All states maintain business license records although the responsible office and type of records maintained varies. Records may include corporate filings, new business filings, issuance of trademarks and renewals of business licenses. Some states maintain these records at the state level, other do so at the county and/or city level.
Business records are often managed by the Secretary of State's office for that particular state, although in some instances this office may be called the Department of Commerce or Department of Corporations. These agencies are also where businesses file their registered agent information; registered agents are responsible for accepting service of lawsuits.
Some states offer online searching of business licenses whereby one can determine if a business is licensed and, sometimes, whether there are any recorded violations or complaints about that business. Some searches may be performed by business name, address, or owner name. Obtaining copies of business records often involves written or in-person requests.
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