your search result
  • Step 5: View the business entity information made available by the state 
How to start a business in Florida
How to incorporate in Florida 
How to form a Florida LLC
How to register a trade name in Florida 
Florida business license 
Florida Certificate of compliance
How to register for an EIN
Registered agent services 
Incorporation services
LLC formation services 
Document filing services 
Florida name reservation 
Sunbiz
Author