How to Find Officers of a Corporation?
Learning how to find officers of a corporation can help you get the contact information that you need.3 min read
Learning how to find officers of a corporation can help you get the contact information that you need. You may be able to find officers' names and contact info in the following places:
- The Secretary of State database
- The corporation's website
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) database
- Your local library
- Social media
How to Determine Who Is an Officer or Principal of a Corporation or LLC
There are a few situations where a company might need to know the names of the principals or officers of an LLC or corporation. A few of the most common reasons for requiring this information include the following:
- To make contract negotiations
- To discuss the possibility of a business merger or partnership
- To discuss future business possibilities with the corporations' decision makers
This information is not always provided, even when business mergers or potential negotiations are already discussed. If this information is not already given to you, it is your responsibility to find the information. Fortunately, there are a few ways to get this information.
- Search for the officer or principal. The purpose of your research will dictate the exact officer or principal that you are looking for. For legal purposes, you could always send documents to the registered agent. The registered agent is required to forward documents to officers and principals. Contract needs can be sent to the companies' listed CEO or CFO.
- Visit the Secretary of State website. Starting a search on the Secretary of State website can get you the information that you need. The SOS has a detailed database that is searchable and can provide you with the names of registered agents and sometimes officers. Additionally, businesses are required to file annually, meaning you get the most up-to-date information.
- Search for the registered agent. Every state also requires that registered businesses register an agent. It is even possible that the registered agent is also a principal or officer. This is useful for situations where you are attempting to gather information about an out of state officer. If a company does business in a state, they will likely also have a registered agent there too.
- Look up business licenses. You can also view copies of business licenses which may have the information you need. Some business licenses also have contact information available.
- Search for business websites. The majority of businesses today have a website. Many businesses include information about their officers or management team on the website.
- Check with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Publicly traded companies are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You can use the SEC database to determine names, board members, and stockholders.
- Check the local library. The local library probably has access to business research tools that can be used to look up officers. A few of these tools include Data.com and LexisNexis.
- Search on social media. A growing number of corporations are building a social presence. You can sometimes find the information you need by visiting Facebook or LinkedIn.
How to Find Out the Officers of a Corporation
It is important to first establish what a corporation is and who it is made up of. A corporation is often defined as a business that also has bylaws, legal protections, shareholders, and Articles of Incorporation. A corporation is often managed by a minimum of three corporate officers. These officers might have different titles but are all considered to be managing officers. The list of officers is public knowledge but is not always easy to find.
Finding Officers Based on Business Type
Understanding the type of business can help you find the officers information that you need.
- Corporations: The Secretary of State holds information about a corporations' registered agent, but often not about the individual shareholders.
- Limited liability companies: You will likely not find current officer information about LLC companies from the Secretary of State. However, they are likely to have information about the initial registered agents.
- Limited partnerships: The Secretary of State does have an updated list of general partners involved in a limited partnership.
While it might be helpful to visit the Secretary of State to obtain needed information, they may not be able to give you an updated list of every member. However, they can give you the contact information of the registered agent, who can then usually point you in the direction of officer information.
If you need help with how to find officers of a corporation, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.