OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of State

What is the purpose of the department?

The Department of State seeks to improve the quality of life for all Floridians by
  • promoting economic development through a business-friendly corporate filing environment;
  • providing access to information and protecting democracy by overseeing fair and accurate elections;
  • enriching public libraries and supporting events that attract tourism;
  • collecting important public records and preserving the state's cultural heritage and historical resources; and
  • promoting economic development through the arts.

What are the major responsibilities of the department?

The department is responsible for five major programs.
  • Corporations maintains and makes available to the public certain information on businesses operating in Florida and certain financial transactions that take place in the state, such as the filing of business entities, trade and service marks, judgment liens, and fictitious name registrations.
  • Elections provides administrative support to ensure fair and accurate elections and promotes public awareness and participation in the electoral process.
  • Library and Information Services preserves and stores state records, provides public access to state information, administers grants, and provides consultative/training services to improve local library services throughout the state.
  • Historical Resources encourages identification, evaluation, protection, preservation, collection, conservation, interpretation of, and public access to information about Florida's historic sites, properties, and objects related to Florida history and to archaeological and folk cultural heritage.
  • Cultural Affairs improves the quality of life in Florida by promoting programs with cultural and artistic significance that have an economic impact on the state, including museums.

What additional functions of interest to the public does the department perform?

The department is responsible for filing rules promulgated by state regulatory agencies. The Florida Administrative Register & Florida Administrative Code electronically publishes the Florida Administrative Register, and records and files various official records.  Through the Administrative Code and Register programs, Floridians have access to the rules and regulations affecting them, as well as proposed rules, notices of public meetings, bid proposals, and other items. Services are accessible at the Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register website.
In addition, as the official custodian of the Florida State Seal, the department oversees the use or display of the state seal for reproduction or manufacturing.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
STATE, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: CORPORATIONS
COMMERCIAL RECORDINGS AND REGISTRATIONS
8,727,628
102.00
PROGRAM: CULTURAL AFFAIRS
CULTURAL AFFAIRS
21,171,916
35.00
PROGRAM: ELECTIONS
ELECTIONS
36,730,851
52.00
PROGRAM: HISTORICAL RESOURCES
HISTORICAL RESOURCES PRESERVATION AND EXHIBITION
19,686,018
53.00
PROGRAM: LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES
LIBRARY, ARCHIVES AND INFORMATION SERVICES
32,177,787
69.00
PROGRAM: OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
12,721,350
103.00
TOTAL
131,215,550
414.00

Updates

Election Administration. The 2019 Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-162, Laws of Florida, which makes substantive changes to the Florida Election Code. Major provisions of the law include implementing Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution, which restored the voting rights of certain convicted felons. In addition, this law extended deadlines for voting by mail and for updating vote-by-mail ballot signatures. Last, the law expands no-solicitation zones around polling places/rooms and early voting sites, and changes a number of election accountability procedures.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
Websites of Interest
Division of Corporations, Sunbiz
Florida Memory
Museum of Florida History
Viva Florida
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 15 and s. 20.10, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Secretary of State's Office, 850-245-6510, email:  SecretaryofState@dos.myflorida.com
Website