How to Find an S Corp

by John Cromwell

An S Corporation is either a corporation or limited liability company of 100 or fewer owners that has registered with the IRS for special tax status. S corporations are treated like corporations in terms of protecting their owners from the business’s liabilities but are taxed like a partnership. To become a corporation or LLC, the business must be formally registered in the state where it is headquartered. The reason for this requirement is so that customers and creditors are able to find the S Corporation’s offices and individuals. Finding an S corp first involves knowing the state where it was registered. Since each state has its own standards regarding corporations, the information each state requires for registration may vary and so will the information you are able to obtain.

Step 1

Find the S Corporation’s legal name. You need the legal name of the business to conduct any search. Look through any documentation you may have received from the S corporation, as it will probably provide the name and may mention the state it is located in.

Step 2

Determine in which state the business is headquartered, if you don't already know. Complete an Internet search on the business’s name; you may be able to find the S Corporation’s website, which would give you their location. If searching for the business does not work, search for information on a known representative of the S Corporation; it is highly likely that a representative would live in the same state where the business is located.

Step 3

Search the website of the Secretary of State where the S Corp is located. Many Secretaries of State will provide a “business search” function on their site that, when you enter the legal name of the S Corp in the search, will generally provide you with the business’s address and the name of the agent that represents the business. If the website does not provide this search function, contact the Secretary of State’s office and determine if you can obtain the information over the phone, via fax or by mail.