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How to Find Business Records in Georgia

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Business Records Georgia

In the State of Georgia, crucial business records documenting the formation of corporations and similar business entities are maintained by the Georgia Secretary of State. These documents are considered to be matters of public record. This means that even if you are not involved with a corporation, you may access and view these business records. They may be accessed both online and in person.

What Records Are Maintained by the Georgia Secretary of State?

In Georgia, there are several corporate forms that a business may take. These forms include corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies. These entities receive special legal treatment, such that it is necessary for the Secretary of State to keep track of which businesses have incorporated under these formats. Therefore, when businesses incorporate in this way, it is necessary for the business to file certain documentation with the Secretary of State.

Additionally, the Georgia Secretary of State maintains records of trademarks registered by Georgia corporations. This state registration should not be confused with the national registration overseen by the United States Patent and Trademark office, which is a separate and broader registry.

Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?

Sometimes businesses do not elect to incorporate but operate under a trade name without becoming a separate legal entity. Since these businesses are not entitled to special legal treatment, there is no need to file documentation of their existence with the Secretary of State. This is most common when an individual owns a private business and is considered to be a sole proprietorship.

Also, businesses are permitted to incorporate in other states, even if they do business in Georgia or maintain offices in Georgia. Therefore, if a business has not filed documentation with the Georgia Secretary of State, it should not be assumed that the business has not incorporated. In particular, the State of Delaware receives great favor among businesses, since many believe that Delaware’s laws are advantageous to businesses.

How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Georgia Secretary of State?

If a business has been incorporated in the State of Georgia, the business records may be reviewed either online or in person. The physical address of the Secretary of State is 2 MLK Jr. Dr. S.E., Suite 315, West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

If you wish to search for records online, begin by going to the Georgia Secretary of State website, located at: From the home page, scroll over the word “Corporations” and select “Corporations Search.”

The default method of search is a search by business name. You can alter the parameters of the search by clicking the radio buttons above the search window to determine whether the search will be an exact match, a name availability search, or a search by portions of words. It is even possible to search for words that sound like the search terms. To search by something other than business name, you can select “By Control No.,” “By Officer” or “By Registered Agent” at the left.

After entering your search terms and receiving the list of search results, you can click on the name of the corporation for which you would like additional information. This takes you to a page where you can view the status of the corporation, the control number, the date of creation, the state of jurisdiction, the address, the name and address of the registered agent, and information about officers. There is also a button at the top of the page marked “View Filed Documents” that will allow you to view documents filed by the corporation.

To search for trademarks registered with the Georgia state registry, from the home page scroll over the word “Corporations” and select “Trademarks.” From this page, you can select the option “Search the Trademark and Service Mark Database.” This will take you to a page where you can input information such as the registration number, the trademark, a description of the mark, the owner of the mark or the classification of the mark.

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