The state of Minnesota makes it relatively simple to look up business information via the website of the Secretary of State. Below we’ll walk through the steps for doing this, and show you some additional resources you might not know about.
There are any number of reasons you might need this information. It’s absolutely critical when performing due diligence and for Know Your Client (KYC) purposes. If you’re only performing these kinds of searches occasionally, Minnesota’s search portal allows you to find the information you’re looking for fairly quickly and easily. If you’re searching records like these in high numbers, there are some tools you’ll want to know about, but we’ll come back to that in just a moment.
You’ll find Minnesota’s Secretary of State Business Filings search portal here. The clean and contemporary landing page looks like this:
Although few in number, the most useful filters for limiting your search results are available right from the search page. You can limit your search to results that ‘begin with’ or ‘contain’ the search term you’ve entered. You can choose to see only active companies, or inactive as well. And, you can choose to include or exclude companies for which your search term was a prior name. If you know it, you can also search by the state’s File Number by clicking that tab above the search bar.
Once you’ve chosen your options and entered your search term, performing the search takes you to the results page.
This page displays all matching results for your search, up to a maximum of 500 (in which case you’ll be asked to refine your search). The results are sorted alphabetically by the business name, and you can’t reverse the sort order, or sort by any other field.
The results page shows only limited information for each record: the status of the business (active versus inactive), the business name, and the type of name it is (current or prior).
Clicking on the ‘Details’ link brings you to the Business Record Details page. There are a few options towards the bottom of the page; the top of the page with the baseline business information looks like this:
This screen offers a lot more information than the results page. Here, you can see the name and address of Executives of the business and the Registered Agents, the initial filing date and the next renewal date, and the home jurisdiction (the state in which the business was formed).
Scrolling down further on the same page brings you to the Filing History.
Using the checkboxes, you can order copies of the filing documents if required (for a fee). There is no option to preview or download copies of the documents otherwise.
Clicking ‘Renewal History’ displays the dates at which the business’s annual renewal was filed, like so:
Need More Information, More Quickly?
Minnesota offers relatively basic business information at no cost, and the search functionality – while easy to use for individual inquiries – is limited. If you need to search for hundreds – or even thousands – of these records each month, this would quickly consume a lot of time. Furthermore, Secretary of State data is different from one state to another, so combining and integrating data from multiple states is complex.
Cobalt Intelligence gives you the ability to quickly access Secretary of State business data from Minnesota and all other states via API. If you’re looking for a solution that your engineering team can implement, try it here and let us show you how we can help. If you’re technically minded, watch this short video to see the more advanced features in action.