How to Find Business Records in Pennsylvania
Searching for Business Records in Pennsylvania
A variety of business records on corporations, companies,
partnerships and other types of business are available to the public.
Information on trademarks and trade names is also accessible.
You may wish to search business records to simply check out the name
or entity number of a business in order to find out if it is a
legitimate, registered business. Or, if you are setting up a new
business, you may wish to check its proposed name against the company
register in order to ensure that it is not already in use by another
The Corporation Bureau of the Pennsylvania Department of State holds
records on more than 1.5 million organizations that are allowed to carry
out business in the state of Pennsylvania. Both for-profit and
non-profit organizations are included.
There are three ways in which you can search the Corporation Bureau’s
Online through the Internet
Anyone can search the business records held by the Corporation Bureau
online and free of charge. Several searches can be carried out,
Business name search
Availability of Business Name search
Former business name search
Non-profit organization search
When searching online, bear in mind that very recent filings, made
within the past one to two business days, may not appear in the online
Online Business Name Search
In order to search for information on a business either by its name
or entity number, follow these steps:
Enter either the entity number or the name of the business
Click on ‘search’
You will then see a list of search results with the following
information on each business:
Entity ID (number)
Entity Type: whether it is a limited liability company, a
business corporation, a foreign business corporation, or other type of
Once you have found the company you are seeking, you may click on
its entity ID to see more information, including:
Full address of the company
Filing date – this is the date on which the business was
A list of its corporate officers, including the President, Vice
President, Treasurer and Secretary
A list of important events, such as the date of registration,
mergers, and dates on which a change of registered office was filed.
Online Availability of Business Name Search
If you wish to search the business register to find out whether or
not a particular name is available for a business you are setting up,
follow this procedure:
Check the ‘Corporate Name Availability’ box
Type in the business name you are considering
Click on search
If the name is available, the message ‘no records were
found for the search criteria’ will appear on screen.
If the name is not available, details of the business
currently trading under that name will appear on screen.
Online Former Business Name Search
It is also possible to search under the former name of a business
that has since changed its name. This is particularly useful for tracing
a company you used to trade with but cannot now locate because it has
changed its name and office.
In order to search under the previous name of a business, go to
and type in the company’s old name. A list of search results will appear
and you will be able to click on the entity number to reveal more
information on each business.
Online Non-Profit Organization Search
If you are searching for information on a non-profit organization in
Pennsylvania, you can do so online at:
Just fill in the name of the non-profit organization and click on
‘search.’ A list of results will appear with the following information
on each organization:
Corporation type – usually ‘articles of incorporation –
To access the organization’s full record, click on the name of the
If you prefer to request information by telephone, the service is
free of charge but you are restricted to searching for a maximum of two
business names or numbers per call. The number to call is (717) 787-1057
between the hours of 8.00 am and 4.45 pm. Have the business name(s) or
entity number(s) with you when you call.
It is possible to request a business records search in writing, but
there is a fee of $15 per entity sought. In order to present your
request in writing, write a letter that includes the name and address of
the business you wish to enquire about and send it, together with the
Department of State
PO Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722
Lists of New Businesses
A list of new businesses is produced each month by the Corporation
Bureau of the Pennsylvania Department of State. Further information on
this list, including its cost, can be obtained by calling (717)
of these resources available, it should not be too difficult to locate
the business information you require in Pennsylvania.
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