How to Look Up a Florida Corporation with the State of Florida
Because we live in an age when buying things online is common—possibly, just as or more common than buying things in person—it has also become easier for scammers to take people’s money. Anybody with HTML skills or software, can create a website that looks legitimate.
But how do you know when the company you are purchasing something from or doing business with, is legitimate? There are a number of ways, but one good preliminary check is to see if the business is actually a registered Florida corporation.
Be aware that just because a company is registered with the state, doesn’t mean they won’t rip you off, or steal your personal information. And many legitimate companies that operate overseas, may not be registered with the state, but may be very legitimate and trustworthy. Remember also that a legitimate, honest individual may also be operating as a sole proprietorship, and thus, may not be registered.
Looking Up a Company
To be absolutely certain of a company’s legitimacy, you need to do more than look a company up online. But certainly, finding out if a company is registered with and in the State of Florida, is a good first step. So how do you do that?
- The first step is to go to the State of Florida’s business lookup site, at www.sunbiz.org
- On the top blue bar, you will see “search records.” That will bring you to a page where you can look up a company by name. You can also click “Officer/Registered Agent” if you don’t know the company name, but you do know the name of an officer or owner.
- When you click on “Name” you can enter the name of the company, and Sunbiz will bring up records. You only want to look at records that say “Active” next to them.
Sometimes the company name you know or searched, isn’t actually a corporate name, but rather, a fictitious name. So, if your initial corporate search comes up empty, you need to see if there is a fictitious name, and what company owns the fictitious name.
- Go back to “Search Records” on the top blue bar at sunbiz.org.
- This time, scroll down to “Fictitious Names,” and under “Fictitious Name,” put in the name of the company. When you get your results, you only want to pay attention to the names with an “A” next to them, for “Active.”
- If you find the name you are looking for click on it. The record will show what person or company owns the fictitious name.
- Once you see who owns the fictitious name (usually a company), start your search over, with that fictitious name’s owner’s name. So, under “Search Records,” and then under “Officer/Registered Agent,” put in the name of the fictitious name owner, and that should give you the corporate information you are looking for.
Let us help you if you have a business dispute. Call our West Palm Beach business attorneys with any questions you may have at Pike & Lustig today.