Boca Raton, FL asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Florida

Q: Do I need to register my small business as a sole proprietorship if it has my legal first name in the name?

My name is Janina G., my small business name is ‘janinasdiycrafts’. I currently sell handmade goods as a hobby, I haven’t made enough money to register it as a business. (Still in the hobby tax bracket) my questions is do I need to register it as a sole proprietorship in Florida since it’s not my full legal name? Or is my first name enough.

1 Lawyer Answer
Keith Kanouse
Keith Kanouse
  • Boca Raton, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There is no registration with the Florida Secretary of State's Office for a sole proprietorship. However, since you are doing business other than your own name you need to comply with Florida's Fictious Name Statute.

In Florida, Section 865.09 of the Florida Statutes requires the one-time publication of a legal notice of a fictitious name in a newspaper in the county where the principal place of the franchise business will be located (such as the Daily Business Review). After publication, the newspaper provides a proof of publication. Upon receipt of the proof of publication, a fictitious name registration must be filed with the Florida Department of State via the website of the Florida Secretary of State. Section 865.09 of the Florida Statutes provides that:

A person may not engage in business under a fictitious name unless the person first registers the name with the division by filing a sworn statement listing:

(a) The name to be registered.

(b) The mailing address of the business.

(c) The name and address of each owner and, if a business entity, its federal employer’s identification number and Florida incorporation, organization or registration number.

(d) Certification by the applicant that the intention to register such fictitious name has been advertised at least once in a newspaper as defined in chapter 50 in the county where the principal place of business of the applicant will be located.

Such statement shall be accompanied by the applicable processing fee (currently, $50)

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a fictitious name registered as provided in this section for a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or limited partnership is not required to contain the designation of the type of legal entity in which the person or business is organized, including the terms “corporation,” “limited liability company,” “limited liability partnership,” “limited partnership,” or any abbreviation or derivative thereof.

The filing fee is $10 per application, and the fee to obtain a certified copy of the registration is $30 each. Payments may be made using a credit card, Sunbiz E-File Account, or a check by mail. Registration is valid for five years, after which it must be renewed.

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