An LLC, or limited liability company, may operate under any name allowed or authorized by the state in which it is formed. The name chosen often will not include or even give a clue as to the names of its members. You will sometimes be able to find the names of an LLC's members by doing an Internet search.
Determine the state of formation of the LLC. If you have a copy of a signed and notarized document executed by the LLC, or are able to obtain one from online deed records in your county, the acknowledgement should state where the signature was notarized. Often documents will have been notarized in the home state of the LLC. If the state of formation is not readily available, visit the secretary of state’s website for a state where you know the LLC transacts business.
Enter the name of the LLC into the business entity search area of the secretary of state’s website. If the LLC is registered in the state but was not formed in that state, the registration information should designate the LLC as a foreign business and provide the state of formation. If the LLC is foreign to the state, search its home-state website.
View the returned results, which may contain the names of the members and managers as well as contact information for the LLC or its registered agent. If not provided in the initial results, search for viewable images of the Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation. Some states’ websites allow viewing of filed documents free of charge, while others charge a fee. The formation documents should contain the names of the initial members. Also look for amendments filed after the initial formation, since amendments may add members or remove one or more of the initial members.
If you do not have Internet access to do your search, call or write your secretary of state’s office to request information or obtain copies of organizational documents.
If unable to locate the state of formation, search the name of the LLC on an available search engine to attempt to obtain further information. If no information is available, a search of each state's website may be necessary.
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