What is a Business Entity Search?
These searches are often used to find information about a specific company such as its board of directors, state of corporation and the date it became a legal entity. Any necessary legal documents used in incorporating the entity will also be included. What exact information is allowed to be publicly accessible is determined on a state level and is different for each state.
Each state will have a Secretary of State (SOS) where companies must register in order to be given rights as a public entity.
When you create a business such as a Sole Proprietorship, an LLC or a Corporation, you must first search through the state’s database of legal “entities” to see if the company name you would like to use is available or if it is already registered by someone else. All records kept with the SOS are a matter of public record and can be accessed free of charge. But due to the complexity of the research process, often a lawyer is used for such requests.
In the United States, a business entity search is done on a state level. Each state uses its own database and has its own rules and regulations regarding it use and accessibility by the public.