How do I find information on an LLC?
This is a commonly asked question online users, which makes the question, “How do I make my LLC anonymous?” a frequently asked question from business owners.
Whether or not someone can find an LLC online depends a lot on how the LLC was initially formed. Because of the laws of the state, and because there are few requirements on information that must be submitted, it’s often not an easy task to find LLC owner information.
As someone who wants to obtain information about an LLC, there are ways to find certain information online. And if you’re a business owner looking to maintain privacy, there are also ways to do that as well!
What is an LLC?
A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure that offers owners less regulation, pass-through taxation,flexible management, and best of all, legal protection.
These benefits are a blend of the attributions of both corporations and partnerships. Like a corporation, LLCs are their own separate entity with personal liability protection. And like a partnership, LLCs have the benefit of flexibility and tax exemptions.
How to Search for an LLC?
Finding an LLCs owner(s) is often available through a variety of online searches. For example, business record searches or browsing the secretary of state website in which the LLC was formed will sometimes give you the private information of an LLC.
All LLCs are required to register with the state; therefore, records are usually obtainable on the secretary of state’s website. If you’re searching for information, there’s some information you can use, such as:
- The legal name of the business
- The LLCs articles of organization
- Employer Identification Number
- The physical address of the business
- Business license information
Not all of this information is easy to obtain. For example, to find the EIN of a company, you can go to the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval database, type the company name, and Search. However, if the company is listed as a private, you will have a hard time obtaining the EIN.
Using the information above to conduct a search on the Business Search page may help you find the LLC you’re looking for. If not, try social media searches and Google searches with this information. Both of these platforms can easily pull information with just a few keywords.
Here are a few other places you can search for LLC information:
- The LLCs website
- State Entity Databases
- Business Data Firms
- Industry Specific Trade Associations
Reasons to Search for an LLC?
Whether you simply want to know more about a company or you’re considering doing business with them and need to know who owns it, there are several reasons to search for an LLC.
- You want to file a lawsuit against the LLC.
- You want to learn more about the LLC and its history.
- You’re searching for name availability for your LLC.
- You’re hiring an LLC and want to know it’s reputation behind the scenes.
- You’re a vendor who wants to know the owner’s creditworthiness.
- You purchased a service or product and have unresolved issues.
- You’re looking to invest in the business and the owner's name is required.
What Information is Available for Search?
If you correctly search for an LLC on the Secretary of State website, you should find information such as:
- If the LLC is active or inactive
- How the LLC was formed
- The date of registration
- Information about the registered agent of the LLC
If the LLC is registered as public, this is information that everyone can find and see. If the LLC is private, the information may be hidden or classified.
How to Keep Your LLC Information Private?
After reading this article and learning how others can find LLC information, business owners may be wondering how they can remain as private as possible.
Anonymous LLCs are a great alternative for more privacy. Anonymous LLCs are limited liability companies that keep the owner's name and information private and not publicly identifiable by the state.
Anonymous LLCs are not permitted in every state; however, business owners can still form this entity in a state in which they do not live. All businesses have flexibility when choosing which state to establish their swelling. For example, if you own and operate a business in Arizona, a state where the formation of Anonymous LLCs is not permitted, then you can still form an Anonymous LLC in a state that allows them.
How exactly does the owner of the LLC remain anonymous?
An Anonymous LLC means the state does not maintain any records of ownership or management. Therefore, it has nothing to publicly disclose. In some states that allow formation of Anonymous LLCs, only the Articles of Organization are submitted to the state, and the Articles require only two names: The organizer and the Registered Agent.
To avoid the common problems when forming an Anonymous LLC, let a qualified business lawyer act on your behalf. This will ensure your ultimate goal of maintaining privacy and will save you from unnecessary stress.