Arizona Business Records

 

 

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Arizona Business Records

In the State of Arizona, the Secretary of State keeps and maintains certain business records that are matters of public record.  This means that even if you do not own or work for a business, you can obtain information concerning that business from the Secretary of State.  Here are a few tips on obtaining access to these important records.

What Records Are Maintained by the Arizona Secretary of State?

In Arizona, a business may take a number of forms, the most well-known of which are corporations and partnerships.  When these entities are formed, documentation of their formation is filed with the Secretary of State.

Additionally, Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, forms may be filed by a business.  These documents are filed to demonstrate that someone has a security interest in collateral of a debtor, in exchange for value, such as a loan. 

Sometimes corporations and partnerships do not do business under their name, but may use a tradename to identify the company to the public.  When a tradename is used, documentation of the tradename may be filed with the Secretary of State to give notice of the use of the name. 

Finally, businesses may also register trademarks in the State of Arizona.  This should not be confused with national trademark registration, which is maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  However, on a smaller scale some states such as Arizona maintain records of trademarks that are claimed by businesses within the state.

Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?

No all businesses are incorporated.  Sometimes an individual may do business as a sole proprietorship, and sometimes businesses choose not to incorporate or form a partnership.

However, just because an entity is not registered with the Arizona Secretary of State, it should not be immediately presumed that the business is not incorporated.  In the United States, businesses often elect to become incorporated in a different state than where the business’s offices are located.  This is sometimes done when a business believes that the laws of one state are more advantageous than another for the formation of their corporation.  Therefore, if a business that conducts affairs or maintains offices in Arizona is not registered in the State of Arizona, it might be incorporated elsewhere.  Many businesses are formed in Delaware, based upon the belief that Delaware’s laws are advantageous to businesses, so the State of Delaware would be a good place to try next.

How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Arizona Secretary of State?

If you know that a business was incorporated in the State of Arizona, the documentation of the formation of that business is available for viewing online and in person.  The physical address for business related filings in Arizona is 14 North 18th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85007.

To view business records over the internet, including UCC filings, trademarks, tradenames and partnership information, first go to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, located at www.azsos.gov.  Then select “Business Services.”  On the next page, choose “Business Registrations and Filings.”

From the Business Registrations and Filings page, you can search for partnership information by selecting “Partnerships,” then “Search Partnerships.”  You will be taken to a page where you can input the file number or the name of the applicant or agent.  When the results are returned, each item in the list will begin with an ID number in blue.  These ID numbers are clickable links that will allow you to view the full information about each partnership.

To view trademark and tradename information, from the Business Registrations and Filings page click on “Trademarks and Tradenames,” then click on “Search for Registered Name.”  From this page, you will be able to input search information such as a name or file number.  After the list of results is displayed, click on the blue ID number of the item you wish to view in greater detail.

For UCC information, from the Business Registrations and Filings page click on UCC, then select the link “Search UCCs.”  From this page, you can input search information such as a file number, debtor or secured party.  A list will be returned with boxes next to each item.  Click the box beside each of the items you wish to view more fully, then click the button marked “Report.”  You will then be given additional information including the identities of the debtors, secured parties, file numbers, and date of filing.  A button marked “Images” will appear on the screen, which can be clicked to display a scanned copy of the document.

In Arizona, documentation about corporations is maintained on a separate website, the Arizona Corporations Commission:  www.cc.state.az.us.  From the home page, look for the word “Records.”  Under this is a link entitled “Information on Active Corporations.”  When you click on this link, you will be taken to a page where you will see selections including “Corporations,” “History Corporations,” and “Old Corporation Names.”  Click the word “Corporations” to search for current businesses.  The links “History Corporations” and “Old Corporation Names” will help you to search for defunct businesses and business names.

If you click on “Corporations,” you will immediately be taken to a list of current corporations.  However, you will also have the opportunity, at the top of the page, to narrow the search by inputting search terms.

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