Are Business Licenses Public Record in California?

Many small business owners have their California business license on the public record. These documents are inspected by government and law enforcement officials to validate business and financial transactions, as well as to provide legal notices. Private companies don't need to have a license, but if they do, it is a public record that can sometimes be accessed for free online. The public can use Secretary of State records to identify the main ones related to the particular type of filing.

Certificates, certified copies and free copies for corporations, limited liability companies and limited companies can be obtained online at BizFileOnline, sos, ca, gov. How do I find a sole proprietorship in California? You can search the indices by the names of the fictitious companies or by the names of the business owners. The California Department of Business Oversight also has online databases of authorized brokers, investment advisors, financial planners, lenders, and other individuals and companies involved in financial or securities transactions and advice. You can use the online tool to search for company names and find out if another company is already using the name you have chosen.

To get directions, you may need to copy the file number of a fictitious company and ask an employee for a copy of the actual fictitious business name document. Then, you should search for each of those fictitious businesses to see who the other partners in that business might be. This includes the company address, the county in which the company operates, the company name, and the name. Visit the agency's website and look for the license or permit search function. With more information about a company, you'll also be able to better distinguish the company you're researching from other companies that may have nearly identical names.

For the reasons stated in this blog, California business licenses are not kept in a public record. Many states and counties publish their fictitious business name record indexes on the Web (although business or owner addresses are often not available online). When you want to get information about a specific company, you should visit the Small Business Administration website for information about that particular company. For example, if you operate a physical store or make sales from home, you are considered to be doing business in California.

Each county maintains on a computer terminal an alphabetical index of the names of all fictitious companies in that county, as well as the names of the individuals or companies that created them. Here are several guides for doing business in California that explain the different types of companies and the government agencies that each should file with. If the financial statements are listed, they will include the address of the company that received a loan, the bank or other company that made the loan (the “secured party”), and the date the debt was incurred. You can review corporate filings in person at the California Department of Business Oversight, which has offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. Filings can include corporate filings, new business submissions, trademark issuance, and business license renewals.

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