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By The Wyoming LLC Attorney Team

June 02, 2023

How To Find Out Who Owns A Business

How to Start an LLC


Knowing who owns a business is crucial for making informed decisions about working with or investing in the company, and you can find this information through various methods such as checking the company's website, searching the Secretary of State's website, checking public records, using online databases, or hiring an attorney if necessary.

Uncovering who owns a business is important for a couple of reasons. To begin with, it's always wise to be aware of the individual or entity you are dealing with and their standing in the industry if you're buying from them. Moreover, when looking for potential investors or working partners, being familiar with who runs the business will help decide whether it’s an ideal fit for your own venture.

Alternatively, you may even be looking for a new job and want to find out what kind of company and ownership you’d be working under before accepting the potential offer. No matter your reasons, knowing how to find out who owns a business is a useful skill to have.

So, why is it valuable to know who owns a business?

Knowing who owns a business is beneficial information for several reasons.

First, it will help you understand the motivations and goals of the business owner, which can help you better predict what kind of decisions they will make. For example, if they want to provide financial security for their family, they may opt for short-term beneficial choices or take risks in order to secure high returns from investors which would consequently increase the value of their enterprise.

Secondly, knowing who owns a business could help you figure out how much power each person has in the decision-making processes. For instance, if one person owns most of the company and takes most of its profits, then you should take into account their interests when considering your own goals for working with this business.

Most importantly, if you are interested in buying a particular company or investing in it, it may be beneficial to know who you are dealing with. As an investor, knowing who owns a business can help you decide whether or not to invest in it. Likewise, if you are considering buying a business, it’s important to know who owns it. The owner is the person who has an interest in the business and can be held personally liable for debts incurred by the company. Knowing who owns a business can help you make sure that you are investing in a company with a good chance of success and subsequently a stable history thereof.

But, what can one actually find out about a business owner, and more importantly, what should you be searching for?

Through conducting a thorough search online, you could find the following information pertaining to business ownership:

  • Name of the business owner
  • Registration number
  • Company’s articles of incorporation and bylaws
  • Voting rights
  • Records of shareholders or corporate governance
  • Business partners and/or employee information

How you could conduct your search:

As a consumer or a potential investor, it's important to know who owns a business. Understanding the ownership structure of a company can help you make informed decisions about doing business with them or investing in their stock. However, finding out who owns a business can be challenging, especially if the company is privately held.

You could do the following to assist the search process:
1. Check the company's website

A company’s website may provide some information about its ownership structure. You can find this type of information by looking up the "About Us'” page or a"Leadership" page. These pages will typically list the names and titles of the company's top executives, including the CEO, CFO, and other key leaders. If the company is publicly traded, you can also find information about its major shareholders on the investor relations page.

2. Search the Secretary of State's website

If you are struggling to find information about a company, you could also search on the Secretary of State’s website. This is because each state is required to maintain a database of registered businesses. On this website you will be able to search for where the business is registered and who owns it. This information may include the names, as well as the addresses of the company's owners, its officers and directors.

3. Check public records

Since many states require businesses to file annual reports or other disclosures with the Secretary of State’s office, these documents may also provide vital information about a company’s ownership structure, as well as its financial performance, and other important details. Many states require businesses to file annual reports or other disclosures with the Secretary of State's office. You can also search public records for information about the company's real estate holdings, legal disputes, and other relevant information.

4. Use online databases

There are several online databases that can help you find out who owns a business, as they provide detailed information of a company's profiles, including information about the company's ownership structure, financial performance, and key executives.

5. Hire an Attorney

If all else fails, you could hire an expert such as an attorney, who could assist you. You could ask them whether they have any information about this particular company. In some cases an attorney may even have direct access to records that are not available to the public, which could aid your search process even more.

So, what are you waiting for?

Searching for the owner of a business may seem like a daunting task, but it is achievable with the right resources and approach. Start by gathering as much information as you can about the business, such as its name, location, and any relevant details about its industry. From there, you can use various online tools and databases, as well as public records and local business directories, to narrow down your search and find the owner's name and contact information.

Remember to be persistent and thorough in your search, and don't hesitate to seek professional help if you need it. With these tips, you can uncover the owner of a business and gain valuable insights into its operations and history. Whatever your reasons, this is undoubtedly an invaluable skill to have.

Still unsure? This FAQ sheet might help:

There are countless reasons why someone may want to find out who owns a business. Some common reasons include conducting research for a job application or investment opportunity, verifying the legitimacy of a business, or resolving a legal dispute.

There are several ways to find out who owns a business. One of the easiest ways is to search the business name on the state's Secretary of State website. You can also check local business registration offices, or use online directories.

No, there are many free resources available to help you find out who owns a business. However, some online directories may require a paid subscription for access to more detailed information.

The business name and state where it is registered are typically the minimum requirements to start searching for business ownership information. If possible, having the business address or tax ID number can also be helpful.

Yes, you can still find out who owns a privately owned business. However, the information may not be readily available and may require more extensive research.

Yes, it is legal to find out who owns a business. However, it is important to use the information for lawful purposes and not for any illegal or malicious activity.

While it is possible to contact the owner of a business if you find their information, it is important to respect their privacy and only contact them for legitimate purposes. It is also important to note that not all business owners may be open to unsolicited communication.