Reporting and filing requirements for companies differ from country to country and sometimes from state to state, or region to region. They also vary depending on the size and legal form of the company (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability etc). Many of the official company registries are on the Web and some offer access to their database of companies. This may be completely free, or they may provide only basic information such as name and address free of charge with detailed data available on subscription or by credit card payment.

The first section on this page lists some key starting points. The rest of the page is organised by continent and then country and concentrates on what is available at the online registry web sites. Where I have not been able to identify an online registry, there are links to other sources that give information on legal forms and filing requirements. If you are running a check on a company and the registry for the country is not listed, the next best thing would be to find a company directory produced by an organisation such as a Chamber of Commerce or Trade. Some are listed on the Company directories page.

Starting Points

Company registration around the world www.commercial-register.sg.ch/home/worldwide.html
A list of official company registers around the world maintained by the Commercial Register Office of the Canton St. Gallen.

World-wide Registries www.companieshouse.gov.uk/links/introduction.shtml#reg
A list of official company registers by country provided by Companies House.

Company Formation Survey www.offshoreinvestment.com
The Survey is an authoritative guide to company formation in over 50 offshore jurisdictions. Updated and published in the March issue of the print journal, with the assistance of government financial regulators and leading industry professionals.

ICAEW Knowledge guide to company registration www.icaew.com/en/library/subject-gateways/business-management/company-administration/knowledge-guide-international-company-registration
This guide is produced by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is one of their Subject Gateways. It provides information about the company registers of countries internationally and, where possible, access to the registers. The Guide covers official and unofficial information sources from the print collection of the ICAEW Library & Information service and the Internet.

Country Report Guides dbemc.dnb.com/reportguides/reportm.htm
These reports from Dun & Bradstreet's Emerging Markets Center list the legal forms and filing requirements in selected countries in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Mediterranean and Atlantic Europe.

Bureau van Dijk (BvD) www.bvdep.com
If you are not sure where a company is based, Bureau van Dijk have a link from their home page to a very useful free directory, which uses information from their priced services. You can search the whole collection, or limit to region (Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia etc) or to a specific country. The free information gives you the company name, town, country, sector, sector and size (very small, small, medium etc.). Additional information is priced. The directory is not comprehensive in coverage for all countries. You may find that small/very small companies or certain legal forms are not included.

Doing Business www.doingbusiness.org
This site, set up by the World Bank, provides information on business regulations and how to start a business in 178 countries. It is not comprehensive in that it does not cover all forms of businesses for a country, but it is a good starting point for identifying the general procedures and registries for starting up a business.

Europe

GBRDirect www.globalbusinessregister.co.uk
An electronic network and portal site enabling users to access and retrieve information directly from the European Business Register national corporate registers and other unaffiliated national companies registers. It is currently connected to 22 national registers. The documents are the originals that are filed with the relevant corporate register and the information will be in the local language.This is a priced, pay as you go service. (Note: you must have money in your account before you search.) Prices vary depending on the type of document you wish to view and the country. A price list is available at http://www.gbrdirect.co.uk/GBRDirect%20Pricelist.pdf

Austria

Companies that are required to file do so with the the commercial register. Financial statements must also be published in the Wiener Zeitung. There is also a searchable database, the "Firmenbuch", at http://dataweb.telekom.at/ for which you need to register. In German only. Priced service.

Belgium

KBO Public Search economie.fgov.be/nl/ondernemingen/KBO/Pubd/PuS/
KBO Public Search enables you to search for public information on every registered active enterprise and establishment in Belgium. Search by company number, name, branch number or name, address and municipality. Each record provides name, company number, activities, address, contact details and links to other sites for official documents and annual reports. The search interface is available in Dutch and French. The information is in Dutch or French. Free service.

The CBSO (Central Balance Sheet Office) section of the National Bank of Belgium (http://www.bnb.be/) has the accounts of companies, associations and foundations active in Belgium. The search interface is available in Dutch, French, German and English. Free service.

Bulgaria

Trade Register www.brra.bg
Companies have to be entered into the commercial register kept with the relevant district court, where they can be viewed by the public. The electronic register is available at www.brra.bg, but only in Bulgarian. Information on the different types of companies can be found at D&B Report Guide Bulgaria (dbemc.dnb.com/reportguides/bulgaria.htm), Establishing a Business in Bulgaria (www.investbulgaria.com/establishingBusiness.htm).

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Croatia

Biznet www.biznet.hr
Maintained by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Biznet, this site provides information and statistics on the Croatian economy, and access to the Register of Business Entities. The Biznet home page is in Croation and the link to the Register is under Registar poslovnih subjekata. You can view data for a single company or a selected set of companies grouped according to certain criteria for example industry, company size. Available information includes identification number, short and long name, county, municipality, address, phone, fax, E-mail, company size, main activity, legal form, number of employees, membership of professional associations.The Register is available in both Croatian and English and is free of charge.

