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How to Find Business Records in Missouri

Searching for Business Records in Missouri

In the State of Missouri, the duty of maintaining important business documents falls to the Missouri Secretary of State. Some of these documents include records of corporate formation, as well as security interest filings. Below are some tips on accessing these documents over the internet.

What Records Are Maintained by the Missouri Secretary of State?

When a corporation is formed, certain documents must be filed with the Secretary of State in order for the corporate formation to be official. In Missouri, such documents are received and maintained by the Missouri Secretary of State.

Additionally, the Missouri Secretary of State maintained UCC filings. UCC filings, or Uniform Commercial Code filings, give notice of the security interest a lending party has in a debtor’s collateral. In Missouri, these documents are easily accessed by the public via the internet.

Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?

If a business has not incorporated, the business will not have filed documents of incorporation giving notice of the formation of a new corporation.

Additionally, sometimes corporations are formed in different states than where their offices sit or even where they do business. Oftentimes, businesses elect to incorporate in a state in order to take advantage of the laws of that state. Therefore, even if the Missouri Secretary of State has no record of the incorporation of a business, it should not be immediately assumed that the business has not incorporated in any state.

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

To search for business records maintained by the Missouri Secretary of State, first visit the Missouri Secretary of State website, at http://www.sos.mo.gov/. Select the option at the top, marked “Business.”

To view information about corporations, from the Business page, select the “Corporations” option. Then select the option “Search for a Business.” On the search page, you will be able to select whether you wish to search by a business name, charter number, registered agent, or search for a new corporation. When using the name search function, you can select whether to search for words with the same beginning, the same sound, all words in the search window, or an exact match. You can also select whether you are searching for name availability. A clickable box permits you to determine whether the returned results will include all matching corporations or only active ones.

After entering your search criteria and selecting “Search,” the results will be returned in the form of a list. The listed information will include the business entity name, the charter number, the type, the status and the creation date. The entity names appear as blue links that can be clicked for additional information. Selecting the business name will take you to a page including the business type, state of incorporation, the date of the last annual report, the annual report month, and information about the registered agent. Additionally, a link at the top of the screen will take you to a list of documents that have been filed in conjunction with the business entity. Clicking on the Adobe or Netscape icons next to each item will permit you to view a scanned image of the document.

To search for UCC filings, from the Business page, select the option marked “UCC.” On the next page, select “Research UCC Filings.” This will take you to a search page where you can select “Standard RA9 Search,” “Non-Standard RA9 Search,” or, if you know the file number, “File Number Search.” The non-standard RA9 search allows you to search for names with similar beginnings or sound-alike names. The standard RA9 search only permits you to input an individual or organization name.

Results will be returned in list form, including file number, filing date, name and address. Clicking on the file number will take you to a page bearing additional information, including identifying the debtor and secured party and naming the documents filed in conjunction. Next to each file number is a small picture of a folder. Clicking on these folders will display a scanned image of the document in question.

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