A limited liability company, or LLC, is similar to a corporation in that it has a name chosen by its members, usually subject to approval of the secretary of state’s corporate or business division. The Articles of Organization, sometimes referred to as the Articles of Formation, is the document that creates the LLC, establishes its name and generally designates the names of its members or owners. It is sometimes possible to find this document through using the Internet.
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Visit the secretary of state’s website in the state where the LLC was formed. If you are unsure of the state, knowing where the LLC transacts business may be helpful as most foreign corporations are required to register in any state in which they regularly operate.
Navigate to the business entity or corporations search page by using online menus provided on the site. There may be an initial corporate or business link, as the secretary of state’s office governs more areas than corporations, followed by a search button or menu choice.
Type the name of the LLC into the requested area, and then click “search,” “submit” or other designated command to begin. Returned results will usually include an informational page displaying dates of annual report filings and whether or not the LLC remains active or has been dissolved. If the LLC is a foreign entity registered to do business in your state, this page should divulge the original state of formation. Navigate to the formation state’s site to continue your search if it is a foreign corporation.
View the images of the LLC’s Articles of Organization online if your state permits, obtaining the names of its original organizing members. Some states require a fee to view images or even to perform a search, but others have the information readily available to the public at no charge. Check the site for any amendments to the organizational documents since amendments may add or remove members.