D&B Report Guide Croatia dbemc.dnb.com/reportguides/croatia.htm
Provides information on legal forms and filing requirements.

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Cyprus

Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver www.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/drcor/drcor.nsf/index_en/index_en?opendocument
The Department of the Registrar of Companies is responsible for keeping the Register of Companies, Partnerships, Business Names, Trade Marks, Patents and Industrial Designs and is also responsible for administering properties of insolvent legal and natural persons. You can search by company name and fre information includes name, registration date, status, and status date. An alternative source for companies search in Cyprus is Cyprus-Data.com (www.cyprus-data.com) where you can search by name, registration number and registration date. Free of charge.

Czech Republic

The public register and the collection of documents - Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic https://or.justice.cz/ias/ui/rejstr
The database can be searched by company and personal name. The amount of information available can be quite detailed depending in the legal form of the company but most of it is in Czech. The latest version of the Google translation service now covers Czech to English and does a reasonable job of translating the text but it is not exact. Free of charge.

Denmark

Danish Commerce and Companies Agency (DCCA) www.eogs.dk
This is the official registry for Danish Businesses. There is a searchable database at the Central Business Register (CVR).

Estonia

Äriregistri teabesüsteem https://ariregister.rik.ee/index.py?lang=eng
The Central Commercial Register is an online service based on the central database of Estonian registration departments of the courts. This central database includes digital data from the commercial register, the register of non-profit associations and foundations and the commercial pledge register. The database is searchable by company or registry code. Free information includes name, registry code, status, area, share capital and address. Annual reports, if available, are priced.

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Finland

National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland www.prh.fi
Official company register for Finnish companies. As well as information on registering a company, there is a Trade Register of 470,000 Finnish companies that can be searched via BIS Search (www.ytj.fi). Information includes name of a business, trading names, company form, address, contact information, principal line of business. It also provides information on termination, interruption of trade, bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganisation proceedings. Free of charge and available in Finnish, English and Swedish.

France

Infogreffe - Trade and Companies Register - Commercial Court Registry
www.infogreffe.fr/infogreffe/index.jsp
Official register of over 3,200,000 French companies. Basic company and contact information free of charge. Priced service for detailed information and accounts. In French.

Georgia

D&B Report Guide Georgia dbemc.dnb.com/reportguides/georgia.htm
Summary of legal forms and filing requirements.

Germany

Judicial register of the federal states www.handelsregister.de
The joint portal of the federal states for Internet register information provides a standard interface to the registers of the federal states. You can search across all of the databases using Normale Suche or Erweiterte Suche (Advanced/Extended Search). Both the interface and the information are in German. Most of the documents are priced. There is also a centralised online point of access for company information through the Unternehmensregister. The interface is in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Again, search is free but many documents are priced.

Guernsey

Guernsey Registry www.guernseyregistry.com/ccm/portal/
The new Guernsey Registry was launched on 1 July 2008 following a review of the Companies (Guernsey) Law and the existing company processes. The Registry also includes the Bailiwick of Guernsey Intellectual Property Office which administers all Trade Mark and Design registrations and activities, and provides information on the Intellectual Property Laws enacted in the Bailiwick. As well as providing e-filing services for companies, there is a searchable database at https://www.greg.gg/webCompSearch.aspx. You can search by registered number or company name (current and previous). Company number, name, type, status, registered address, activity, and date registered are available free of charge. Company profiles, certificates of good standing and of incorporation are priced as are the annual reports. There is a link to the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, which can be downloaded free of charge.  Be warned - it is 569 pages long!

Hungary

Court of Company Registration www.e-cegjegyzek.hu/info/page/ceginfo
For free company information go to the menu on the left hand side. Under Ingyenes céginformáció (Free company data), which is in red, you can search on cCompany registration number (Cégkeresés a cég cégjegyzékszáma szerint), company name (Cégkeresés a cég elnevezése szerint) or tax number (Cégkeresés adószám szerint). Click on 'Mehet' and type the letters and numbers displayed on the right hand side of the screen into the box provided. A list of companies meeting your search criteria will then be displayed. In Hungarian.

Cégtaláló - CÉGKIVONAT www.cegtalalo.hu
To search for a company use the yellow area in the centre of the screen. Click on the appropriate tab to search by company name (cégnév), tax number (adószám, cégjegyzékszám), seat (székhely) or activity (tevékenység). In Hungarian.

Ireland

Companies Registration Office www.cro.ie
The company directory can be searched free of charge and provides name, registered number, address, status, date registered, last and next annual return date, and last accounts date. Company documents can be ordered for a fee and payment is by credit card or deposit account.

