Businesses often operate under business names that give no hint as to who owns them. However, incorporation records are kept by the secretary of state's office in the state where the business is organized. Secretary of states' offices offer online search tools you can use to determine who owns a specific business that is set up in the state.
Determine the state where the business is organized. Businesses often are organized in the state where the business' home office is physically located. You also can ask the business what state they were organized in. If you are unable to find the state where the business was organized, you may need to check with several secretaries of state to determine if the business is organized in their state.
Open a web browser on your computer and go to the business entity search tool offered by the secretary of state in the state where the business was organized. You can find a list of these links in the resources section of this article.
Enter the business name in the "Business Name" text field, and click the "Search" button. The process varies slightly from state to state. However, the general search process is more or less the same.
Select the business you want to find ownership information about from the list of businesses that match your search query.
Scroll down to find detailed information about the business, including ownership information.
Since 1992 Matt McGew has provided content for on and offline businesses and publications. Previous work has appeared in the "Los Angeles Times," Travelocity and "GQ Magazine." McGew specializes in search engine optimization and has a Master of Arts in journalism from New York University.