LLC Owner Search Overview

To look up LLC owner is to conduct a search for the owner of an LLC, or limited liability company. In most states, this information is required for the creation of an LLC, so it will be a part of the public record. Thus, a search through publicly available documents will, in most cases, yield the name of the owner of the LLC in question.

The articles of organization, sometimes known as the articles of formation, is a document used to officially establish an LLC with the state, and generally it will list the name of the members or owners of the LLC.

Articles of organization are considered to be part of the public record, so finding them should be relatively easy. To do this, first one should determine the actual name of the business and the state in which it is registered.

Some LLCs have fictitious names, or doing business as (DBA) names, so one should not assume the actual name of the business is the one stated publicly.

Similarly, just because a business is operating in a state does not mean it was originally registered in that state. Thus, you may have to search the registration records of several states or avail yourself of other research to discover the true state in which the business was registered.

Once armed with this information, you may search for the articles of organization.

Most states have an online business search page (example) through which you can search for information in the public record on any registered LLC. This can be helpful if you desire more information about an LLC’s status, if you need information for proper service of process, or if you desire to find the name of the owner. Information it can provide includes:

  • Entity formation information.
  • Registration information.
  • The status, address, conversion date, and name of the LLC’s registered agent.
  • The LLC’s articles of organization.

You can also make a request in writing for the public documents and registration information of the LLC you are researching, if such information is not offered online for free. Such a request will usually require the payment of a search fee.

Online Search Tips

In order to conduct a more efficient search through a state’s online database, the following tips may be helpful:

  • Do not include punctuation.
  • Group initials together, unless initials already have a space between them (“A.B.C. Inc.” = “ABC Inc” and “A. B. C. Inc.” = “A B C Inc”).
  • Do not neglect proper spacing when using the search.
  • The plural form of words is important. “ABC Service” is not the same as “ABC Services.”
  • Many business information search pages will also list or contain a link to search tips.

Certificates, Status Reports, and Copies of Documents

Once you have discovered the name or names of the LLC owners, or any other information you desire, you may want to obtain documentation of this information. Such documentation may include:

  • Certificate of Status. This certifies the LLC’s current status.
  • Certificate of Filing of All Documents. This certifies that all documents have been filed.
  • Status reports. These will contain the business’s name, status, file number, address, and jurisdiction.
  • Copies. You can obtain uncertified or certified copies of registration/formation documents, termination documents, amendment documents, and statements of information.

Also, if there is no record of the business you have searched for, you may obtain a Certificate of No Record. This certificate and all other documents listed above can be obtained by filling out a request order form and submitting it to your state’s Secretary of State office, either in person, by mail, or–in many states–online. Such requests will require the payment of a fee, varying from state to state and sometimes document to document.

Delaware Exception

Delaware offers a level of privacy protection greater than all other states. In Delaware, an LLC owner is not required to state their name when filing to form an LLC; only the name of the LLC and the LLC’s registered agent are necessary. Thus, if an LLC has been registered in Delaware and the owner or owners have elected not to list their name or names, a search of public databases will be of no avail.

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