Pennsylvania Department of State Business Search Instructions

Last Updated on January 30, 2024

Pennsylvania state map image

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations (a division of the Department of State) acts as the recorder of any business entity that is registered with the state. The Department of State is responsible for authorizing and filing business entities with the state of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania DOS also administers policies and rules for forming new entities in the state.

The registry has information about the following types of entities registered with the Pennsylvania SOS:

  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Limited Companies
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships

Additionally, the Department of State offers the ability to look up fictitious names for sole proprietorships and partnerships.

How to do a Pennsylvania SOS Business Search

Using the online searchable database for business entities registered with Pennsylvania, you can search the database of the SOS for the same. Here we present a detailed outline of the procedure to assist you in your search.

On the search page, there are different types of search options to narrow down your results. Choose from the following to narrow your search:

  • Starting With
  • All words
  • Any words
  • Corporate Name Availability
  • Soundex
  • Exact match

Read on to understand the process better:

Search by Business Name

Step 1. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of State website to go to the search page for searching business entities registered with the Pennsylvania SOS. The page looks like the screenshot below.

Begin by keying in the business entity name in the search field. The search is conducted assuming the search criteria starting with. Let us type in “Amekor” to do an example Pennsylvania corporation search as shown in the screenshot below.

How to do a Pennsylvania Corporation Entity Search

Step 2. Click on the Search button. The results page with a list of entities, along with their entity number, type, and status, will be shown in the screenshot below.
Pennsylvania Business Name Search Results

Step 3. Click on the entity name to get into further details, as shown in the screenshot below.  In this example, we will look at Amekor Component Sales, Inc.

Some of the available information includes:

  • Entity Name
  • Entity Number
  • Business Type (Corporation, Limited Liability Company, etc.)
  • Status (Active, Good Standing, Inactive, Dissolved, etc.)
  • Entity Creation Date
  • Effective Date
  • Principal Business Address
  • Officer / Board of Director / Member Information
  • Registered Agent
  • Annual Report Filing Date

In addition, you can request copies of documents such as Articles of Incorporation (Corporation), Certificate of Formation (LLC), Subsistence Certificate, Good Standing Certificates, and more by paying a small filing fee.

Pennsylvania Corporation Search Details

Business Licenses

The business name registration is different from a business license in Pennsylvania.  The Pennsylvania Department of State has more information regarding Pennsylvania business licenses.

Also see: How to do a Pennsylvania UCC search

Information on the Pennsylvania (PA) Department of State
Pennsylvania sos seal

The Office:
The Department of State of Pennsylvania is also known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An elected constitutional office, the Pennsylvania Department of State is responsible for a wide set of public responsibilities. Al Schmidt is the current Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Functionalities :
The Secretary of State of Pennsylvania is the keeper of the Great Seal of the State and is also responsible for authenticating public documents. The Department of State of Pennsylvania has the authority to certify government documents through the use of the seal. He is also the chief election official of the state.

Department of State Contact Information

206 North Office Building,
401 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Corporations Phone Number: (717) 787-1057
Corporations Fax Number: (717) 783-2244

State Business Name Search Instructions


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

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