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How To Find Who Owns An LLC

How to find who owns an LLC?

Have you ever tried to find out who owns a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? It can be tricky. But with some research and persistence, you'll likely find what you're looking for. Let's break down how you can find an LLC's owners.

How To Find The Owner Of An LLC

Here are the top ways to look up the owner of an LLC.

1. The Secretary Of State's Website 

Your first step should be to check out each Secretary of State's website for public records detailing all registered business entities. This may include ownership information. If there's no luck here, don't despair – keep trying different states until you track down what you're looking for. Part of how to start an LLC involves having your articles of organization filed. This will also usually contain names to help guide your way in your journey toward discovery. 

To access information about the owners of an LLC, start your journey by navigating to the "Business" tab on a Secretary of State website. Then type in the full name of that business entity into the search bar – you may find other entities linked with it if you have all enabled. Results will often list whether or not it is active and its annual filing status. However, for more detailed info from certain states, you can fill out a public record request form with their appropriate agency. 

Once you are on the Secretary of State website, look under "Corporate Filings" to see if any documents are listed for the LLC. Typically, these documents include information such as ownership structure, officers and directors, filing dates, and fees. You can also check out annual reports that may be filed by the LLC to learn more about who owns it and what activities occur within it. 

In some cases, if your state has open records laws, you may be able to access specific details about who exactly owns an LLC via online databases offered by your state government or through public records requests. For example, this information is publicly available via online databases in some states like California and New York. In other states like Colorado and Oregon, however, accessing this data requires submitting a public records request with those respective agencies. 

2. Google Searches

Another great resource is Google itself. When researching business owners in general, certain search techniques will make locating an LLC owner easier. Start by searching for the company name and see what comes up in the search results. You might also want to try searching for "[Company Name] + reviews" or "[Company Name] + scam" if it applies - as this could lead you closer to uncovering more information about a particular business or its owners. 

Utilize advanced search options like date range, location, and language to narrow down results if needed. Also, try looking for press releases about company news or articles about the company's history or mission statement; these can offer clues about ownership and provide additional details about their history and why they started the company in the first place.

3. Public Records Database

Databases such as those hosted by LexisNexis and Westlaw can provide additional insight into who owns a particular company. This type of research requires a subscription, but they often have comprehensive databases with millions of records providing everything from corporate ownership information to contact details of executives and key employees. 

4. Use Direct Contact

Another way is to resort to simply asking them directly. Shoot an email or call them. It never hurts to ask! Most companies want happy customers, and they'll likely be more than willing to tell you who owns it if you're open and honest with them about why you want to know (and no funny business, of course). Plus, it's always nice when customers take an interest in where their dollars go!

5. Check With County Recorder Offices

When trying to find out who owns an LLC, the first place to look is at your local county recorder's office. These offices maintain records of real estate transactions, such as deeds and deeds of trusts. 

While these documents may not name the individual behind the LLC, they may give clues as to who could be associated with it. For example, a deed may indicate that a certain person or entity has purchased a property using the LLC's name. This could be a starting point for your search. 

6. Look For Signatures Or Other Acknowledgments

If you haven't found anything useful at your local county recorder's office, then it's time to expand your search. Start by taking a closer look at documents related to any transactions made by the LLC and see if there are any signs, such as signatures or notary acknowledgments, that could give away who is associated with it. Even small details can provide valuable clues about who owns an LLC.

7. Using Corporate Records

Corporate records are another great resource for determining who owns an LLC. Check for filings with your state's secretary of state office and look for any LLC license or other documents that might be relevant. 

Additionally, you can contact your local chamber of commerce or small business development center, as they may have records that will help you answer your question.

8. Call Your Local DMV Office 

Suppose your state does not offer an online search for registered vehicles associated with a particular LLC. In that case, your best option is to call your local DMV office directly and inquire about making such a request in person or over the phone. In some cases, there may be fees associated with obtaining this information, but it will depend on your state laws and regulations and how much information you need access to.

The important thing is that when making this request by phone, ensure you provide specific details, such as the exact name of the business or address associated with it, so that they can accurately fulfill your request without delay.

9. Go To Social Media 

If all else fails, try snooping around on social media like LinkedIn; many people list their title and employer on their profiles, so it's worth taking a peek to see if any owners are listed there. 

Additionally, searching Twitter might give you insight into what people are saying about the company, including mentions from existing customers or employees who know who owns it (or those who think they do!).

10. Online Search For Registered Vehicles 

You can search online for registered vehicles connected with a particular LLC in some states. Generally speaking, all you need is the company name or address, and you can view any registered vehicles associated with it.

This type of online search is typically done through your state's DMV website. For example, suppose you are in California. In that case, you can go to https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/search and enter the business name or address. Into the search field, click "Search" to find any vehicles registered under that company name or address.

11. Enlist Help From A Professional Business Formation Service 

Finally, if you feel overwhelmed by setting up an LLC, enlist help from a professional business formation service such as LegalZoom or Startups.com. These services specialize in helping entrepreneurs form LLCs and will handle all the paperwork for you so that you don't have to worry about making any mistakes or forgetting important steps in the process. 

They can also provide valuable advice on managing your tax obligations and protecting your assets while still complying with state laws and regulations.

12. Reverse Trade Name Search

A reverse trade name or trademark search is when you know the business's name and want to find out who owns it. This type of search is done on public records databases. You can usually find these records through online directories such as LexisNexis or Dun & Bradstreet. Additionally, many states have websites to search for these records. 

