A Pennsylvania Secretary of State Business Search can be performed through the Business Division of the Secretary of State for Pennsylvania. The Business Division of the Secretary of State for Pennsylvania handles the management and establishment of the registry for every business entity that is registered within the state.

On the registry, information includes all businesses operating in the state. This includes Limited Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Corporations, and Limited Partnerships. In Pennsylvania, the Secretary of State also creates new policies for business entities and corporations. This role also must watch over all commercial activity occurring within the state.

In the database, information listed includes the expiration date of the license, the mailing address of the business, any business specification, and other information that would be pertinent to a citizen. It is easiest and most efficient for a concerned citizen to find information within the business database through the search engine. If a citizen knows the name of the business, that citizen can get relevant details about it.

In Pennsylvania, the Secretary of State is also known as the Secretary of Commonwealth. Since the Secretary of State's office was formed under the state's Constitution, the person holding that position has been elected. The current holder of the Secretary of State's office is Carol Aichele. With this role comes the management of a number of tasks.

One of the tasks the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania is responsible for is keeping the Great Seal of Pennsylvania. The Great Seal of the Pennsylvania is used to verify and authenticate government and legal documents before they go on to the Governor for signature. The Secretary of State of Pennsylvania also manages the public record and archives.

Searching Pennsylvania LLC Name

Before you can form a limited liability company (LLC) in the state of Pennsylvania, the first step is performing a search of the LLC name you are interested in using to ensure it's still available. Check all current business names in the state by searching in the Pennsylvania Business Entities database.

  • Step 1: Put in the entity ID number or business name within the search bar at https://www.corporations.pa.gov/Search/CorpSearch.
    • Filter the search by making the selection to view active businesses only or by using a different type of search in the drop-down menu.
  • Step 2: On the next page, you will find a list of all business names containing the keywords input.
    • Click on the Business Entity Name or Number to view additional details.
  • Step 3: When you click on the name to view the additional details, you will see helpful information that relates to that business.
    • During step 3, you may choose to purchase additional certified documents.

How to Use the Pennsylvania Business Entity Search Tool

Searching too specifically will lessen the results you see. In order to ensure a full list of potential matches comes up, search only part of the business name you want to use. If you were thinking about registering an LLC in Pennsylvania called "Skyline Farms LLC,” search for “Skyline Farm” as the keyword. By searching for part of the business name you want, you'll see anything similar, such as “Skyline Farmers LLC” or “Skyline Farming LLC” from the previous example. When an already registered business has a confusingly similar name, the state could reject your application.

When searching, don't look at the designator (“LLC”, “L.L.C.”, etc.). You can also disregard any punctuation in the business name, such as a comma, period, hyphen, apostrophe, etc. When performing a search, use either lowercase or uppercase letters. The Pennsylvania database ignores capital letters in a search.

Determining the Search Results

After you do the search, if you don't find any names of businesses that are similar to yours, the business name you want is ready for you to use. When the result brings the message, “No results found for search term”, the Pennsylvania LLC business name you have searched for is available and unique enough from other names.

However, if the search does show a similar or identical LLC name, you must think of a different variation or new name as what you want will not be approved. When the search includes a deceptively identical name to the name you want, your business name will likely be rejected so you will have to come up with a different name.

Filing Fee

The non-refundable LLC Filing Fee in the state of Pennsylvania is $125.

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