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How to Find Business Records in Pennsylvania

Searching for Business Records in Pennsylvania

A variety of business records on corporations, companies, partnerships and other types of business are available to the public. Information on trademarks and trade names is also accessible.

You may wish to search business records to simply check out the name or entity number of a business in order to find out if it is a legitimate, registered business. Or, if you are setting up a new business, you may wish to check its proposed name against the company register in order to ensure that it is not already in use by another organization.

The Corporation Bureau of the Pennsylvania Department of State holds records on more than 1.5 million organizations that are allowed to carry out business in the state of Pennsylvania. Both for-profit and non-profit organizations are included.

There are three ways in which you can search the Corporation Bureau’s business records:

·        Online through the Internet

·        By telephone

·        By post

Online Searches

Anyone can search the business records held by the Corporation Bureau online and free of charge. Several searches can be carried out, including:

·        Business name search

·        Availability of Business Name search

·        Former business name search

·        Non-profit organization search

When searching online, bear in mind that very recent filings, made within the past one to two business days, may not appear in the online search results.

Online Business Name Search

In order to search for information on a business either by its name or entity number, follow these steps:

1.      Go to:

2.      Enter either the entity number or the name of the business

3.      Click on ‘search’

4.      You will then see a list of search results with the following information on each business:

a.       Entity ID (number)

b.      Entity Name

c.       Entity Type: whether it is a limited liability company, a business corporation, a foreign business corporation, or other type of business

d.      City

e.       Country

5.      Once you have found the company you are seeking, you may click on its entity ID to see more information, including:

a.       Full address of the company

b.      Filing date – this is the date on which the business was originally registered

c.       A list of its corporate officers, including the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary

d.      A list of important events, such as the date of registration, mergers, and dates on which a change of registered office was filed.

Online Availability of Business Name Search

If you wish to search the business register to find out whether or not a particular name is available for a business you are setting up, follow this procedure:

·        Go to:

·        Check the ‘Corporate Name Availability’ box

·        Type in the business name you are considering

·        Click on search

·        If the name is available, the message ‘no records were found for the search criteria’ will appear on screen.

·        If the name is not available, details of the business currently trading under that name will appear on screen.

Online Former Business Name Search

It is also possible to search under the former name of a business that has since changed its name. This is particularly useful for tracing a company you used to trade with but cannot now locate because it has changed its name and office.

In order to search under the previous name of a business, go to and type in the company’s old name. A list of search results will appear and you will be able to click on the entity number to reveal more information on each business.

Online Non-Profit Organization Search

If you are searching for information on a non-profit organization in Pennsylvania, you can do so online at:

Just fill in the name of the non-profit organization and click on ‘search.’ A list of results will appear with the following information on each organization:

·        County

·        Filing date

·        Corporation type – usually ‘articles of incorporation – non-profit’

·        Corporation name

To access the organization’s full record, click on the name of the organization.

Telephone Searches

If you prefer to request information by telephone, the service is free of charge but you are restricted to searching for a maximum of two business names or numbers per call. The number to call is (717) 787-1057 between the hours of 8.00 am and 4.45 pm. Have the business name(s) or entity number(s) with you when you call.

Postal Enquiries

It is possible to request a business records search in writing, but there is a fee of $15 per entity sought. In order to present your request in writing, write a letter that includes the name and address of the business you wish to enquire about and send it, together with the fee, to:

Department of State

Corporation Bureau

PO Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Lists of New Businesses

A list of new businesses is produced each month by the Corporation Bureau of the Pennsylvania Department of State. Further information on this list, including its cost, can be obtained by calling (717) 787-1057.

With all of these resources available, it should not be too difficult to locate the business information you require in Pennsylvania.

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