There are numerous ways to check company registration in the United States. However, the best way to check if a company is registered in the US is to search the Secretary of State’s website for the state where the company is situated.
Almost every state in the country has a searchable online database of businesses. You can also use the National Corporation Directory since it allows individuals to search for companies in multiple states at the same time. Truth be told, checking the business registration of a company is a vital step, especially when you are considering partnering or doing business with them.
You will want to make sure the business is registered in the right places and know if you can trust them. Just as with pre-employment screenings, checks like this reveal a company’s legal status and authenticity. It helps you know whether the company’s claims about its services and profile are valid or not.
In this modern era of the gig economy and remote work culture, there are numerous reasons why you need to validate any company you intend to get into a contract agreement with or even do business with. Owing to that, you must carry out a proper business check. Have in mind that it is possible to encounter fake companies (unregistered) or businesses that do not have the appropriate license or permit.
4 Ways to Check Company Registration in the USA
Just as was noted above, there are several ways to check if a business is registered in the United States. So if you are looking to check the registration status of a company in the United States, here are valid methods to use.
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Check with the State Business Department
This is, without doubt, the best way to check if a company is registered in the United States. Have it in mind that most business registration takes place at the state level. Owing to that, ensure to check a company’s registration by visiting the state’s website and looking for their registry of businesses.
Have it in mind that the entity name check will always appear in the state where the business was incorporated, not necessarily where it is currently active. Most often, this incorporated company search can be found on the State Department or Secretary of State sites.
While this might sound unusual, Google search has helped people to obtain the right information on just about anything. You only have to Google the company name, find the company’s website, and from there check to see if they list their correct corporate name and domicile (which state).
Note that googling a company name even with the word “lookup” will provide you with a wide range of information. Via this method, you can also find free and paid business services that will offer to provide company information search for a fee or even free of charge. Consider free ones such as D&B or Crunchbase.
Use Online National Directories
This is another way to check if a company is registered in the US. While it is unlikely that a business will be registered nationally unless they have a specific reason for it, note that using these online national directories can still be worth a try.
Consider using the National Corporation Directory, especially since it allows individuals to search for companies in multiple states at the same time. While these directories may not guarantee accuracy in terms of results, they are known to be well suited for a quick preliminary search.
In addition, if you are looking for specific registration for certification or accreditation, you can start with the organization or the relevant bodies that provide the certification, i.e. the National Roofing Contractors Association, etc.
Use the SEC’s EDGAR
Since companies that sell stock are expected to register with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, this can be another way to check if it is legally registered in the United States. You need to understand that the Securities and Exchange Commission has a business registration lookup of its own, which is primarily focused on foreign and domestic public companies that have filed to do business in the United States.
This search engine is commonly referred to as EDGAR. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, EDGAR houses all registration statements, reports, and other forms from public companies going back 20 years.
However, while it might not be that useful when double-checking on a potential partner or contractor, it can be a valid option if you are researching the history of a public company or looking to find a specific public company among many businesses with similar names.