Business license searches allow the public to look up public business licenses. Anyone may conduct a search at the state, county, or local level. These searches are conducted online and usually include the type of business, ownership and contact details. Many searches will also reveal if the business is in good standing and has paid its dues to the state or local government. Depending on the state or local government, the search might yield information including business registry, business entity search, business permits, and other business lookups. They might also include information about nonprofit or for-profit companies, professional associations, business trusts, churches, real estate trusts, and limited liability corporations. Partnerships, trademarks, and name reservations may come up as well.
Each business license search uses different parameters. Some will require the full name of the business, while others will accept partial names. Some searches will require users to create an account before looking up a business entity and license.
There are different types of business license searches, but they are all dependent on the state, municipality, or other government entity that maintains those records. Some business searches will include more than just the name of the business. They might include the type of business, the permits the business requires, and necessary registration information. Not every business is required to file with their local and state governments. Some states and municipalities have different searches for various types of licenses. For example, attorney license records might be kept separate from the licenses that are required for hair stylists or child care centers. Some businesses must carry federal permits and licenses, with their business information stored in a federal database. Some searches are designed to help future business owners determine if a business name is already in use in their area.