Delaware Business Records

 

 

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How to Find Business Records in Delaware

Delaware Business Records

In the State of Delaware, business records are maintained by the Delaware Secretary of State. Many of these records are considered to be matters of public record, meaning that private citizens may access and view these records, even if they have no ownership interest in the company in question.

What Records Are Maintained by the Delaware Secretary of State?

A business that incorporates in Delaware may take several recognized forms, the most well-known of which is the corporation. Corporations are considered to be separate legal entities from their founders and officers, essentially meaning that corporations are treated as if they are a separate person. For this reason, it is necessary for special documentation to be filed when a corporation is formed, to be considered incorporated under the law. These documents are filed with the Secretary of State.

Additionally, the Delaware Secretary of State maintains Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, filings. These filings provide documentation of a security interest that a secured party has in a debtor’s collateral in exchange for a loan. In Delaware, it is necessary to use a special Authorized Searcher to obtain this information.

Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?

Not all businesses choose to incorporate. Sometimes individuals or groups do business under a trade name without ever incorporating. If a document does not incorporate, it will not be treated like a separate legal entity, and therefore documentation of its formation may not be filed with the Secretary of State.

It is also possible that a business operating in the State of Delaware may have been incorporated in another state. Sometimes, businesses decide to incorporate in another state outside of the state where they keep their main office and primarily do business. They may take this step because they decide that the laws of another state are more advantageous for their business. Therefore, if the Delaware Secretary of State has no documentation of the incorporation of a business, that does not necessarily mean that the business has not incorporated; it simply may have incorporated elsewhere. Luckily, though, the State of Delaware is often considered to be one of the most advantageous states for incorporating, so many businesses choose to incorporate there even though they are not required to do so.

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

Business records in the possession of the Delaware Secretary of State may be viewed either online or in person. If you wish to search for business records in person, the location of the Delaware Secretary of State is: Division of Corporations, John G. Townsend Building, 401 Federal Street, Dover, Delaware 19901.

If you wish to search for business records online, begin by visiting the Delaware Secretary of State’s website, located at www.state.de.us/sos/. At the left of the home page, under the heading “Information,” select “Corporate Forms and Fees.” Then, under the heading “Services,” select “General Information.” This will take you to a page where you can search for entities by business name or file number. After you have entered your search information, you will receive a list of matching results that will include both active corporations and inactive corporations. From this list, you may click on the name of the business entity whose information you wish to view. This will take you to a page where you can view additional information about the business, including the name of the corporation, the file number, the date the corporation was formed, the name of the registered agent, address, phone number and residency. This information is provided for free; obtaining additional information will require the payment of a fee. Additionally, if you wish to obtain either a certificate of status of a corporation or a certified copy of a filed document, you may do so through a Delaware online agent. On the business search page there is a clickable link to do so.

As of December 1, 2001, Delaware no longer permits private citizens to perform searches on their own of UCC documents. Instead, Delaware has compiled a list of authorized searchers to perform UCC searchers for individuals. These authorized searchers have been certified by the State of Delaware in order to provide optimum search results. To obtain information about authorized searchers, from the home page select “UCC Forms and Fees,” then click on “UCC Searches.” This will display a page explaining that UCC searches must be performed by authorized searchers, and includes a clickable link to view a list of authorized searchers.

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