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How to Find Business Records in Washington

Searching for Business Records in Washington

In the State of Washington, business records are maintained by the Secretary of State, while UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) filings are maintained by the Washington State Department of Licensing. Some of this information is available online. Here are a few tips on how to access this information online.

What Records Are Maintained by the Washington Secretary of State or the Washington State Department of Licensing?

When corporations or limited liability companies are formed in the State of Washington, those business entities are required to file documentation of their formation with the Secretary of State, as well as periodic updates and notification of certain changes. This information is maintained for public viewing by the Secretary of State and some of the information from these documents is available to search and view without cost online.

In the State of Washington, UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) filings are maintained not by the Secretary of State but by the Washington State Department of Licensing. UCC filings document security interests that one party can take in collateral of another party in exchange for a loan. This information can be searched online for a fee.

How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Washington Secretary of State or the Washington State Department of Licensing?

To search for business entity records in the State of Washington, first visit the Washington Secretary of State website, found at http://www.secstate.wa.gov/. Then click on the option marked “Corporations” on the left side of the page. This will take you to the Corporations Search page, which provides you with a search window where you may enter the name of the entity for which you wish to search. A drop-down menu permits you to choose whether the search term entered represents the beginning, middle or end of the business entity name. There is also a lower window in which you may enter a UBI, or Unified Business Identifier number. If you wish to search by more limiting search criteria, click on the option “Advanced Search” to go to a separate search page where you can enter not only all or part of the organization name, but also determine whether you wish to search for all search terms, any search terms, or an exact match. You may also define your search by entering the category of the business entity for which you are searching, whether it is domestic or foreign, whether it is for profit or nonprofit, whether it is active or inactive, or information about the registered agent. Once you have entered all of your desired search criteria, click on “Search.”

Your search results will be returned in a list showing the names of the business entity names matching your search terms. Clicking one of these names will take you to a separate page dedicated to information about that business entity, including the UBI number, category, whether it is profit or nonprofit, whether it is active or inactive, the state of incorporation, the date of incorporation and the license expiration date. It also provides information about the registered agent and any special address information.

If you wish to search Uniform Commercial Code filings, these records are maintained by the Washington State Department of Licensing. Unfortunately, it is necessary to pay to perform this search. The Washing State Department of Licensing website is found at http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/UCC/. From this page, select the option marked “online” under the heading “filing and search options.” From that page, select the option “online filings and searches” from within the text under the heading “What is online filing?” Then you will be taken to a page where you may select your payment option and proceed with your search.

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