- 1). If possible, call and ask the corporation. It may sound simple, but you can save yourself a lot of time in front of a computer screen by picking up the phone and asking a few questions. You may be hesitant to contact them personally, or you may not trust the information you're being given, but it will still be interesting to compare the answers you receive to the results of further research. If the corporation has an unlisted number or no one answers the phone, there are other ways to research this information.
- 2). Check with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency maintains a free online database, known as EDGAR, where you can search filings of publicly-traded companies. If the corporation you are looking for is not publicly-traded, you'll likely have to look elsewhere.
- 3). Gather information you know about the corporation. Two key pieces of information are the full official name of the corporation and the state in which it is incorporated. A street address is even better. When you search for records listing the officers, you may come across corporations with similar names. If you have an address or other pieces of distinguishing information, you will be able to distinguish the corporation you are looking for among the others.
- 4). Find the Secretary of State's office online. This is typically the agency responsible for compiling the information you seek. Most state secretary offices have helpful corporation databases on their websites. Depending on the state, you may be asked to pay a fee for the records listing a corporation's officers. If the corporation doesn't appear on the database, make sure you are checking with the state in which the corporation is located.
- 5). If necessary, request additional documents. Even if the corporation is listed in the state's database, the information you seek might not be provided online. However, the state might have copies of additional documents that are public record and therefore available if you request them. You may request these documents in a polite, professional letter to the Secretary of State or appropriate state agency specifically identifying the information you seek. Be sure to include your contact information.
- 6). If the corporation isn't listed online, contact the appropriate state agency. Again, this is usually the Secretary of State. It could be that local law doesn't require that information to be listed on a public record. Or, the corporation might have failed to file appropriate paperwork according to law. Once again, a simple phone call can help you answer several questions.
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