How to Verify if a Company Is an LLC

Papers on a filing cabinet
••• Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Starting a new business relationship with a company requires you to set them up in your company's records. Whether the company is buying a product or service from your company or supplying products or services to you, you treat a limited liability company differently than a sole proprietorship or an individual. Verification helps you confirm the owners of the company and can assist you in determining a company's credit worthiness by showing that it is a credible company.

Verifying Status

The secretary of state's office typically maintains a state's corporate database. Contact the office by phone or visit its website to confirm the company's LLC status. In states such as Arizona, out-of-state companies must register with the state before doing business in the state, but this is not the case in all states. If your state doesn't require registration, contact the secretary of state in the company's home state.

Required Information

You must have the company's name exactly as it appears on the filing to be able to verify its status. All LLCs must have unique names even out-of-state companies. Companies with an LLC from another state must adopt a fictitious name in states requiring registration if they have the same name as one currently operating in your state. Your secretary of state's office will have a resolution from the company that shows that the fictitious name legally belongs to the company.

Locating the Filing

If you called or mailed the secretary of state's office to verify the company, the office will search for the LLC for you. If you use an online database, look for the "Online Services" or "Search Business Information" and enter the name of the company to begin your search. Spell the name exactly as it is on the company's filing to ensure that you find the correct company.

Looking at the Report

Read the company name to ensure that it contains either "LC," "L.C.," L.L.C," "Limited Liability Company" or "LLC." States such as Arizona require companies to use these in the name. If the company is a professional limited liability company, it has the word "Professional" in the name or the letter "P" in the abbreviation, such as "PLLC." Look for a dissolution notice or other wording that designates the company as inactive to verify that it's still an active LLC. Print your results and place the information in the company's file along with its tax certificate and other documents.

Related Articles