California Business Entity Search (LLC, Corporation, Partnership)

California (CA) State ImageRecords of all the business entities registered in the state of California (CA) are maintained by the office of Secretary of State (S0S). These records are available to the public for free and anyone can search them on the California Secretary of State website.

The database contains information about the following types of business entities:

  1. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  2. Limited Partnership (LP)
  3. Corporation

Searching for a business 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 CA SOS 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:

  1. By Corporation Name
  2. By LP/LLC Name
  3. By Entity Number
 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.California (CA) Business Entity Corporation Search Page 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.

Search Tips

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:

  1. Keyword – All the businesses partially or completely matching the keyword will be shown.
  2. Exact – All the businesses exactly matching the search string will be shown.
  3. 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
  • Status
  • Entity Name
  • Jurisdiction
  • 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).

California (CA) Business Entity Corporation Search Result Page

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:

California (CA) Business Entity Corporation Details

Registration DateDate of Registration of the business.
JurisdictionState of Jurisdiction (California)
Entity TypeDomestic or Foreign
StatusStanding with SOS – Active / Inactive / Cancelled / SOS Cancelled / Dissolved / Surrender / Merged Out / Converted Out
Agent for Service of ProcessName and Address of the Agent for service of process. 
Entity AddressOffice Address of the business.
Entity Mailing AddressMailing Address of the business.
LLC ManagementManagement structure of the business

On the bottom of the page, you can 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 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’.

California (CA) Business Entity Corporation Search by Entity Number
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.

California (CA) Business Entity Corporation Search by Entity Number Results Page

Step 5: Click on the entity name to view the complete details of the business.

Contact Information
Address1500, 11th Street Sacramento, CA 95814
Link: Map (Opens in new tab)
Phone Number(916) 653-6814
Office Hours8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Monday – Friday

Links & References

  1. http://www.sos.ca.gov/
  2. http://www.ca.gov/Agencies/Secretary-of-State

Last Updated: 01/12/2018

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
James White - October 4, 2018

I am looking to check if this company is registered in California – “ANYTIME TECH SUPPORT”? And is there any way I can report them to the SOS?

    Meredith Karter - October 5, 2018

    Hey James,

    Yes, it is registered in California. Regarding the second question, I would suggest call up the SOS and enquire: (916) 653-6814.

Elizabeth Jacob - October 11, 2018


I registered a trademark back in 2011. And now I am planning to register a California LLC for the same trademark.
Is it possible? If, yes how should I proceed.

Thanks for help

Mark Henry - October 12, 2018

Me and my partner are about to file for LLC in California. Our business is around eCommerce.
Let’s say the name we have selected is “YYXXZZ LLC” and there is another LLC already registered with name “YYXXZZ USA LLC”. However that business is in contracting and unrelated to us.

Is the name distinguishable and unique? And, can there by any possible issues down the line using the above name.


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