Before starting a business in the US, you are required to register it first. Registration for most entities is done at the state level with the respective Secretary of State office. To get started, decide the type of business you want to invest in. Next, decide the state where your business’s main office will be located. The main types of business entities registered in the U.S. include the following:

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • S Corporations
  • Corporations
  • Partnerships

Secretary of State Business Entity Search by State

The Business or Corporation Division is a sub-department of the SOS. Its work is to form, amend, dissolve, and keep data of every business entity allowed to operate in the state. When you conduct a corporation lookup, the link is directly connected with the official business search page of the SOS. To make business your entity search easier, below are links to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Who is responsible for maintaining information for business entities in the US?

In each state, the Secretary of State is responsible for processing and maintaining business records. If you want to launch a business in any state, this is the place you will visit first. Now that you have an entity name and the state to launch it, conduct a business entity search with the respective SOS database. The SOS Business Search is simple and provides you with information such as Entity Name, File Number, Agent Information, Date Registered, Entity Status, and Principles.

Each SOS has specific LLC lookup requirements. Some will require you to search by Name, ID Number, or File Number. When you click the search button, a list of names with closely related fields will be displayed. Click on the specific business lookup entity name you want to generate a detailed result.

SOS Lookup Forms

What information in the Secretary of State Business Search database is available to the public?

The SOS corporation search database contains useful information, but it has limitations. You cannot find information for some types of entities since the law does not require them to register with the SOS. You will find information for LLCs, LCs, Partnerships, Corporations, and Sole proprietorships. If you need more detailed information, such as entity certificate, IRS tax data, or certified LLC lookup copy, you must request the SOS in writing. A fee is payable for such requests.


The National Association of Secretaries of States

Q&A: Small Business and the SEC

NASS Business Services