Business Records Search


Step 8 - Search business records to find people online:

How to find people, addresses, names and phone numbers using business records. The purpose of this step is to explain some types of business information that is publicly available online. It will be up to you to determine what is relevant to helping you search for a persons online.

Most people are associated with a business. This reason for this is pretty obvious. Most people need to work for a living and a business, whether owned by the person or someone else, provides a means of doing this. The size of the business can range from a sole proprietorship (individual) to international corporations. The most appropriate place to look for the information about a business can depend on the size and class of the business.

Sole proprietorships can be associated with DBA's (Doing Business As), and "fictitious business names". There is usually a single 'Sole Proprietor' who is doing business as' a 'fictitious name'.

An example of this might be "Magic Chef Catering Service". Sole Proprietorship is legal status that means one individual is personally responsible and liable for the business from a legal stand point. When a business entity uses a fictitious business name, the law requires that a document is filed indicating who the owners of the business are. The best place to find information regarding sole proprietorships is usually at the local recorders office.

Sole Proprietorships are not the only business entity that use fictitious business names. Partnerships and corporations do as well and are also required to file documents indicating ownership. Sometimes this information is found locally as well, but the Secretary of States office is often a better bet.

In public corporations, all individuals with a 5% ownership or more, must be identified. Information on all public companies in the US is available from the Securities and Exchange Commission which has a public site 'Edgar' online. EDGAR is the 'Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval System. All public domestic companies are required to file forms with SEC concerning ownership, ownership transaction, and annual reports. You can find a link to this site in our free public records searches page in the tools menu (right hand side of this page).

UCC (Uniform Commercial Code). Uniform commercial code filings are essentially declarations of loans that business have incurred to purchase assets, inventory, and equipment. They are required to be made available public to indicate what assets may be pledged to the loan. Many states have these UCC filings available online. These filings can also be found and the local and state level, and sometimes both. Again our 'free public records searches' will provide links that can help you locate these records online.

Bankruptcy can be both business and personal. Bankruptcy records contain a ton of data about the individual or business including assets and liabilities. Currently all most all bankruptcy courts are available via PACER. PACER is Public Access to Court Electronic Records.

This service is very convenient because it provides access to so many bankruptcy court records in one place. There is a fee for this service, although it is currently very small: $.07 per page. You will find a link to PACER in our free public records searches tools menu. The Pacer is still very useful even if you do not want to pay the fee, it has a free listing to all bankruptcy court web sites.

Some of these court web sites provide access to court records online if you will spend the time to check. Please use the free public record searches link in the left hand navigation now to perform a search of many of the public business records available online.

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