Verifying whether or not an LLC belongs to any industry trade association requires some research as well. Industry trade associations represent businesses within specific industries and provide them with resources, networking opportunities, and more. To determine if an LLC belongs to any industry trade associations, start by researching the business itself and its industry.

Once you've determined what type of business it is, look up relevant industry trade associations in the area and see if the LLC is listed among its members. This information can often be found on the association's website or by contacting them directly via phone or email. 

13. Look Up The LLC Owner Through A Regulatory License

When it comes to finding who owns a business entity, especially an LLC operating in a regulated industry, it can be tough knowing where to start. But there is one sure way to get you closer to discovering which business entities are legitimately licensed and operating within the same sector - and that's by looking up their regulatory license! 

A regulatory license is a legal document granted by governmental or other controlling bodies that authorizes an entity or individual to operate in the sector they wish to enter. This license is essential for all businesses operating in certain industries, such as banking, finance, and healthcare.

Each specific industry will have rules and regulations that must be adhered to, making it necessary for businesses in these sectors to obtain the required licenses before they can legally begin operations. 

When you look up a business's regulatory license, you can determine certain details about the company itself. For instance, you'll get information on who owns the company - including owners' names, contact details, and any other relevant information - as well as details on whether or not their license has been renewed each year (which means they're still actively engaging in business). 

In addition, if the company has had any complaints or violations against them filed with the state or federal agency responsible for regulating their industry, this information will also show up on their regulatory license. All this information gives you a clearer picture of who owns an LLC and how legitimate it truly is.

How To Increase Your Privacy When Setting Up An LLC 

For those looking for a business entity that can provide them with personal liability protection, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a perfect choice. However, one of the major drawbacks of setting up an LLC is that it often involves public filings that can reveal personal information about the company's owners. 

Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to increase your privacy when setting up an LLC. These include:

Take Advantage Of States With Fewer Public Filing Requirements 

When forming an LLC, consider incorporating it in states with fewer public filing requirements. Delaware and Nevada are popular states for this purpose, as they have fewer public filings than most other states. This means that less of your personal information will be available to the public through official state records.

Utilize A Registered Agent Service 

Another way to increase your privacy is by using a registered agent for LLC. These services provide a separate address for all your official filings, which means that your address does not have to appear on corporate documents. This can help you maintain greater anonymity in corporate documents and prevent potential legal issues from arising due to revealing too much personal information. 

Public databases are the easiest way to look up regulatory licenses for businesses. Many states have searchable databases where you can quickly access necessary licensing paperwork for companies within their jurisdiction. Alternatively, many third-party services available online (such as LexisNexis) allow users to search through public records from anywhere in the US - providing even more detailed information than what may appear in state databases alone. 

How To Find Who Owns An LLC - FAQ

Can I Stay Anonymous When Starting An LLC?

Although most states allow anyone to find out who owns an LLC (and with good reason), there are ways around this if you want to remain anonymous while starting your business venture. One common practice is creating a "nominee service" where someone else manages all legal paperwork on your behalf - shielding your name from public record requests - while allowing you access to operational decisions related to your company. Not only does this protect your privacy, but it also creates distance between yourself and any potential legal issues that may arise from operating your business entity. 

It's good to know that while basic information about LLCs is publicly available, much remains confidential. This includes members' financial data as well as their contact information. 

Additionally, confidential agreements between members (such as profit sharing) are kept private unless otherwise specified in those documents or required by law.

Why Would You Want To Know Who Owns An LLC?

Knowing who owns an LLC is important for a variety of reasons. It allows prospective customers or business partners to ensure that the company is not operating illegally or engaging in fraudulent practices. 

Furthermore, it can help determine who legally owns a particular portion of a business and which members are responsible for any debts or taxes associated with the LLC.

In addition, knowing who owns an LLC can help ensure that all paperwork is properly filed and that all parties involved have signed appropriate agreements. 

Finally, it can provide insight into the plans of an LLC, giving you a better understanding of what direction they may take in the near future. This helps hold everyone in an LLC accountable, protecting all parties from potential legal issues or misunderstandings.

Who Is The Owner Of An LLC?

The owner of an LLC is typically referred to as a "member." The members of an LLC are the individuals or entities that own the business, and they may also manage its operations. Members may include people, corporations, other LLCs, and foreign entities, depending on the state. 

Additionally, while most states allow single-member LLCs, some require multiple members. Ultimately, the members of an LLC are responsible for making major decisions regarding the business and may also be held liable for any debts or taxes associated with it.

What Are The Typical LLC Costs When Starting A Business?

Common LLC costs when starting a business include filing fees, legal or accounting expenses, and taxes. Filing fees vary from state to state but are typically around $100 - $200. 

Depending on the scope of work required, legal and accounting services may range in price, while taxes will vary based on your LLC's location and its profits, losses, and other financial activities. It's also important to remember that as an LLC, you may be responsible for paying certain business taxes regularly, which can add up over time.

Conclusion

Knowing who owns an LLC is important for everyone involved, as it provides valuable insight into the legitimacy and operations of a business. By trying the above methods and consulting with a qualified business lawyer or regulatory license specialist, you can get the information you need to assess an LLC's credibility. This will help ensure someone is held accountable for any potential issues or misunderstandings related to their LLC's operations.

Further reading on MikeVestil.com: Want to know exactly what is an LLC? Check out this article to find out.

On the other hand, if you're curious about what happens when LLC stops operating, here's how to dissolve an LLC.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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