North Carolina Secretary of State Business Search Instructions

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

North Carolina state map

The Corporations Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State keeps a business entity database containing information for every entity that is based in the state. The database is a repository of every minute detail that is related to an entity, starting from its filing to its present status. The Division records details of Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Companies, Limited Partnerships, and Limited Liability Partnerships headquartered in the state.

To find information on sole proprietorships and partnerships, you will need to search the county clerk’s office in the county where the business is located and have the small business owner’s name or Assumed Business Name.

Search by Business Name

If you are out to find details and relevant information on any business entity registered with the North Carolina Secretary of State, you have come to the right place. To search the database of the North Carolina Secretary of State using their online search tool, you need to have the entity name or assumed name.

Also see: How to start an LLC in North Carolina

Here, we have outlined the detailed guidelines to search the database for any entity that is registered with the state.

Step 1. Click the Secretary of State’s website to go to the Search Page to start a business entity search for entities based in North Carolina. The screenshot of the Search Page is shown below.

How to do a North Carolina Business Entity Search

Step 2. Select “Company” in the “Search By” field and then type the entity name in the “Search For” field. To conduct a sample search, let’s key in “Bloom” as an example in the business name field (see the screenshot below for reference).

Step 3. Click on the name of the business you want more details on.  In this example, we will search for Bloom, L.L.C.

The information provides includes the following;

  • Legal Name of the business entity
  • NC SOS Number (which is different from the Employer Identification Number from the IRS)
  • Annual Report Status (Shows if the entity is in Good Standing)
  • Date Formed
  • Registered Agent
  • Registered Office Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Manager Information

Additionally, a Certificate of Good Standing/Existence can be purchased for a small fee.

North Carolina Business Search Results

Search by Registered Agent

A search for businesses that list the name of a registered agent can be done.  Because some registered agents file for so many companies, this list may be long.

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.

Business Licenses

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

Also see: How to do a North Carolina UCC search

Search by Company Official

A search can be done for LLC members and the Corporation’s Board of Directors.  This search can be handy if you want to find all the companies an individual has ties to.

Information on SOS North Carolina (NC)

North Carolina state seal

The Secretary of State of North Carolina is an elected constitutional official in the US state of North Carolina. The office of the Secretary of State of North Carolina heads the Department of State of North Carolina. The term of office is four years.

The present office holder of the Secretary of State of North Carolina is Elaine F. Marshall, who has been serving the office since 1997.

Unlike most Secretary of State in the US, the North Carolina Secretary of State doesn’t oversee the state elections. The position of Secretary of State in North Carolina is only second to that of Governor of the state.

The North Carolina SOS oversees many of the economic and business operations in the state. The office acts as the record keeper for the state.

North Carolina Secretary of State Contact Information

2 South Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903


State Business Name Search Instructions


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

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