Isle of Man

The Companies Registry - Isle of Man Government DED
www.gov.im/ded/companies/companiesregistry.xml
As well as the regulation of Manx companies, the Isle of Man Companies Registry is now also responsible for the administration of legislation relating to foreign companies, limited liability companies, business names, limited partnerships and societies incorporated under the Industrial and Building Societies Acts. There is a searchable directory and free information includes name, registered number, status, entity type (IOM company, business name, foreign company etc.), name type (current, previous), address and date of registration. Company documents can be purchased online.

Italy

Infocamere - Società Consortile di Informatica delle Camere DI Commercio Italiane per Azioni www.infocamere.it
The Italian Chambers of Commerce, which operates the national system linking Italy's Chambers of Commerce. Company information can be obtained from Infocamere and via the European Business Register (EBR). The site is in Italian but there is a document in English that outlines their services.

Jersey

JFSC Companies Registry www.jerseyfsc.org/registry/
This area of the Jersey Financial Services Commission provides access to information in the Companies Registry. You can search by name or registration number and the results list gives you the registration number, type of company, name and date of registration. The company types are coded: RC (Registered Company - private), RCD (Registered Company, Dissolved), RCP (Registered Company - Public), RBN (Registered Business Name) and RCO (Registered Company Overseas), LP (Limited Partnership) and CP (Reserved Company Name). The full record includes name, registration number, business address, date registered, business code (e.g. RCP, RC). country, dissolved date (if applicable) and year end. Documents such as Annual Returns are priced. Quick search and basic information free of charge. Documents are priced.

Latvia

Lursoft www.lursoft.lv
Provides information about all enterprises, public organizations and foreign company agencies registered within the territory of Latvia including their managers, shareholders fixed capital and annual accounts. The information is based on original documents of the Register of Enterprises (RE). Main pages are in Latvian and English but the company information is in Latvian. Basic company information free of charge. Priced service for more detailed information including accounts.

Luxembourg

Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés - Accueil www.rcsl.lu
This is the official register of companies and associations in Luxembourg. The search options are limited to company name or number and the interface is in German and French. Searching and company name, address and contact details are free of charge. Official documents are priced.

Legilux Sociétés et Associations (www.legilux.public.lu/entr/index.php)
has more search options at http://www.legilux.public.lu/entr/search/index.php and it provides a history of the documents filed by a company. This is a free service but for the documents themselves you have to go back to the Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés where there is a charge per document.

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Malta

MFSA Registry of Companies rocsupport.mfsa.com.mt/pages/Default.aspx
Free basic company details including registered address and company ID/number. You can browse the companies alphabetically or search by name or company ID/number. There is also a list of companies that have registered over the last 15 days.

Netherlands

Kamer van Koophandel : Trade Register www.kvk.nl
In the Netherlands registration in the trade register is compulsory for almost every company. Searching the trade register and name, address and registration number are free, but there is a charge for the business extracts, accounts and other information products. In Dutch and English.

Norway

Brønnøysund Register Centre www.brreg.no
The Brønnøysund Register Centre is a government body under the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, and consists of several different national EDP registers. These registers contain information and key data on: liabilities and titles in mortgaged movable property; more than 280,000 business enterprises; more than 1,300,000 annual accounts and auditor's reports of limited companies; bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations; approximately 200,000 marriage settlements. The English pages have only basic information so for the full range of services you need to use the Norwegian pages. To search the databases you need to go to http://w2.brreg.no/enhet/sok/. Free information, which is in Norwegian, includes registered number, name, address, telephone, fax, email address, legal form, activity and directors.

Poland

Ministry of Justice Poland www.ms.gov.pl
The Polish National Court Trade Registry. A free service enabling you to search for companies by KRS number (official company register number) or by name. The main site and the information it provides is in Polish. There is an English language version but it does not have all of the options that are available on the Polish pages.

Serbia

Serbian Business Registration Agency www.apr.sr.gov.yu
The Business Registers Agency runs three registers: the Business Register consisting of Business entities and Entrepreneurs, Register of Pledges over Movable Property and Rights, and the Register of Financial Leasing. Search and display of information is free of charge but the information is not available in English. The Central Secuities Depository and Clearing House, including ownership structure of companies is at http://www.crhov.co.yu/

Slovakia

Companies Register of the Slovak Republic on Internet http://www.orsr.sk/
Free searchable directory. Information includes company name, registered number, registration date, legal form, business activity, address, 'other legal facts', and a list of deposited documents. Documents can not be purchased or viewed online. The interface is in Slovak and English. Much of the company information, though, is in Slovak.

