A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure in the United States whereby the owners are not personally liable for the company's debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship
How to Search for an LLC?
Similar to corporations, LLCs are required to register in every state where the company wishes to engage in business activities. When searching for LLC information, there are a few details you might be looking for:
- Address of registered agent
- Legal status of the company
This can be easily found by performing a quick online search. The first step is to determine the actual name of the LLC. This is because many LLCs use a fictitious business name, known as a “DBA” or “doing business as.”
Next, it is essential to find out which state the LLC was formed. This is important for 2 reasons
- LLCs are often interstate businesses
- Names are unique to the state it is formed in
Once you have these two pieces of information, you can visit the Secretary of State website to perform a business search.
How to Perform the Search?
Before you can perform your search, you will need to find the Secretary of State's business search page. You can use Florida’s Business Entity Search and look for LLC names. If you cannot find any free information you may need to pay a small fee to request physical LLC documents.
What Information Can You Find?
Information you may find in this registry includes:
- LLC's status and origin.
- Information about how the LLC was formed
- The date when the LLC was registered
- Full information about the registered agent of the LLC
Tips When Searching for LLC Information
When searching for LLC information, the best choice is to search by name. This is because all LLCs will have unique names. This is a much better option instead of a number search. Try to avoid using punctuation because commas or periods can limit your search results. If there are initials, then you should group them together. For example, if the company is “A.M.C” you should search as “AMC” instead.
What Are Some Reasons to Search for an LLC?
Here is a list of 7 reasons to search for an LLC:
- Want to file a lawsuit against an LLC
- Learn more about an LLC
- Find out ownership of an LLC
- Searching for Name availability for Your LLC
- Look up an existing business entity to check its status with the state
- Find out if your own LLC has been officially formed in your state
- Perform important administrative tasks for your business
What Information is Available for Search
If you search for an LLC correctly, you will be able to find the following public information:
- Certificates of Good Standing: When it comes to an LLC, a Certificate of Good Standing indicates that the entity has continued to file all reports, and paid all fees with the Secretary of State's office. This certificate is proof that an entity exists, and is legally allowed to act as a business in the state it is formed in.
- Official Name: The official name of an LLC is the legal name that is used on government forms and business paperwork. Florida requires LLCs to include “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” in their official name.
- LLC Status: The LLC status is either active or inactive. This has to do with being in good standing, versus falling behind on fees and paperwork.
- Address of registered agent: The registered agent of an LLC can be a person, a business, or a member of the LLC itself. This entity is registered with an address in the state of Florida and must have a legitimate presence in the state in order to collect legal documents and mail on behalf of the LLC.
How to Keep Your LLC information Private?
If you file your LLC anonymously, then this is considered an Anonymous LLC. This is a great alternative for more privacy. The way that you can go about doing so, is to do so in a state that does not require you to disclose the members or managers of the LLC. Typically the most popular states for anonymous LLCs are Delaware, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
Anonymous LLCs are taxed the same as any other LLC, but there are advantages. Although the average person cannot find out who owns the company, if used improperly, LLCs are subject to piercing the corporate veil. Overall though, they are a great option when looking to preserve privacy.
Why Form Anonymously?
Typically, victims of previous abuse or harassment, landowners and property owners trying to avoid tenants, will look to form a Florida LLC anonymously. It also offers greater asset protection and competitor avoidance.
If people notice that you own a business they are more likely to sue knowing you have money. Forming an LLC anonymously prevents this. When people can’t see that you own a business, they are less likely to sue or press charges.
Want Help Searching for a Florida LLC?
No matter the reason you are performing a Florida LLC search, we can help. A business attorney knows the process of creating an LLC in Florida and has easy access to databases with all of their information. If you want help searching for or creating a Florida LLC, speak with a professional today!