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How to Find Business Records in West Virginia

Searching for Business Records in West Virginia

In the State of West Virginia, the Secretary of State is charged with maintaining business records for public viewing. Some of this information is available online to be searched. Here are a few tips on accessing this information over the internet.

What Records Are Maintained by the West Virginia Secretary of State?

When a corporation or limited liability company is formed under the laws of West Virginia, it is required to file documentation of its formation with the Secretary of State, as well as periodic updates and notification of changes. The Secretary of State also maintains records of “old organizations” that have changed name or experienced some other substantive change, which can be searched simultaneously online. The Secretary of State also keeps records of reserved names (names reserved for future use by a business entity) and DBAs (names other than the entity’s official name under which the entity does business).

Additionally, the Secretary of State maintains a state registry of trademarks used by West Virginia entities. It should be noted that this registry is not the same as the federal registry maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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

To begin searching for business records in the State of West Virginia, visit the Secretary of State’s website, located at http://www.wvsos.com/ . Then scroll down to the heading entitled “Points of Interest,” and select the option marked “Business Organizations Database.” This will take you to a search page in which you can enter the organization name in question, then click the button marked “Search.” Note that if you are not certain about the name of the business entity, it is sufficient to input only the first few letters of the word in order to find the desired business entity.

The search results will be returned in the form of a list, divided into type. The first type will include corporations and similar entities, including the organization name, type, effective date, termination date, termination reason, charter and class. The second class is DBA (which stands for “Doing Business As”), and includes the DBA name, type and effective date. The third class is for old organizations, and includes name, change type and change date. The final class is for name reservations or registrations and include name, type and effective date.

Clicking on any of the names will give you additional information. Clicking on an organization name, DBA or old organization name will take you to a page dedicated to that organization and will include a number of buttons to click to access addresses, information about officers, any other names un which the organization does business (identified as DBAs), names (pertaining to name changes), mergers, subsidiaries, amendments, annual reports, and dissolutions. Clicking on a reserved or registered name from the results list will take you to a page that provides information about the registrant, including name and address.

To search for trademark information, from the Secretary of State home page, scroll over the option “Search for Information” from the left of the screen, then scroll over “Search On-Line Databases” and finally select “Trademark Search.” This will take you to a page where you can select whether you wish to search all trademark data, or to search by serial number, applicant name, words in the trademark, shapes, figures or description. If you aren’t certain exactly what you are looking for, “All Trademark Data” is the most comprehensive option. Then you may enter your search terms and click “Search.” Alternatively, under these search options is an advanced search section in which you may input multiple search terms in order to narrowly define your search.

The search results will be returned in a list including the serial number, status, applicant, city and state, as well as a button marked “View” to the left of each item. Clicking “View” will permit you to view additional information about the trademark, including the application date, date of original registration, date of last registration, date of expiration, date of first use, the location in hard copy (West Virginia Book Page), whether the mark pertains to goods or services, the items or services to which the mark applies, and a description of the trademark. While conducting this search, bear in mind that the United State Patent and Trademark Office maintains a more comprehensive trademark registry with federal scope that you may also wish to search.

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