California Business Entity Search (LLC, Corporation, Partnership)
Records of all the business entities registered in the state of California (CA) are maintained by the office of the Secretary of State (SOS).
Basic information about registered businesses is freely available to the public. One can directly search for business records on the California Secretary of State website.
The database contains information about the following types of business entities:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Limited Partnership (LP)
Searching for a business can be helpful for anyone who is researching for a business name, checking business information or looking to download business documents.
On this page, we have provided step-by-step instructions on how one can browse through the CA SOS website and conduct a business entity search.
For your better understanding, we have also explained the meaning of complex terms used in the search report.
California Secretary of State Business Entity Search
You can conduct the search using:
- Corporation Name (useful for checking business name availability)
- LP/LLC Name
- Entity Number
By Business Name (Corporation & LP/LLC)
Step 1: Open California business entity search page (opens in new tab).
The page will look like the image below. Step 2: Based on the information available with you select either ‘Corporation Name’ or ‘LP/LLC Name’. If you are unsure, simply select LP/LLC Name.
Step 3: Enter the name of the business in the ‘Search Criteria‘ field.
Note: You can also search by partial name of the business.
Don’t enter LLC, L.L.C, LLP or L.L.P. at the end of the search string.
Don’t use punctuation such as full stop, comma, period etc.
The search string cannot be more than 12 characters
Step 4: Next, choose the appropriate filter.
- Keyword – All the business names partially or completely matching the entered string will be shown.
- Exact – All the businesses exactly matching the searched string will be shown.
- Begins with – All the businesses starting with the searched string will be shown.
Step 5: Click on the ‘Search’ button.
Step 6: On the next page, you will be able to view all the businesses matching the search criteria.
Each business entry will have the following data:
- Entity Number
- Registration Date
- Entity Name
- Agent for Service of Process
For example, let’s try searching for the term ‘Butterfly’. The query results in 180 matching records (refer to the image below).
Step 7: Click on the desired business name. On the next page, you will be able to view detailed information about the business.
Note: If the query throws up too many results, try redoing the search using other filters to narrow down the results.
Step 8: On the final page, you will be able to view the following information:
|Registration Date||Date of Registration of the business.|
|Jurisdiction||State of Jurisdiction (California)|
|Entity Type||Domestic or Foreign|
|Status||Standing with SOS – Active / Inactive / Cancelled / SOS Cancelled / Dissolved / Surrender / Merged Out / Converted Out|
|Agent for Service of Process||Name and Address of the Agent for service of process.|
|Entity Address||Office Address of the business.|
|Entity Mailing Address||Mailing Address of the business.|
|LLC Management||Management structure of the business|
At the bottom of the page, you can also view and download business documents such as registration, amendments, dissolution etc.
By Entity Number
All the businesses registered in California are assigned a unique entity ID. If you are aware of the entity ID then you can directly fetch business details.
Step 1: Open CA secretary of state business entity search page.
Step 2: Select the ‘Entity Number’ option under ‘Search Type’.
Note: The entity number of a corporation starts with letter C and is followed by seven digits. While the entity number of an LLC/LLP is of 12 digits.
Step 3: Enter the ID in the search criteria text box and click on the ‘Search’ button.
Step 4: If the ID is correct, you would be able to view the corresponding business details.
Step 5: Click on the entity name to view the complete details about the business.
Secretary of State Contact Information
|Address||1500, 11th Street Sacramento, CA 95814|
Link: Map (Opens in new tab)
|Phone Number||(916) 653-6814|
|Office Hours||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Monday – Friday
Links & References
Last Updated on: 27/03/2019