Slovenia

AJPES - Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services www.ajpes.si
AJPES provides access to the Slovenian Business Register online (ePRS), and Annual Reports of companies, cooperatives and sole proprietors (JOLP) free of charge. ePRS currently has around 211,000 entries and includes companies (partnerships and corporations), sole proprietors, legal entities governed by private law, societies, natural persons performing registered or regulated activities, subsidiaries and other divisions of business entities and main offices of foreign business entities. You can search on a range of criteria: name, identification number, tax number, address, activity, sector and legal form. The amount of information available on each business entity varies depending on its legal form but typically includes identification number, company name, tax number, details of representatives and founders, etc. Credit rating reports (eS.BON) are also available for a fee. The interface to the site is available in English, Slovene, German and Italian. The information is available in English and Slovene. Free registration is required to view the free documents.

Firmica.si www.firmica.si
This organisation provides company formation services in Slovenia and is not an official registry. There is, though, some very useful information on setting up a company and doing business in Slovenia under Frequently Asked Questions. The information is in Slovene.

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Spain

Central Mercantile Registry. Legal Information of companies, statistics and company names www.rmc.es
Subscription service. In English, French, German and Spanish.

Sweden

Swedish Companies Registration Office - Bolagsverket www.bolagsverket.se
The information pages are in both Swedish and English but the Trade and Industry Register is only in Swedish, although there is a guide in English. Company name, registered number, status and legal form are free but you have to register to view the data. Additional information is priced. An easier way to access the data is available via Företagsinformation om alla Sveriges bolag (www.allabolag.se).

Företagsinformation om alla Sveriges bolag www.allabolag.se
This site is in Swedish only but is a quick and easy way to access basic official information on Swedish companies free of charge. On the home page there are two boxes: in the first you can enter a company or a person's name, whereas the second is for entering components of the address. You can view contact details, key financials and executives free of charge and there is an option to order various reports. If you have the Google toolbar installed in your browser, the 'Translate into English' option works well enough to enable you to understand most of the headings and financial items.

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Switzerland

Central Business Names Index www.zefix.admin.ch
Contains information business names of corporate bodies (corporations, corporations with unlimited partners, limited liability companies, co-operatives, non-profit associations and foundations) and public-law corporations registered in the Commercial Register. General or limited partnerships and sole proprietorships are all registered since January 1st 2000 (new names and changes in existing names). Information available includes current registered business name, former names, legal form, legal domicile (political municipality). Some cantons provide the full record free of charge, others charge for more than the most basic of details. There are currently ca. 45 cantonal commercial registers in Switzerland. New entries and changes in the commercial register are published in Swiss Commercial Gazette (SHAB). In English, French, German and Italian.

UK

Companies House www.companies-house.gov.uk
The official UK body to which UK companies have to send their accounts. You can order company documents online. This site also gives free access to Companies Name and Address Index and the disqualified directors database. Documents such as annual accounts are priced.

Ukraine

Інформаційно-ресурсний центр - Пошук в ЄДР (State Enterprise Information Resource Centre) http://irc.gov.ua/ua/Poshuk-v-YeDR.html
Searchable official companies register for the Ukraine. The interface and information is in Ukrainian only but Google's translation option does a good enough job to help you through the site.

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Asia

Hong Kong

Companies Registry www.info.gov.hk/cr/
This site provides information on what information is available to the public, and how to access it. The database can be searched at the Cyber Search Centre at http://www.icris.cr.gov.hk/ . Free information includes company name, registry number, name status, company type, date of incorporation. Additional information such as directors and documents (including annual reports if available) is priced.

India

Ministry of Corporate Affairs www.mca.gov.in
You can search by company name and limit your search by state and legal form. The web site provides company name, registered number and state for free.

Israel

Register of Companies, Ministry of Justice www.justice.gov.il/MOJEng/
All companies in Israel must register with The Registrar of Companies at the Ministry of Justice and the tax authorities. The register can be searched at  http://havarot.justice.gov.il/ using part or all of a company name in English or Hebrew, or by entering the company number. The search interface and the results are in Hebrew. Free information on a company includes type of company, address, legal status and purpose of the company. Additional information such as details of directors, total authorized capital, division of share capital, shareholders, charges and liabilities is priced.

If you need more than just confirmation that the company exists and do not know Hebrew it is probably best to use a commercial service that can run your search and translate the documents. One such company is IsraelBizReg (http://www.israelbizreg.com/). IsraelBizReg is a division of  KYC Israel, an Israeli due diligence firm. They offer English translated company reports in three formats: basic, detailed, and a full company file. You can search the database free of charge to see if your company is in the register. If you cannot find it IsraelBizReg will perform a company search free of charge. The basic report costs $50, detailed is $100 and the full company file is $150.

