How Do I Look Up a Corporation to See If it Is Active or Inactive?

by Alia Nikolakopulos; Updated September 26, 2017

Most states provide corporate status information online for corporations that are registered for business within the state. Online searches for status information are free; however, some states, such as Delaware, require a fee to view status information. In addition to active or inactive status information, some states allow you to search other corporate records for the business for free. Documents may include annual reports, organizational information and corporate name and address change records.

Step 1

Navigate to the Secretary of State website for the state in which the corporation is registered.

Step 2

Start your search. Look for a “Businesses” or “Corporations” tab. Each state website is constructed differently, and the specific tab name may vary, but should always be business or corporation related. Tabs are usually along the top or right hand side of the web page.

Step 3

Select the search tab. Once in the business or corporation page, look for a search tab. Examples of tab names include “Entity Search” or “Search Corporate Database”.

Step 4

Enter the name of the corporation and click the search button. Your query may result in multiple corporate records, depending on how common the name of the corporation is. You may have to review available records for similar corporation names to find the record you seek. If you are searching for records in a state that provides online status information, the active or inactive status is displayed in the corporation’s records.

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About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.