Tennessee makes it relatively simple to look up business information through 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 Know Your Client (KYC) purposes. If you’re only performing these kinds of searches occasionally, Tennessee’s search portal allows you to find the information you’re looking for 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 can find the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Business Information Search page here. The landing page looks like this:
The search interface is very basic. You can only search by the company name or the Control Number (the unique identifier assigned to every corporation, limited liability company, and limited partnership formed or qualified in Tennessee). You can choose to search for results that begin with or contain your search term, and you can also choose to limit results to active companies only. Beyond this, the search page offers no advanced search options at all, meaning that a search may return many irrelevant results. There is a captcha, but there are no ‘click the picture’ logic tests prior to conducting a search.
When you perform the search, you’ll be directed to the results page, which looks like this:
The results are sorted by company name in alphabetical order. You cannot reverse the default order, or sort by another field.
On the results page, for each of the businesses listed, you can view the Control number, the Entity Type (the legal structure of the business), the name, name type (the entity name or an assumed name), and name status (active or inactive, and the reason if inactive), the filing date, and the status of the company (active or inactive).
Clicking on any of the records will bring you to the Business Entity Detail page for that business. (Periodically you may encounter another captcha test.) Those pages look like this:
Here you can view more detailed information about the business, including names of the principals and Registered Agents, mailing and location addresses, important dates like the original filing and when their Annual Report is due, the state in which they were formed, and more.
Across the bottom, there are three tabs which will display Assumed Names (if there are any), the History (a list of documents filed by the business), and the name and contact information for the Registered Agent.
Clicking the ‘Printer Friendly Version’ button at the top of the page will trigger a download request, and the PDF document has all of this – including the document history – on one page.
Need More Information, More Quickly?
Tennessee offers a reasonable amount of business information at no cost, but the search functionality 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 Tennessee 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.