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How to Find Business Records in Texas

Searching for Business Records in Texas

In Texas, the Secretary of State is responsible for maintaining a multitude of business records. This article explores which records are maintained by the Texas Secretary of State, and the methods you can use to obtain them.

What Records Are Maintained by the Texas Secretary of State?

The Texas Secretary of State maintains certain business records pertaining to business entities such as corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships. These business entities must file documents when they form and must also provide periodic status updates and notification of changes. These records are matters of public record and members of the public may inquire about them. When searching, it is important to bear in mind that a business may not necessarily be incorporated in the State of Texas, since businesses often elect to incorporate in different states to take advantage of different laws. If that is the case, the business will be incorporated with a different state entirely. If a business has incorporated in a state other than Texas, the Texas Secretary of State may still have some record of the business if the business has filed documents pertaining to doing business in Texas as a “Foreign Corporation.”

Many states including Texas maintain a state trademark registry, and Texas is no exception. This registry permits Texas business owners to file documents within the State of Texas claiming their trademark publicly. This state registry should not be confused with the national registry maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Finally, UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) forms and federal liens are recorded by the Secretary of State. UCC records document security interests that a party may have in a debtor’s collateral.

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

If you wish to obtain information about Texas business entities for free, there are a couple of options to do so. First, you may simply telephone the Texas Secretary of State’s office and inquire over the telephone about the business entity in question. To contact the Texas Secretary of State’s office by telephone, call them at 512-463-5555. Another free option is to email the Secretary of State’s website with your question about Texas business entities. You may contact the Texas Secretary of State by email for this purpose at corpinfo@sos.state.tx.us.

Unfortunately, at this time the telephone and email inquiry options are the only free alternatives offered by the Texas Secretary of State. If you prefer to make your inquiry in writing by regular mail, you may do so by writing to Corporations Section, Secretary of State, P.O. Box 13697, Austin, Texas 78711-3697. However, be aware that a regular mail inquiry is not a free service and you will be required to pay a fee of five dollars per entity for this service.

Similarly, you may elect to make your request by fax. This is permitted, and written requests for information about Texas business entities may be transmitted by fax to 512-463-5709. However, as with regular mail inquiries, it will be necessary to pay a fee of five dollars per entity for this service.

If you wish to search for Texas business entity information online, be aware that it will first be necessary to subscribe to the search system used by the Secretary of State’s office, called SOSDirect. This system will permit you to access online information about Texas business entities for a low price. At the time of the writing of this article, the price is one dollar per search. To begin your search for business information in the State of Texas, begin at the Texas Secretary of State’s website, found at http://www.sos.state.tx.us/ . Then select the option “file and search business documents online” from the options listed at the right of the page. This will take you to a page titled SOSDirect. By scrolling to the bottom of the page, you will see a button marked “enter site.” Clicking on this button will take you to a login page. Ignore the login request and click on the link marked “request for SOSDirect Account.” This will permit you to request a subscription to the online service to permit you to perform searches online.

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