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
Title Fund Dollars Positions
STATE, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: CORPORATIONS
COMMERCIAL RECORDINGS AND REGISTRATIONS
12,852,248
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
21,240,232
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
136,894,384
414.00

Updates

Election Security.  The Department of State has conducted an elections-specific assessment in each county to evaluate potential weaknesses in Florida’s elections system. The department reports that its Joint Election Security Initiative (JESI) established a framework for all 67 counties to control access to sensitive and classified information within their offices while also allowing them to share sensitive information with the Florida Department of State regarding security policies and any attempted breaches that may happen in the future. Under JESI, the Department has created the Cyber-Navigator program which includes five full-time cybersecurity staff dedicated to the election system, and access to an electronic multi-state voter data information sharing system to keep voter rolls up to date. The Department reports it will continue to work with each Supervisor of Elections to address or mitigate any weaknesses or vulnerabilities prior to the 2020 elections.

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
A complete list of Auditor General reports is available on its website.
Websites of Interest
Division of Corporations, Sunbiz
Florida Memory
Museum of Florida History
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