Another company that provides similar services is UK based 7Side (http://www.7side.co.uk/). Like IsraelBizReg it is pay as you go and they offer a translation service. A summary of what is available and the costs involved for International Registry Documents and Reports available in 1 hour is at http://www.7side.co.uk/moreinfo/International_Registry_and_Documents_Service.pdf. The price list for English translated International company overviews is at  http://www.7side.co.uk/moreinfo/marksales/7Side_ICO_Reports.pdf

Singapore

Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore www.acra.gov.sg
The free search on the companies directory gives you just registered number, name and status. Additional information and documents can be purchased online.

Sri Lanka

Registrar of Company Names www.drc.gov.lk/App/ComReg.nsf?Open
Click on Search existing names. Information includes registered name and registered number (NPVS).

Oceania

Australia

Australian Business Register www.abr.gov.au
The Australian Business Register is a publicly available, online database that contains some of the information that is provided by businesses when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The information that is publicly available includes Australian Business Number (ABN), ABN Status and date of effect, legal name, trading name(s), entity type, State or Territory and postcode of the main business location, associated Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) or Australian Registered Scheme Number (if applicable), goods and services tax (GST) and deductible gift recipient (DGR) details and dates of effect.

ASIC National Names Index www.search.asic.gov.au/gns001.html
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has a company search facility that offers basic information on a company or business name. The free information that is available is the same as that in the Australian Business Register but additional data including financials, if available, can be purchased through commercial brokers that are linked from the ASIC site.

New Zealand

Companies Office www.companies.govt.nz
Search for companies, incorporated societies, charitable trusts; directors, shareholders and company addresses; banned directors and managers. The free information includes company name, number, date incorporated, status, entity type, annual return filing month, previous names, address, directors' names and addresses, former directors and a list of available documents. Most of the company documents are priced and can be ordered online.

The Americas

Anguilla

Anguilla Financial Services www.anguillafsc.com
You have to submit a request for information using the company search form. The information is then emailed to you usually within 24 hours. Company status, registration number and date of incorporation are provided free of charge. There is a fee for additional information.

Aruba

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aruba www.arubachamber.com
Free company register searchable by company name by name, trade name or branch. The free information includes name, address, status, legal form, date of incorporation and directors. Copies of deeds of incorporation and business listings by ISIC are priced.

Bermuda

Bermuda Registrar of Companies www.roc.gov.bm
You can browser the public register A-Z and view company name, registration number, date of incorporation and status. For additional information, if available, and company name search you have to apply for an account.

British Virgin Islands

Financial Services Commission Registry of Corporation Affairs Division - Related News www.bvifsc.vg/AreaofSupervision/RegistryofCorporateAffairs/tabid/182/Default.aspx This section of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Financial Services Commission provides information on incorporating in the BVI. There are no facilities for carrying out direct online searches for companies registered in the BVI but information can be be obtained from the Registry of Corporate Affairs by filling in a form and on payment of a fee. Select " International Search Request Form" at the bottom of the list of forms.

Alternatively, you could use a commercial search service such as BVI Company Searches at http://www.bvicompanysearches.com/

Information on filing and disclosure requirements for companies in the BVI are described in detail in the article Guiding You Through... Company Searches In The British Virgin Islands - Withers LLP - 03/04/2011. Note that "A company is not required to file its register of directors, register of members, register of charges or an annual return".

Canada

CBSC - Canada Business www.cbsc.org
This is the "Government service for entrepreneurs" and provides information on how to start up a business in Canada. Information is organised by province. For a searchable database of companies use the Strategis service at http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/.

Strategis: Canada's Business and Consumer site strategis.ic.gc.ca
This site hosts a searchable database of Canadian federal corporations. Search by corporate number, name, city, province, status, creation date. Available information includes name, previous names, status, address, names of directors, date of incorporation, when annual returns/summaries have been filed, amalgamations and subsidiaries/parents. Free of charge.

SEDAR www.sedar.com
System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval. The electronic filing system for the disclosure documents of public companies and mutual funds across Canada. Search by name, industry, document type and date. Free of charge.

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Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands Company Incorporation cayman.com.ky/formcmpy.htm
This page only provides information on how to incorporate in the Cayman Islands. There is no searchable database but contact details for the Registrar of Companies are given. The Registrar is allowed to release only the name and type of company, the date of registration, and the address of its registered office.

General Regsitry Cayman Islands www.ciregistry.gov.ky
The General Registry Cayman Islands enables you to order birth, marriage and death certificates and now has a company search option. To gain access to the company search you first have to register (free of charge). To view records you have to set up an account and deposit US$ 73.18, which is the cost of two company records. You can revisit the results of a search, free of charge, up to 24 hours after performing the search. Results include Company name, File number, Formation date, Registration date, Entity type, Registered Office, Status & Status date.

Curacao

Curacao Chamber of Commerce and Industry www.curacao-chamber.an
Free searchable registry of companies. Search by company name or registry number. Information on each company includes trade name, official name, registry number, address, legal form, date of incorporation, capital, directors.

