Greetings! Dave here from AFX Search, your go-to source for licensed investigators. In today’s video, we’ll delve into the intriguing realm of searching corporate records. Whether you’re on the hunt for information on individuals or eager to uncover the activities corporations are undertaking, we’ve got you covered.

1. The Starting Point: Secretary of State Records

The genesis of corporate records lies with the Secretary of State, the birthplace of corporations. To embark on your quest, focus on the state where the corporation is domiciled. Now, there are two primary avenues for this exploration:

  • Online Search: The convenience of online searches can’t be denied. It allows you to retrieve basic information such as corporate name, address, formation date, and possibly a corporate number. However, don’t halt your quest here, as online data may lack the depth of official records.
  • Paper Documents: For a more comprehensive understanding, delve into the corporate documents available in physical form. These documents, signed by the owners during the creation of the corporation, offer a wealth of robust information. Line by line, these documents can unveil prior addresses, corporate officers, and registered agent details that might be missing from the online records.

2. Differentiating Paper Owners from Beneficial Owners

While the paper owners are documented in official records, the true power often lies with the beneficial owners—those who actually run the company and reap financial benefits. To unearth this critical information:

  • UCC Filings: Examine UCC filings to identify individuals signing the UCC one document for asset securitization. These individuals may be the actual beneficiaries of the corporation.
  • Business Loans and Mortgages: Co-signers or corporate guarantees on loans and mortgages can provide insights into individuals benefiting from the corporation.
  • Operating Agreements: Check for filed operating agreements, as they may reveal managers who, even if not corporate officers, could be beneficial owners.

3. Exploring Historical Documents and Unofficial Records

To create a holistic picture of the corporation and its evolution, consider the following:

  • Filing Notices: Examine how the corporation was originally constituted. Historical records may hold valuable information about the company’s past officers, registered agents, and addresses.
  • Offline or Unofficial Records: Explore sources like the company’s website, WHOIS information, phone numbers, and email traces. These unofficial channels may provide additional context, especially when piercing the corporate veil is on the agenda.

4. Piercing the Corporate Veil: Legal Considerations

If your intention is to pierce the corporate veil, seeking liability for individuals, obtaining legal advice is paramount. Understanding how the corporation operates as a shell for individual needs can guide your strategy.

Connect with AFX Search for Expert Guidance

For more insights into navigating corporate records or deciphering their implications, don’t hesitate to reach out. Visit our website at, and our team will be delighted to assist you in unraveling the mysteries hidden within corporate documents.