Complying with Florida's fictitious name statute


A fictitious name is a name under which any person or business shall do or transact any business in this state which is other than the true name of such person or business. A fictitious name is commonly referred to as a "DBA", an acronym for "doing business as."


Attorney Tom Olsen: Justin, you're on News 96.5, go ahead.

Justin: Hi, Tom. Thanks for taking my question. Really, this is probably more complicated than what it seems but using the DBA, I understand that fictitious names and that's to protect consumers, but my question is that if you use your last name, your surname, in your business name, do you need a DBA --

Attorney Tom Olsen: No.

Justin: - or any abbreviation of the last name? Like, let's say--

Attorney Tom Olsen: No. So, Justin, if you are doing business as ABC Cleaners, your last name is not in the name of your business, you have to comply with the fictitious name statute. So if there's somebody that wants to sure ABC Cleaners, they can go to the Secretary of State and they can find out who own ABC Cleaners. If your last name is Smith, Justin, and you're doing business as Smith Cleaners, then you do not need to comply with the fictitious name statute because your name is in your business name.

Justin: So if you have like S Cleaners, because it's an abbreviation of S, Smith, like for example like Bob Smith, let's say if that's the last two names, and you have probably a better example, BS Cleaning, but would that be considered a fictitious name?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, it does not have your last name in the business name.

Justin: Okay, so it has to be spelled out.

Attorney Tom Olsen: In my opinion, from what I remember about the statute, the answer is yes, Justin.

Justin: Thank you very much.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Bye bye.