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Jamaica

The Office of the Registrar of Companies, Jamaica www.orcjamaica.com
Free search by company name or business name. Company name, registration number, industry sector and status are displayed free of charge. There is a fee for searches using other criteria, for example director or shareholder name, and for viewing more detailed information on a company.

Mexico

Sistema de Informacion Empresarial Mexicano, SIEM www.siem.gob.mx
The National Business Information Registry is searchable online and provides contact details, date of incorporation, number of employees and some information on products and services. Free of charge. In Spanish only.

Panama

Registro Público de Panamá www.registro-publico.gob.pa
The Public Registry for incorporations of Companies and Foundations in Panama. There is a searchable online register but only in Spanish. Click on the white box "Consulta Registral", which is towards the bottom of the page, and you will then be taken to the register which currently at https://www.registro-publico.gob.pa/scripts/nwwisapi.dll/conweb/prinpage In Spanish only.

US

Incorporation is the responsibility of the State governments and detailed requirements vary according to State law. The amount of information available on a company also varies and, in some cases, you may find data to be virtually non-existent. Corporations whose shares are to be traded publicly have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and file their documents electronically with the SEC. If you are looking for information on non publicly traded companies, you will have to know where it is incorporated. The Knowx service (see below) is a useful way of tracking down the state of incorporation and you can also purchase information on the company.

U.S. State Corporations Databases libguides.rutgers.edu/content.php?pid=136604&sid=1171890
This is part of a Company Research list of resources provided by Rutgers Business Librarians Roberta Tipton and Ka-Neng Au.

SEC EDGAR Database www.sec.gov/edgarhp.htm
The official archive of SEC filings. Since May 1996 all SEC listed companies are required to file electronically. The information on this site is free and some data goes back to 1993.

US State Corporations Divisions

Alabama

Corporations Division - Alabama Secretary of State www.sos.state.al.us/vb/inquiry/inquiry.aspx?area=Corporations
Provides free access to public information maintained by the Secretary of State's office in electronic format. Information includes name, place of incorporation, date, agent, address, names of directors/members/partners.

Alaska

Alaska Division of Occupational Licensing www.commerce.state.ak.us/occ/
Free searchable database providing name, registered number, legal forma, status, date of creation, agent name and address, names and address of directors, officers, members and managers. There is also a list of reports and documents that have been filed and the more of these can be viewed as PDFs free of charge.

Arizona

Arizona Corporation Commission Corporations Division www.cc.state.az.us/corp/
Browsable list of corporations or you can search by name or number. Information includes address, agent, names and addresses of officers/directors, incorporation date, legal form. You can also view free of charge any scanned company documents that have been made available.

Arkansas

Arkansas Secretary of State: Business/ Commercial Services www.sosweb.state.ar.us/corps/
Information available includes name of corporation, filing number, type, status, address, agent and officers names. Free of charge.

California

California Secretary of State - Business Portal www.ss.ca.gov/business/business.htm
Search for Corporations and Limited Partnerships/Limited Liability Companies separately. Information available includes name, number, date filed, status, address, agent. Free of charge.

Colorado

Colorado Secretary of State www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/main.htm
Free searchable database providing name, ID number, agent name and address, status, form, formation date and filed documents as PDFs.

Connecticut

CT Secretary of the State www.sots.state.ct.us/CommercialRecording/CRDIndex.html
No searchable database available.

Delaware

Division of Corporations www.state.de.us/corp/default.shtml
You can search the database by following the Services - General Information link on the left hand side of the screen. Free information includes entity name, file number, incorporation/formation date, registered agent name, address, phone number and residency. Additional information may be available for a fee.

District of Columbia

Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs dcra.dc.gov/dcra/site/default.asp
Information and regulations on company formation in the District of Columbia. You can search the database of registered organizations at http://mblr.dc.gov/corp/lookup/index.asp. Information available includes name, status, registered agent, file number, initial date of registration and type of organization.

Florida

Division of Corporations - Florida Department of State www.sunbiz.org
Provides free of charge company name, status, address, FEI number, directors/officers name and address, agent. You can also view 'events' and 'name history' as well as documents such as annual reports as TIFF files.

Georgia

Georgia Secretary of State | Corporations Division www.sos.state.ga.us/corporations/
Database can be searched by company name or agent. Information includes name, address, status, legal form, filing date, when last annual return was filed, agent and corporate officers (corporations only). Free of charge.

Hawaii

eHawaii.gov - Connecting You to Hawai`i State Government pahoehoe.ehawaii.gov
Follow the 'Search for a Business Name' link. Information includes name, address, file number, legal form, status, formation date, agent, annual filing information, officer information, transaction information for example change of agent, address change. Free of charge.

