There are several reasons you need to find detailed information about a company such as who owns it, who is designated for service of process or to find out if a filing is up to date. Finding this information is often free to do online.
Looking For Information Online
Your first choice should be to check your local or state database of incorporated entities. Usually, you can find what you need from the Secretary of State online. You can also find a good deal of information by checking businesses through databases of licenses, permits, and inspections.
Checking Through Database
Check through online commission and licensing boards for specialized companies. Real estate companies are often listed under the names of the brokers that own the firm. You do want to check this information to make sure you have the correct mailing and contact information as well as to find out if the license is active and in good standing.
There are some businesses that do not require licensing. You can still find more information by looking the business up online. The About Us page may lead you to more details about who owns it. You can also phone them to see if they are an actual LLC or corporation if the information is not clearly indicated on the website.
Commercial Resources Online
There are also commercial resources you can use online. Hoovers is one. This will show you some information free of charge. If all you need is the owner’s information, you probably can get it without paying. If you need more details, you do need to pay for full reports. These are only a few dollars to obtain.
Dun and Bradstreet is another resource to use. There are basic listings for companies but their website may not always divulge information to you unless you pay for a subscription. There are other databases to use like KnowX. These are geared towards the consumer but they still provide good information and can be a great resource for finding information about corporate status, bankruptcy filings and more.
What Type Of Business To Start?
Start your search based on the type of business state of incorporation or the industry you are looking for. If you are looking for a carpenter or an electrician, you can check your state’s licensing board for those industries. If you need information about the owner of a local franchise, you can find this at LexisNexis under the Find a Franchise section.