How to Find Business Records in Louisiana
Louisiana Business Records
In the State of Louisiana, the duty of maintaining important business
documentation falls to the Louisiana Secretary of State. These documents
include records of incorporation as well as documentation of tradenames.
These documents are matters of public record and can be viewed by
private citizens. Here are a few tips that will assist you in accessing
What Records Are Maintained by the Louisiana Secretary of State?
When corporations are formed (or “incorporated”), those corporations are
required to file documentation with the Secretary of State. These
documents can be viewed by members of the public. Additionally,
businesses often register their tradename, a name that is not the
official name of the corporation, but under which the corporation does
Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?
First, it should be remembered that not all businesses incorporate, and
therefore may not have a reason to file documents with the Secretary of
State. In particular, individuals who own businesses often operate as a
sole proprietorship. Since a sole proprietorship is not treated the same
way as a corporation, it is not required to file the same kind of
documentation when it is formed.
Additionally, businesses do not always incorporate in the same state
where they maintain offices, the state where their directors and
officers live, or even the same state where they usually do business.
Instead, businesses often choose a state in which to incorporate by
considering which state’s laws will be most advantageous to that
business. For that reason, if a business has no filings to be found with
the Louisiana Secretary of State, it should not immediately be assumed
that the business is not incorporated. Instead, it may simply be that
the business has elected to incorporate in another state entirely. When
attempting to discern in which state a business has incorporated, the
State of Delaware is often a good starting place, since Delaware is
reputed to have laws quite advantageous to businesses.
How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Louisiana Secretary of
The business records that are maintained by the Louisiana Secretary of
State can be searched online. To do so, begin by visiting the Louisiana
Secretary of State’s website, located at: www.sec.state.la.us/. Under
the heading “Frequently Requested Pages” at the right, select
“Corporations Database.” From this search page, you can search for a
business entity by name, or by specific document number. The search
results will be returned in list form, with ten results per page.
Buttons at the bottom of the page will permit you to scroll backward and
forward through the search results. Each business entity name will
appear in blue and is a clickable link that you can click to view
additional information about the business entity, such as organization
ID number, type, status, annual report status, the date of the filing of
the last report, the address, the registered agent, the directors and
officers. Additionally, a link will appear to allow you to purchase a
certificate of good standing, of you choose, for applicable business
This same search is used in Louisiana to search for preliminary name
availability prior to attempting to incorporate a business under the
desired name. Searchers are encouraged by the Secretary of State to take
into consideration the fact that there may be alternate spellings or
names that are phonetically similar. Since there is the possibility of
missing a similar name, searchers should either reserve the name with
the Secretary of State’s office, or wait until the filing of the
business entity documentation has been confirmed, prior to using the
desired name on marketing and other materials.
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