Idaho

IDSOS Business Entity Index www.idsos.state.id.us/corp/corindex.htm
Search by business name, city, filing number, agent name, agent city, date of origination. Information provided includes name, filing number, legal form, status, address, agent, date of last annual report, amendments, for example name change. Documents and annual reports can be viewed as TIFF files. Free of charge.

Illinois

Business Services www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/home.html
Search by name or file number. Information includes name, file number, status, legal form, date of incorporation, filing date, agent, annual return filing date, officers names and addresses (corporations only).

Indiana

Secretary of State - Business Services Division www.in.gov/sos/business/
Free information includes name type, legal form, address, control number, status, entity creation date, entity expiration date (if applicable), entity inactive date (if applicable) and any other names. Additional information costs $ 1.00 to subscribers or $2.04 if you use a credit card and includes registered agent, principals, transactions made with the Secretary of State's office, and corporate report information.

Iowa

Iowa Secretary of State www.sos.state.ia.us
Search by name or corporation number. Information provided includes name, alternative names, number, status, address, date created, agent, officers names and addresses. You can also view documents such as articles of incorporation and biennial reports as TIFF files. Free of charge.

Kansas

Kansas Business Entity Search www.accesskansas.org/srv-corporations/index.do
Search by name, agent name, number, city and date. Information includes name, address, tax year end, date of incorporation, date of last annual report, agent, entity type, status. Free of charge.

Kentucky

Kentucky: Secretary of State - Overview www.sos.ky.gov/business/
Search by name or number. Information available includes name, type, status, filing date, date of last annual return, address, agent, officers, trading names, annual reports as TIFF or PDF. You can also search by officer name. Free of charge.

Louisiana

Louisiana Secretary of State/Corporations Database www.sec.state.la.us/crpinq.htm
search by business name, individual or charter number. Information provided includes name, type, charter number, status, date of filing of last report, address, date created, agent and officers names and addresses. Free of charge.

Maine

Maine Corporations Division icrs.informe.org/nei-sos-icrs/ICRS
Search by name or charter number. You can also restrict your search to a category such as limited partnership, bank corporation, local independent church. Free information includes name, charter number, business type, status, filing date, other names and agent.

Maryland

SDAT: Data Search www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/datanote.html
Search by name or ID. Information provided includes ID number, name, status, primary owner, address, amendments, agent, date of formation and filing dates. Free of charge.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Corporations Division www.sec.state.ma.us/cor/coridx.htm
Search by name, ID, directors or officers. Information provided includes name, ID number, entity type, date of registration, name changes, agent, officers/directors names and addresses. Recent documents such as annual reports can be viewed online as PDF files. Free of charge.

Michigan

DLEG-BCS-Corporation Division Database Lookup www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/sr_corp.asp
Search by name or ID number. Information provided includes name, ID number, type, agent, address, incorporation date, year of most recent annual report. Documents such as annual returns, articles of incorporation are available online as TIFF files. Free of charge.

Minnesota

Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State - Business Center www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=3
Search by name. Free information includes name, ID number, entity type, original date of filing, status, date of last annual return, address. Additional information costs $4 per record.

Mississippi

Business Services www.sos.state.ms.us/busserv/
Search by name, ID, officers or registered agent. Information includes name, charter number, type, status, address, creation date, agent, officers and directors. Filed documents are available as PDFs. Free of charge.

Missouri

SOS, Missouri - Business Services www.sos.mo.gov/business/
Search by name, charter number or agent. Information includes name, charter number, type, status, creation date and agent. Filed documents can be viewed as PDFs. Free of charge.

Montana

Business Entity Search - Montana Secretary of State app.mt.gov/bes/
Search by name. Information includes name, type, city, state, status, ID number, date of incorporation, date of filing of last annual return, agent. Free of charge.

Nebraska

Nebraska Secretary of State www.sos.state.ne.us/business/corp_serv/
Search by name. Free information includes name, number, type, status, address, agent, nature of business, officers names and addresses. Images of filed documents cost $0.45/page.

Nevada

Corporation Search - Secretary of State, Nevada esos.state.nv.us/SOSServices/AnonymousAccess/CorpSearch/CorpSearch.aspx
Search by name, number, officer name, or agent. Information includes name, number, agent, officers names and addresses and actions/amendments. Free of charge.

New Hampshire

Corporation Search www.sos.nh.gov/corporate/soskb/csearch.asp
Search by name, ID number or agent. Information includes name, type, ID number, status, date of creation, address, date of filing of last annual report, agent. You can also view a list of filed documents, the more recent of which are available as PDFs. Free of charge.

New Jersey

N.J. Department of Treasury - Division of Revenue, Business Services www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/dcr/dcrpg1.html
Search by name, ID number, or officer/director name. Name, ID number and type are free of charge. Additional information (Status Report) costs $5.00.

