A corporation is a type of business structure that is registered with the secretary of state in the state of organization. Since a corporation operates as a separate legal entity, corporation owners are protected from the debts and obligations of the corporation. You can search for owners with controlling interests in corporations by using online search tools available through the secretary of state in the state of organization.

Determine the state in which the corporation is legally organized. Frequently the corporation is organized in the same state where it is physically located. Alternatively, check the corporation's website and see if the state of corporation is listed in the "Contact" or "About Us" sections, or contact the corporation and ask what state it is incorporated in. If you are unable to determine the state of incorporation, you will need to check with multiple secretary of state websites to identify the state of incorporation.

Open a web browser on your computer and go to the secretary of state online search tool in the state the corporation was organized.

Select the "Corporations Search" option and choose to search by "Entity Name" or "Corporation Name." Websites from individual secretaries of state vary slightly, but the overall search procedure is similar from state to state.

Enter the name of the corporation in the search input field and click the "Search" or "Find" button.

Click the corporation that you want ownership information about from the list of corporations that match your search query to display detailed information about the corporation, including ownership information.