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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 the Secretary of State (S0S).

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:

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

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:

  1. Corporation Name (useful for checking business name availability)
  2. LP/LLC Name
  3. 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.California (CA) Business Entity Corporation Search Page 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.

Search Tips

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.

  1. Keyword – All the business names partially or completely matching the entered string will be shown.
  2. Exact – All the businesses exactly matching the searched string will be shown.
  3. 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
  • 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 to narrow down the results.

Step 8: On the final page, you will be able to view the following 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

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’.

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: If the ID is correct, you would be able to view the corresponding business details.

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

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


Secretary of State Contact Information
Address1500, 11th Street Sacramento, CA 95814
Link: Map (Opens in new tab)
Phone Number(916) 653-6814
Email
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 on: 27/03/2019

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 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?

Reply
    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.

    Reply
Elizabeth Jacob - October 11, 2018

Morning,

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

Reply
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.

Reply
Taylor - February 28, 2019

Is there anyway to just find out how many LLCs have been filed in CA in the last 5 years?

Reply
    Meredith Karter - March 4, 2019

    Hey Taylor,
    California SOS does not disclose this number publicly. It’s best to call the SOS office and inquire about it directly (Phone: (916) 653-6814). From my experience with dealing with them, if you have a valid reason, they would not mind sharing the figure.

    My wild guess would be around 10k to 15k LLCs are formed every year in CA.

    Reply

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