How to Transfer a DBA to Florida

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

When you operate a business in one state and use a fictitious name, or “DBA” as it's commonly referred to, (which is short for “doing business as”), you can easily transfer that name if you decide to expand your business or move your operations to Florida. Florida business law does require that you follow certain procedures, which can be a little different, depending on whether you operate as a sole proprietor or as a legal business entity.

When you operate a business in one state and use a fictitious name, or “DBA” as it's commonly referred to, (which is short for “doing business as”), you can easily transfer that name if you decide to expand your business or move your operations to Florida. Florida business law does require that you follow certain procedures, which can be a little different, depending on whether you operate as a sole proprietor or as a legal business entity.

Florida Foreign Entities

Like most states, Florida requires foreign business entities, such as corporations and limited liability companies that are formed in other states, to register with the Florida Department of State by obtaining a certificate of authority before it can transact any business within the state. Therefore, if you use a legal business entity that was created outside of Florida, you’ll need a certificate of authority before you can begin the process of registering your DBA. For example, if your corporation was formed in New York and already operates under a DBA, you need to file the certificate of authority application first, and then you can start the DBA registration process.

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Registering the DBA

Operating in Florida under the same DBA that you use in a different state requires the filing of an “Application for Registration of Fictitious Name” (See References) with the Florida Department of State. Unlike foreign entities, sole proprietors aren’t required to obtain a certificate of authority before filing the DBA application in Florida. This is because businesses that are run as sole proprietorships aren’t treated as being separate from their owners.

Advertising the DBA

Regardless of its legal structure, before any business can file the application to register a DBA, Florida requires that you advertise your intention to operate under a fictitious name. When preparing the application, you’ll need to certify that the advertisement has run at least one time in a newspaper that circulates in the Florida county where your principal business activities will take place.

No Unique Requirement

You can use any fictitious trade name you like, even if it’s currently being used by another business in Florida. When using a DBA in Florida, however, you don’t receive any exclusive rights to the name you choose, such as when you do when you choose a name for your legal business entity. In Florida, the main purpose of registering the DBA is merely for public notice purposes and doesn’t preclude a different business from registering a corporation or LLC under the same name as your DBA.

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What Do You Need to Register a Business Name?

References

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Do You Need a Sole Proprietorship Before Registering a DBA?

Operating a business as a sole proprietorship has very few formal requirements. Typically, all an entrepreneur has to do is start running the business under his own name to effectively be in business as a sole proprietor. However, some types of businesses in regulated industries, such as law, medicine and cosmetology, require a state occupational or professional business license before they can begin operations. Regardless of their legal structure, businesses often choose to use fictitious trade names for marketing purposes.

Cancelling a DBA

A "doing business as" name, also known as a trade name and a fictitious business name, is the name under which a business operates that may be different from its original, official name. A company may use DBAs to conduct business under a different name for various reasons. For example, a foreign company may use a DBA in a specific location because its creation name is being used by another business in the same area. When a business no longer needs its DBA name, it can cancel the name registration with the local government agency that handles DBA registrations.

How to Get a DBA in Utah

A DBA, short for "doing business as," is a trade name you use for your business when you don't want to use your given name. For example, if you want your bakery to be known as "Sweeter than Sugar," you are operating under a DBA. In Utah, DBAs apply to sole proprietorships and general partnerships. The DBA must be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations, and the registration is valid for three years. The DBA then expires unless it is renewed.

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