If you want information about business entities registered in California, use the California Secretary of State Business Search tool.
This tool allows you to search for abstracts of information for domestic and foreign corporations, L.L.C.s, and L.P.s that have been filed with the Secretary of State’s office. You can also order copies of official business entity records, such as certificates, statements of information, and status reports.
You may be wondering how to go about this as a new user, but you do not need to worry, I will explain how to use the California Secretary of State Business Search tool, what information you can find, and its benefits and limitations. We will also provide tips and resources to help you research your business entity.
How to Use the California Secretary of State Business Search Tool
The California Secretary of State Business Search tool is available online. You can access it by clicking the “Business Search” tab on the top menu.
The tool has two main features: a search box and a list view.
The search box is a tool built into the website that allows you to enter keywords or phrases related to the business entity you are looking for. You can also enter an eight-digit entity number if you know it. Once you enter your search query, the search box will retrieve a results list corresponding to your search criteria. You can click on any result to see more details about the entity.
Some tips for using the search box are:
- Use quotation marks around exact phrases, such as “A.B.C. Inc.” or “12345678″.
- Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine or exclude keywords, such as “ABC Inc.” AND “California” or “ABC Inc.” NOT “X.Y.Z. Ltd.”.
- Use filters (such as status, type, or date range) to narrow your results by criteria such as active or inactive status, corporation or L.L.C. type, or file date.
- Use advanced search options (such as entity number range or keyword match) to refine your results by specific values or patterns.
The list view displays all the entities that match your query alphabetically by name. Navigate through the list by scrolling down or select any entity for comprehensive information on it.
Some tips for using the list view are:
- Use the search box above each column header (such as Name or Status) to filter your results by that column.
- Use the sort button on each column header (such as Name or Status) to arrange your results in either the ascending or the descending order which is according to the values in that column.
- Use the export button on each result page (such as PDF or Excel) to download a copy of your results in a different format.
What Information Can You Find?
The tool offered by the California Secretary of State for Business Search is capable of providing abstracts of information for a wide range of corporations, including domestic stock, domestic nonprofit, and qualified foreign corporations, in addition to limited liability companies and limited partnerships that have completed their filings with this office. The abstracts include basic information such as name, address, type, status, date filed, and last updated.
However, these abstracts only include some information required for specific purposes. For example:
- The abstracts do not include financial statements (such as balance sheet or income statement), tax returns (such as Form 1120), annual reports (such as Form 10-K), proxy statements (such as Form 10), resolutions (such as minutes), amendments (such as Form 2553), dissolutions (such as Form 150), mergers (such as Form 10), conversions (such as Form 8-K), conversions into stock (such as Form 8-K), conversions into L.L.C.s (such as Form 8-K), conversions into L.P.s (such as Form 8-K), conversions into partnerships (such as Form 8-K), conversions into trusts (such as Form 8-K), conversions into corporations (such as Form 8-K), and other documents that may be required by law, regulation, or contract.
- The abstracts do not include personal information about owners, managers, officers, directors, trustees, beneficiaries, or other persons associated with an entity.
- The abstracts do not include confidential information about an entity’s products, services, customers, suppliers, competitors, or other matters that may affect its competitive position.
Therefore, if you need more comprehensive information about an entity, you should order copies of official business entity records from this office. These records include all documents filed with this office supporting an entity’s formation, operation, and dissolution. They also have additional documents that may be required by law, regulation, or contract.
To order copies of official business entity records from the California Secretary of State, you need to follow these steps:
- Visit the Secretary of State website’s Business Entities Records Request page.
- Select the type of record you want to order from the drop-down menu. You can choose from certificates, copies, status reports, and other documents.
- Fill out the online order form with the required information, such as entity name, entity number, date range, and delivery method. You can also attach a cover letter if you have any special requests or instructions.
- Please review your order and submit it. Upon placing your order, an email confirming your order number and estimated processing time will be sent to you.
- Pay for your order using a credit card or an electronic check. The fee for each record varies depending on the type and quantity of records. You can find the fee schedule on the Business Entities Records Order Form.
- Wait for your order to be processed and delivered. The processing time depends on the type of record and the delivery method. You can check the status of your order online using your order number.
Alternatively, there are options for you to also mail or even fax your order form to the Business Programs Division at:
Business Programs Division California Secretary of State P.O. Box 942942 Sacramento, CA 94294-4292, Fax: (916) 653-6814
Please note that some records may not be available for online ordering or require additional fees or processing time. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact the Business Programs Division at (916) 653-6814 or email@example.com.
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