1. LLC Lookup California
2. Introduction to Business Entity Search
3. Reasons to Perform a Search
4. How to Search

LLC Lookup California

An LLC lookup, California, is performed when a person is seeking information on an LLC, corporation, or partnership in the state of California. 

The LLC's members are also its owners. 

Any business registered in California must provide member information to the Secretary of State (SOS).

This information will include the following:

  • Names of all members
  • Members' addresses
  • Members' phone numbers

You'll need to do some research in order to find the members of a California LLC.

An online business search is available at no charge through the SOS website. In the business entities section of the site, you can find information about any LLC in California. 

The following types of entities can be found on the SOS site through a business entity search:

This search tool should be used to find information about existing business entities — not as a search for name availability. 

A separate process is meant for a name availability search that includes an inquiry form.

If you plan to start an LLC, you'll want to perform a search for your desired name for your business to see if there are any business organizations with that name already. 

LLC names must be unique in the state of California, so if you find a matching name, you'll need to decide on a different name for your LLC. 

This rule is in place to keep businesses from confusing or misleading potential customers or clients.

Before performing this search and deciding on a name for your LLC, you should first look over the requirements for LLC names in California.

These requirements include the following:

  • The name has to end with some form of "LLC" (examples: Limited Liability Co., Ltd. Liability Co., L.L.C., etc.).
  • The name cannot include words like, trustee, trust, bank, corporation, incorporated, or any of their abbreviations.
  • The name cannot suggest that the business can issue insurance policies.

An individual might perform an LLC lookup for California in order to do the following:

  • Check on the status of an LLC.
  • Learn the dates of formation, registration, or conversion of the business.
  • Find the main address for the entity.
  • Find information about the LLC's registered agent.

Remember not to use this search to find out if an LLC name is available for use.

When you are ready to perform an LLC lookup for California, follow these steps:

  • Head to the SOS website and find the business search page.
  • Select the "LP/LLC Name" option under "Search Type."
  • Enter the name of the LLC you wish to search for (a partial name is fine).
  • If you know the entity number, enter it for a more specific result under the "Entity Number" search option.
  • Results returned will offer a preview of the resulting entities with their names, entity numbers, filing dates, statuses, and Registered Agents. 
  • If you see the LLC you are looking for, select it to view more details.

Follow these tips when performing your search:

  • Do not use any punctuation in the name of the entity.
  • Search for the principal name of the entity.
  • You can find the principal name on the LLC's website or by calling the business.
  • Keep in mind that LLCs are frequently known by a couple of different names.
  • In order to ensure the most accurate results, enter the name as exactly as possible.
  • Be sure to select the correct type of search before typing in information.
  • Group any initials together (without periods).
  • Spaces and plurals do matter when searching for a specific entity. 
  • There is a page of more tips available in the business section of the SOS website for performing the most effective search.

If you need to check on the availability of a desired name for your LLC, fill out a Name Availability Inquiry Letter. You'll need the following information:

  • Name, address, phone number, and fax number of person requesting the information
  • Name of the firm being used (if applicable)
  • Type of entity (LLC, LP, or Corporation)
  • First, second, and third choices for your LLC name

Mail this completed letter to the Name Availability Unit of the Secretary of State at 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. 

If you need help with an LLC lookup for California, 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, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.