What Information Is Publicly Available on a Small Private Business or a Small Corporation

In most cases, disclosure requirements for private U.S. companies are not nearly as stringent as those for public companies. For this reason, it can be difficult to find detailed information about small private businesses. Therefore, determining company status with private and public information can be difficult, if not impossible. Here is some publicly available information from small private businesses and corporations.

1. List of Directors and Officers

A list of the current directors and officers of a company is typically available in the company’s governing documents, such as its articles of incorporation or bylaws. These documents are usually filed with the state in which the company was incorporated. In addition, many states require companies to file an annual report that lists the names of the company’s directors and officers. The information may also be available on the company’s website.

2. Registered Agent Information

Most states require companies to designate a registered agent, an individual or company that agrees to accept service of process on behalf of the company. The registered agent’s name and address are typically listed in the company’s governing documents and the annual report. This means that this information is available to the public.

3. UCC Filings

A UCC filing is a lien that gives a creditor the right to seize a company’s assets if it defaults on its debt obligations. These filings are public records, typically available online through the Secretary of State’s website. You don’t have to struggle to access this information as it is all available to you via the internet. You can also find this information by contacting the company’s registered agent. This is a welcome change, as, in the past, one had to go to the courthouse to access these records physically.

4. Tax Liens

A tax lien is a legal claim the government makes against a company’s assets if it fails to pay its taxes. Tax liens are public records, and they are typically available through the county clerk’s office or the Secretary of State’s office. You should always ensure that you are up to date on your taxes to avoid legal issues. This unique type of lien can be placed against individuals and businesses.

5. Annual Reports

As mentioned earlier, many states require companies to file annual reports. The report usually includes the names of the company’s directors and officers and the registered agent’s name and address. In some states, the annual report is available online through the Secretary of State’s website. Annual reports are a great way to stay up to date on the latest information about a company.

6. Business Licenses

Companies that operate in certain industries must obtain a business license from the government. This information is typically available through the city or county clerk’s office. You can also check with your state’s revenue department to see if the company has a business license. You must ensure that the company you are doing business with is properly licensed.


As you can see, a wealth of information is available to the public regarding small businesses and corporations. This information can be very helpful if you are trying to research a company. It is important to remember, however, that not all information about a company will be available to the public. Contact Medina & Company Consulting, Inc. for any questions you might have about business research.