How to Check If a Business Is Registered?

by Matthew Schieltz; Updated September 26, 2017
Group of businesspeople with briefcases and paperwork

Business registrations are important to access, since they indicate the credibility and authenticity of a company. Finding information about a specific business can be done fairly easily with computer access. A couple of the places where businesses are most commonly registered include state governments and the Better Business Bureau.

Step 1

Visit the state's Department of State or Secretary of State website. Most, if not all, states require legitimate for-profit businesses to register with either one of these two state departments. Review the website to determine if a listing of the registered businesses exists; many state websites contain business/corporation databases which allow citizens to search for a particular business name. Alternatively, find the telephone number for your state department and call to inquire how you can find a listing of registered business entities.

Step 2

Contact your local Better Business Bureau (BBB), an organization that accredits and evaluates businesses. Businesses register with the BBB to convey trustworthiness and as a testament to the business' character, because allows citizens to file complaints and submit personal reviews about a company. On the organization's website,, you can search for a business by name or phone number. .Phone numbers for your local Better Business Bureau can be found in the phone book.

Step 3

Use a directory website that compiles unbiased location, contact and financial information on businesses and corporations. Perform a search on the directory, making sure to include the city or zip code where the business you're looking for is located. Manta is a business directory that contains unbiased information on over 60 million registered companies worldwide; other similar business directories include and Hoovers, a Dun and Bradstreet company. Links to all three of these options can be found in the "Resources" section of this article.

About the Author

Matthew Schieltz has been a freelance web writer since August 2006, and has experience writing a variety of informational articles, how-to guides, website and e-book content for organizations such as Demand Studios. Schieltz holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology.

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