Texas Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: June 19th, 2024
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Whether you’re thinking of starting a new business in Texas or you need to access information about a specific business entity in the state, you may conduct a business entity search on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

While there are different search criteria to find registered Texas businesses, there may be fees involved for accessing specific information. Ultimately, a business name search is highly recommended if you want to proceed with business name registration.

Texas search tips

When performing your Texas business name search, the following tips will come in handy:

  • When performing your search, you should note that all letters are treated as uppercase. Therefore, the search is not case-sensitive.
  • Making use of a single keyword will broaden your results. For example, if the organization or corporation name contains multiple words, enter the first one or two words in the search tool for the best results.
  • Do not add or delete spaces in the name or search terms.
  • You should also note that some of the organization names will be grouped together, and names containing unique punctuation marks will be displayed but without the punctuation marks.
  • When conducting an LLC name search using the entity number, only enter digits.
  • When conducting a corporation search using the entity number, enter the seven-digit entity number only.

How to submit a request for a SOSDirect account

In order to conduct a business name search on the Texas Secretary of State’s website, you’ll need to create a SOSDirect account. However, if you don’t want to create an account, you may use the Temporary Login Form, which is valid for one session.

1
Complete the account request form

Fill out the form by providing your name or the name of your business, complete address, phone number, and email address. Thereafter, click on the Continue button.

2
Select the credit card option

Select one of the available card types (as a temporary user, you can use only a Credit Card) and enter credit card information exactly like on the card statement. Click Continue.

Steps to gain full access to SOSDirect

As a temporary user, you’ll only have access to perform web inquiries and place orders, but you won’t be able to submit filings. You should follow this link and click on the request for SOSDirect Account link for full access. Unlike the temporary login form, this will give you unlimited access.

1
Enter the organization’s name

Enter either the name of your business or your full name (first and last name are required fields) and click Continue.

2
Enter the full address

Enter your full address and set up an alpha-numeric password that meets the requirements. Click Continue.

3
Provide credit card details

Provide credit card information for verification and security purposes. Click Continue.

Once you’ve submitted the account request, you’ll receive your User ID and Password via email (please allow up to one hour for the email to arrive).

If you already have a SOSDirect account, simply proceed to the login page and enter your User ID and Password.

Click Submit.

Business search by name

Once you’ve logged into your SOSDirect account, you should click on the Business Organizations tab in the top menu. Select the Name Availability function from the list of available inquiries.

1
Enter the name of the organization

Enter the required organization name into the search box and click on the Search button below.

2
Review search results

If the name you’re searching for is available for use, you won’t find any search results.

However, if there are matching results, you’ll get a list of relevant businesses with basic information, including name, status, filing number, and entity type.

3
Review additional business information

Click on the file number of an entity on this list to access additional business details. You may view the formation date, duration, tax ID, address, filing history, and more on this page.

Texas search results

After entering the relevant information, you can click on the hyperlinks on the search results displayed. This will allow you to access the company’s public information. 

On the information page, you’ll have access to the following company details:

  • Texas taxpayer ID
  • Entity type: Whether the business is a limited liability company, limited partnership, nonprofit, Texas corporation, etc
  • Mailing address: Physical address the state uses to send official correspondence to the organization
  • Right to transact business in Texas: The organization’s status
  • State of incorporation: The state that the company was incorporated
  • Effective registration date: Date of filing or incorporation
  • File number: Unique number the state assigns to businesses
  • Registered agent information: The registered agent is also referred to as the resident or service or process agent and is the organization’s point of contact with the state. You’ll have access to the resident agent’s contact information.
  • Officer or director information: You’ll be able to view the details of the person authorized to represent the company.

Copies of documents and certificates

If you’d like to obtain copies of the business’s certificates, you may do so by contacting the Texas Secretary of State. You’ll need to order the relevant paperwork online using the following methods: 

Certifying Team
Secretary of State
P. O. Box 13697

Business name availability

Once you’ve completed your name availability check and determined that your desired name is still available for use, you need to decide how to move forward. If you are ready to register your organization, you can go ahead and do so immediately. 

Alternatively, if you’re not quite ready to register your Texas business, then you can always apply for a name reservation with the state‘s office. 

Ensure that you find out exactly how long the state will be able to reserve the name for you as well as how much it costs to reserve a business name in Texas. 

Lastly, if you’re still not 100% sure that you like to go ahead and register your business with that specific organization name, then you can always use a name generator to get more creative and look at other options.

Domain name availability

Once you’ve decided on a name for your organization, it’s also a good idea to look at web domain names. In the age of the Internet, a good web domain is just as important as having a good company name. 

A good business name should be easy to remember and easy to find by potential customers. While a good domain is not a 100% guarantee that your business will be successful, it’s an important part of SEO and online marketing. 

Additionally, good planning and social media advertising combined with a strong web domain is definitely a recipe for success. To confirm whether your organization name is a good domain name, you can use a competent domain name availability checker like namechk.com.

Fictitious business name search

If you’re thinking of conducting business in the state of Texas under a different name, you may want to consider registering a DBA or (doing business as) name. A DBA is also known as an assumed name or a fictitious name and, in some instances, is referred to as a trade name. 

However, by registering an assumed name for your business, you’ll be able to conduct business activities under a fictitious name as opposed to your legal entity name.

The first step in registering an assumed name is conducting an assumed name search. While an assumed name does not prevent others from registering the same name, it does become a public record, thereby alerting other business owners that you are making use of the DBA name. 

Start by visiting the Comptroller of Public Accounts website and searching for your assumed name to make sure that another company isn’t already using it.

Once you’ve established that the assumed name is available, you can go ahead and register it with the Secretary of State. The  Assumed Name Certificate will cost you $25. Additionally, there may be other business licenses and permits that you need to obtain prior to operating in the state of Texas.

FAQs

What is the name of the Texas agency that handles public records requests?

To access public records in Texas, the agency you’ll need to contact is the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

What type of entity does the Secretary of State register?

You’ll find various business services offered on the Secretary of State’s website. The state also registers various types of entities, including Texas corporations and Texas LLCs.

What is the Texas State Business Search?

The Texas state business search is basically a search on the Secretary of State’s website, allowing you to find information on companies registered or incorporated in the state.

How do I register a Texas business?

To register a new business in Texas, you must file the Articles of Incorporation and obtain the relevant licenses and permits to legally operate in the state.

What is the purpose of a Texas entity search?

The purpose of a Texas organization name search is to find out if another company is using the business name that you want to register.

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