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What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business structure in the United States whereby the owners are not personally liable for the company's debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship.

How to search for an LLC or other business in Washington?

You can easily search for a business registered in Washington. Through the office of the secretary of state website you can search for various businesses including nonprofit corporations, limited partnerships (LPs), LLCs, and other miscellaneous businesses. This information is available here through their Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System. Make sure you input the business name into the corporation search. There are also search engines available for charities, fundraisers, trusts, and trademarks below the business search. You may also perform an advanced business search through the same link and narrow your search with the business name, type, status, expiration date, and even look up a registered agent.

Why would you perform a business search?

This business search is a way to contact a business or find out other information you need. You may also desire to search for a company to confirm your information about the business. You can even look up your business to see what is available to the public. It's also a great way to determine whether your desired business name while filing for one is already taken and, therefore, unavailable. Some other reasons for performing a business search are listed below.

  1. Want to file a lawsuit against an LLC. You can contact the agent to notify the company.
  2. Learn more about an LLC, including any of the information listed below.
  3. Find out ownership of an LLC
  4. Searching for Name availability for Your LLC. Confirming whether your desired LLC name is already taken can help prevent rejection and additional filings for your LLC.
  5. Perform administrative tasks for your company.
  6. Confirm whether your LLC is formed officially with the secretary of state

What information is available through the search?

Information that is available through the New York business search includes the following:

  1. Full legal name of the company
  2. Whether the company is active or inactive
  3. The registered agent and their address
  4. The jurisdiction that the entity was formed in
  5. The entity type
  6. The initial filing date
  7. The principal and mailing addresses of the business
  8. The managers or members listed in the filing
  9. Nature of the business
  10. Filing/ Merger history

How to Keep Your LLC Information Private?

Washington is not one of the states that allows anonymous LLC filing directly. That is, you cannot withhold member or manager information. There are ways to get around this. One such way is by filing for two LLCs and having them listed as each other’s owners. That is, you file LLC one’s initial report and list LLC two as the member. Then you file LLC two’s initial report and can then list LLC one as the member. Each year, annual renewals will be filed for both companies and with the same information provided. When you list your registered agent and executor, it is also important not to list yourself in these roles as you will then be required to provide your address and name.

How to get ahold of documents?

To obtain documents on file with the secretary of state, simply click on “filing history” after selecting the business you are interested in. Then you can view the list of documents available on the site. It will download and you can obtain the documentation for free.

Any more questions about New York’s business search or need to correct any information?

Contact the Office of the Secretary of State at corps@sos.wa.gov or call them at 360-725-0377.

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