Records of all the business entities registered in the state of California (CA) are maintained by the office of Secretary of State online. These records are available to the public for free and anyone can search them on the 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 entity in California 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 California Secretary of State website and conduct a business entity search. We have also explained the meaning of complex terms used in the report, thus helping you better understand the business information.
California Business Entity Search
One can search any legal business entity registered in the state of California in three ways:
- By Corporation Name
- By LP/LLC Name
- By Entity Number
Search By Business Name (Corporation & LP/LLC)
Step 1: Go to the California business entity search page (opens in new tab). The page will look like the image below. Step 2: Select Corporation Name‘ or LP/LLC Name based on your requirement. 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 entering the partial name of the business.
Don’t enter LLC, L.L.C, LLP or L.L.P. at the end of a search string.
Don’t use punctuation such as full stop, comma, period etc.
The search string cannot be more than 12 characters
Step 4: In search filter, you have three options:
- Keyword – All the businesses partially or completely matching the keyword will be shown.
- Exact – All the businesses exactly matching the search string will be shown.
- Begins with – All the businesses starting with the search string will be shown.
Step 5: Click on the Search button.
Step 6: On the next page, you will be able to see all the businesses matching the criteria specified by you. Each 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.
Step 8: On the final page, you will be able to view the following business 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|
On the bottom of the page, you can view and download business documents such as registration, amendments, dissolution etc.
Search by Entity Number
All the businesses registered in California are assigned a unique entity ID. If you are aware of the entity number then directly search the business information.
Step 1: Start by navigating to the 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: On the next page, you will be able to view the name of the business matching the criteria.
Step 5: Click on the entity name to view the complete details of the business.
|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: 05/10/2018