How to Look Up an LLC in California

How to Look Up an LLC in California

by Belle Wong, J.D., April 2015

Need information on an LLC registered in California? The Business Entities section of the Secretary of State of California offers a free online business search function that allows you to search the information on record for any California LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Purpose of a Business Search

There are a number of reasons why you might need to look up an LLC in California. For example, you may wish to find more information about the status of an LLC in the state, or you may need to find additional information about the LLC in order for proper service of process. Using the California Business Search to perform an LLC lookup can provide you with the information you need, such as information about entity formation, registration, or conversion date, status, address, and name and address of the agent for service of process. It’s important, however, to remember that the business search is not the correct search to make when you need to check the availability of a name for a corporation, LLC or a limited partnership.

Performing a California LLC Search

In order to perform a California LLC Search, navigate to the Business Search page on the California Secretary of State’s site and select the Limited Liability Company/Limited Partnership Name option. Enter either the entity number, if you know it (the entity number for an LLC registered in California is a 12-digit number), or the entity name in the search field, then click on the Search button.

Tips for Performing Your LLC Search

When you search for an LLC name as opposed to an entity number, there are a number of search tips to keep in mind in order to obtain the best results for your search. It’s important, for example, that you do not include punctuation in your search:

  • Where the entity name for which you are searching includes initials followed by periods or other punctuation, do not use the periods or other punctuation in your search term. You should also group the initials together. For example, when searching for X.Y.Z. Company, enter “XYZ Company” into the search field.
  • Where the entity name for which you’re searching includes initials followed by periods and a space, eliminate the periods but keep the spaces. For example, when searching for X. Y. Z. Company, use “X Y Z Company” in the search field.

The use of spaces and plurals also makes a difference in the search results. For example, if you’re looking for X Y Z Company, you need to leave the spaces intact when entering the name in the search field; while a search for X Y Z Company will return results for “X Y Z Company”, a search for XYZ Company will not.

Plurals will also have an impact on your search results. For example, in order to get the proper search results for XYZ Services, you need to input “XYZ Services” into the search field, rather than “XYZ Service”. The latter will not return XYZ Services in the search results.

Check out the Search Tips page at in the Business Search section of the Secretary of State of California for more information on refining or modifying your search terms to help ensure you find the search results for which you’re looking.

Certificates, Copies of Documents or Status Reports

Once you’ve found the information you need, you may want to obtain certificates, copies of documents or status reports. For example, you may want to obtain a Certificate of Status, which certifies the current status of the LLC, a Certificate of Filing of All Documents, or a Certificate of No Record, which certifies that there is no record of a particular business entity.

Other documents you may want to obtain copies of, either certified or uncertified, include formation/registration documents, amendment documents, termination documents and statements of information. Status reports can also be obtained which contain information such as the complete business entity name, file number, status, jurisdiction and address.

In order to obtain certificates, copies of documents or status reports, you will need to fill out this Business Entities Records—Order Form (PDF) and submit it to the California Secretary of State’s Sacramento office either in person or by mail. You will find full instructions on submitting requests for documents, certificates or status report in the form, along with a current listing of the applicable fees.

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