Last Updated on March 22, 2023
How to do a Maryland SOS Business Search
The business corporation registry of the Maryland Secretary of State acts as the record center for all those corporate entities that are or were headquartered in the state. The registry holds filing and authorization information of every commercial enterprise that is incorporated in the state, whether it be a Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Company, Limited Partnership, or Limited Liability Partnership.
Information on sole proprietorships and general partnerships is not recorded with the Maryland SOS. If a Trade Name Application was filed for a sole proprietorship or general partnership, some information will be available with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
Search by Business Name
Below, we’ve created a simple step-by-step guide for you to find several small business entities in the state. To continue with the process, you need to know the entity name.
Step 1. Visit the Maryland Business Express to begin the Maryland Secretary of State business search.
Step 2. Select the type of search you want. You can search by name or by entity ID. For this example, let’s try searching by name.
Step 3. Click the “Continue” button and enter the entity name in the field. Let’s type in “Digex.” After clicking on the search button, a results page with a list of business entities carrying the name, ID, details, and status will appear.
Step 4. Click on the “View Business Details” button for the business you want more information on. Here we will look at Digex, Incorporated.
Information available to view includes:
- Department ID Number (This is a state issued number and is different from the IRS Employer Identification Number)
- Business Name
- Principal Office
- Resident Agent
- Good Standing
- Business Type (Corporation, LLC, etc., Also includes domestic or foreign entity information)
- Date of Formation
In addition, on this page, the Certificate of Status can be ordered for a small fee. Annual Report information and Personal Property Tax filings can be looked up as well.
*Note: The Maryland business search tool for finding registered businesses in Maryland. This tool lets you gather information on many of the business entities registered in the state. Whether an entity is dissolved, incorporated, forfeited, or active, you can access all its information with a click. You can also register new entities as well as file annual reports on their website. This tool also allows you, in some cases, to look up information about the business owners or registered agents.
The Maryland Secretary of State does not have information regarding business licenses. To find out if a business is licensed in Maryland, check with the Department of Commerce.
Search by Department ID
In addition to searching by the business name, you can search by Department ID if you already have that number. The Department ID is a unique number provided by the Secretary of State to each entity.
In Maryland, one of the requirements for a corporation or LLC is that a Resident Agent (commonly known as a Registered Agent) has to be named. This agent is a single point of contact in case the business needs to be served with legal papers or contacted by the state. One of the business owners often files as the entity's Registered Agent. When they file, their home address is often used (PO Boxes aren’t allowed), and the owner's name and address are now a public record that can be looked up by anyone. This can be a big concern, especially for home-based businesses. Using a commercial Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent will keep their personal address from being public record.
The business name registration is different from a Maryland business license. The state of Maryland Business Express website has more information regarding Maryland business licenses.
Also see: How to do a Maryland UCC search
Information on the Maryland (MD) Department of Assessments and Taxation