Missouri Secretary Of State Business Search Instructions

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

Missouri state map


The Missouri Business Corporation Registry comes under the Business Services divisions of the Missouri Secretary of State. The registry is an archive of all the businesses and corporate business entities that were or are registered with the Missouri SOS. The registry contains details of the filing and authorization of an entity and also mentions its status. The entities which form the content of the corporation registry are:

  • Domestic Business Corporations
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Limited Company
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Non Profit entities
  • Foreign Entities

Sole proprietorships and partnerships do not register with the Secretary of State. They can register a fictitious name with the county clerk in the county where the business is located. 

How to do a Missouri Business Entity Search

The Missouri Secretary of State facilitates an online business entity search tool for users where one can get the details of any entity that is incorporated in Missouri. There are search criteria, too, in the form of radio buttons, which include Starting With, All words, Any Word, and Exact match.

Read on to get a detailed procedure for your search:

Search by Name

Step 1. Visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website to go to the search page which looks similar to the screenshot below.
Missouri Business Entity Search

Step 2. Select the search criteria by clicking on the radio button. You can select from Business Name, Registered Agent, Name Availability, and Charter Number. The screenshot illustrates the same.

Assuming the search to be based on a small business name, let us type in Factory Green in the field.
Missouri Business Name Search

Step 3. Choose the appropriate narrowing method and click on search.

The result page will soon appear with a list of entities carrying the given name. Refer to the screenshot below.
Missouri Business Entity Search Results

Step 4. Click on an entity name to get further details like:

  • Business Name
  • Entity Type (Corporation, Limited Liability Company, etc.)
  • Domesticity (Domestic or Foreign Entity)
  • Business Owner Name
  • Principal Office Address
  • Registered Office Address
  • Charter Number (This is not the Employer Identification Number, which is through the IRS)
  • Status
  • Duration

Since there is no state business license, you aren’t able to search for them with the SOS. 

Also see: How to start an LLC in Missouri

In addition, you can order copies of the Certificate of Good Standing for a small fee.  You can also view copies of the Articles of Organization (Limited Liability Company), Articles of Incorporation (Corporation), and more.
Missouri Corporation Search Details

Search by Registered Agent

In Missouri, one of the requirements for a corporation or LLC is that 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.

Name Availability Search

If searching for a name for your new business, you can use the business name search function to see if the name you want is available.

Search by Charter Number

If you should have the charter number from the Secretary of State’s business, you can search by it as well.

Business Licenses

The business name registration is different from business licensing in Missouri.  The Missouri Department of Revenue has more information regarding Missouri business licenses.

Also see: How to do a Missouri UCC search

Information on SOS Missouri (MO)
Missouri SOS seal

The Office :

The Secretary of State of Missouri is an elected constitutional office in the  US state of Missouri. The Missouri Secretary of State is an executive branch of the government of the state and is also responsible for the statutory duties of the same.

The current Secretary of State of Missouri is John Ashcroft.

Functionalities :

The office of the Secretary of State acts as the Custodian of the Great Seal of Missouri. This office is also responsible for authenticating public documents and is the keeper of the public archives and records. The divisions which the Secretary of State of Missouri takes care of are as follows:

  • Business Services Division
  • Elections
  • State Library
  • Security and Investigation
  • State Archives
  • Publications

Secretary of State Contact Information

600 West Main Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101

(573) 751-4936

State Business Name Search Instructions

What is a Missouri Charter Number?

A Missouri Charter Number is a unique 7 to 9 digit number that is assigned by the Missouri Secretary of State.

This number is used when filing an annual report, registering for a Missouri sales tax license, or registering for a Fictitious Name.

How much does it cost to do a business search in Missouri?

There is no cost to search for businesses using the Missouri business search database.