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How to Find Business Records in Pennsylvania

Searching for Business Records in Pennsylvania

In the State of Pennsylvania, the Secretary of State has the duty of maintaining crucial business records and information, much of which is available to be obtained online. Below are a few tips in accessing this information over the internet.

What Records Are Maintained by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State?

In Pennsylvania, when a corporation or similar business entity is formed, documentation must be filed with the Secretary of State. Periodic reports of the business entity’s status are also filed and maintained for public viewing. Some of this information is made available online.

Additionally, the Secretary of State maintains UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) filings, which detail security interests held by secured parties in a debtor’s collateral. Some of this information is available online to be searched by members of the public.

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

To begin a search for business documentation in the State of Pennsylvania, first go to the website for the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, located at http://www.dos.state.pa.us/dos/site/default.asp .

To search for a business entity, scroll down under the heading “Let Use Help You…” and click on the option “Search for a Business.” This will take you to a screen where you can input your search terms to search for a business entity by name. On this screen you will also find radio buttons that will allow you to dictate whether your search terms constitute the beginning of the business name, an exact match, a sound-alike or whether you wish to search for any or all of the search terms. You can also indicate whether your search is a name availability search. You will also find a box to check if you wish to search only for active corporations.

If you do not wish to search by entity name, on the left side of the page you may also select to search by business entity ID if you happen to know the ID number of the business entity for which you wish to search.

Results will be returned in list form, including the business entity name, entity number, type, status and entity creation date. The business entity names and entity numbers are blue clickable links that may be clicked for additional information. Clicking on these will take you to a page dedicated to that business entity which includes additional information about that business entity, including the state of business, principal place of business and mailing address, and information about the business owner. Additionally, at the top of the page is a link marked “Business Entity Filing History.” Clicking on this link will permit you to view a list of the documentation filed in conjunction with that business entity.

To search UC filings, from the Secretary of State’s home page, select the option “Search for a UCC Filing.” This will take you to a search page where you may select whether you wish to search by file number, or perform a standard RA9 search or non-standard RA9 search. The standard RA9 search permits you to search for an individual or organization name. The non-standard RA9 search permits you to search by beginnings or parts of words or sound-alike words. This is particularly useful if you are not quite certain of the precise spelling of the business entity name for which you are searching.

The search results will be returned in the form of a list, including the filing number, filing date, name and address. Clicking on the filing number will permit you to access additional information, including the identification of the debtor and secured party and a listing of all of the documents filed in conjunction.

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