New Mexico

Corporations Information Inquiry www.nmprc.state.nm.us/corporations/corpsinquiry.htm
Search by corporation name or director. Information includes name, number, date of creation, type, status, purpose, filing date, address, agent, names of directors/officers. Free of charge.

New York

NYS Division of Corporations, State Records and UCC www.dos.ny.gov/corps/bus_entity_search.html
Search by name. Information includes name, initial filing date, county, type, status, address an agent. Free of charge.

North Carolina

Corporations Home www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/
Search by corporate name or registered agent. Information includes name, type, status, date formed, ID number and agent. Filed documents can be viewed as PDFs. Free of charge.

North Dakota

Business Records Search: North Dakota Secretary of State https://secure.apps.state.nd.us/sc/busnsrch/busnSearch.htm
Search by name or ID number. Information includes name, ID number, type, status, original filing date, nature of business, address, agent. Free of charge.

Ohio

Ohio Secretary of State www.sos.state.oh.us
Search by name, charter number, agent, document ID, prior business name or church name. Under the entity name search you can further limit your search by type, status, location, county or state. Information includes name, charter number, type, original filing date, status, location and agent. Free of charge.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma SoonerAccess Online Home Page https://www.sooneraccess.state.ok.us/home/home-default.asp
Search by name, agent, name of person (incorporator, partner, member or manager), or filing number. Name, filing number, type and agent are provided free of charge. There is a $5 charge for viewing entity details on one to three entities.

Oregon

Corporation Division www.filinginoregon.com
Search by name or registry number. Free information includes name, registry number, type, status, address, agent, officers, name history and list of filed documents. Copies of filings cost $5 each.

Pennsylvania

Corporations www.dos.state.pa.us/corps/site/default.asp
Search by entity number or name. Information includes name, ID number, type, address, filing date, purpose, corporate officers, and "instrument history". Free of charge.

Rhode Island

Secretary of State - Corporations Division Home Page www.sec.state.ri.us/corps/
Search by name, ID number, agent, officer, purpose or street address. Information includes name, ID number, type, status, purpose, SIC code, file date, last report date, address, agent, officers and event history. Annual Reports can be viewed as TIF files. Free of charge.

South Carolina

South Carolina Secretary of State www.scsos.com
Search by name. Information includes name, type, status, agent and a list of filings. Free of charge.

South Dakota

Corporations Administrator www.sdsos.gov/corporations/
Search by name or ID number. Information includes name, ID number, date of incorporation, last annual report, type, agent, directors/officers names. Free of charge.

Tennessee

Business Services - Corporations www.state.tn.us/sos/bus_svc/corporations.htm
Information includes name, ID number, type, status, date of formation, address, agent, business filing history.

Texas

Corporations Section www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/index.shtml
You must have an account to access the SOSDirect service. You can apparently login as a temporary user and pay for information and documents with a credit card. However, the registration form will not accept non-US addresses.

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Taxable Entity Search ecpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/Index.html
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Taxable Entity Search has basic business entity information including name, status, location, agent, file number, SOS (Secretary of State) registration date, and taxpayer ID.  You can search by file number, tax ID or entity name. The information is free of charge.

Utah

Utah Department of Commerce www.commerce.state.ut.us
Search by name or entity number. Free information includes name, type, status, address, registration date and agent. Additional information on principal individuals associated with the entity costs $1.

Vermont

Vermont Secretary of State - Corporations www.sec.state.vt.us/corps/corpindex.htm
Search by name. Information includes name, status, file number, incorporation date, agent, officers names and description. Free of charge.

Virginia

Virginia State Corporation Commission - Office of the Clerk www.scc.virginia.gov/division/clk/diracc.htm
This service is not very easy to use and the screens can be confusing. The information available includes name, entity ID number, status, agent and officers names. Free of charge.

Washington

Department of Revenue dor.wa.gov/content/home/
Search by business or owner name and town, or by tax registration number. Information includes name, trading name, registration number, city, status, address, type. Free of charge.

West Virginia

West Virginia Secretary of State www.wvsos.com
Search by name. Information includes name, type, date of incorporation, addresses, officers, name change information, mergers, subsidiaries and a list of filed annual reports. Free of charge.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin On-Line Business Services www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/wisconsin_online_business_services.html

Wyoming

Wyoming Secretary of State Corporations soswy.state.wy.us/corporat/corporat.htm
Search by name. Information includes name, ID number, type, status, address, initial filing date, agent, officers and directors. You can also download the entire corporations data file. Free of charge.

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Africa

South Africa

South African Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office www.cipro.gov.za/Home/
Database of private and public companies searchable by name. Free information includes name, registration number, registration date, business start date, type of company, status history, current status, SIC, address and contact details.

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