Business License Records Search

Search business records, corporate filings, new business filings, and trademarks. Business records are usually managed by Secretary of State but each state has different rules about providing information to the public. Some state business license data is online whereas others do not provide information. Use below resources to get to the business license information you need. If information is not available you will find information as to where to contact to request in person or in writing a copy of the business information you are seeking.

The government requires businesses to obtain permits and licenses to conduct their operations, but the requirement varies dependent on the location of the company and the type of services it provides. Certain types of businesses are required to have business licenses. Those in unincorporated areas should check with the County Business License Office to see if they are required to have a license, while those in cities should check with their city halls. In addition, specialized businesses may be required to obtain additional licenses or permits, like pest control operators and food establishments. The state regulates some industries as well. The majority of businesses are required to register a fictitious name statement.

Nationwide Business License Search

Search Business Licenses by State

Business Licenses and Permits

Every business needs one or more federal, state or local licenses or permits to operate. Licenses can range from a basic operating license to very specific permits, (e.g., environmental permits).

How to Get Business Licenses

If you were going to open a brand new business tomorrow, you would not be legally able to do so without having all of the licenses and permits required to operate within your chosen industry. The government puts these licenses in place to protect the consumer as much as possible, and to ensure that only professional-minded individuals willing to serve the consumer will be able to start a business. It doesn’t matter what type of store or business you walk into, take a quick look around and you will see their business license hanging on the wall in plain sight. If you do not see that, it should very much be considered a red flag.

The average consumer can certainly try and find someone operating without a license in order to secure a better price, but the ends result is that they usually end up paying for it somewhere down the line. A business license is almost like your guarantee that you are hiring a qualified professional or are shopping at a place that is actually knowledgeable about what it is they are offering. The question then becomes what you need to do if you are unsure about whether or not the company you are about to do business with has the required licenses.

The good news is that most licenses are considered to be public record, which means you can usually go online and find what you need in a matter of minutes. The sticking point is that the requirements tend to vary state to state, which means that you may not be able to quickly find what you need, and will in fact have to a written request to the company asking them to produce proof that they do indeed have the licenses and permits that are required by the state in which they operate.
There are several different ways to look up the public records to see if a business is licensed and able to do the work you need. The easiest way is to go online and do a search there, but you can also head down to City Hall to find the information you need. If you live in an area that is unincorporated, you will have to check the records at the County Business License Office. Depending on the state, some of those records may be hidden, which will require you to contact the business itself, which we touched on a little earlier.

Businesses are built in order to serve the consumer, which can only be done by making sure that they have all the proper business licenses and permits as required by their state. If you are unable to fins such records, and the company cannot provide proof that they have them, you would be well advised to seek out a business that can.