You can perform a Wisconsin business entity search to get access to information on record with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). The available information includes the legal name of the entity, effective date of initial registration, type of the entity (corporation, LP, LLC, etc), DFI entity ID number, the current status of the entity, information about the registered agent, and more. You'll be able to get the year indicator of the most recently filed annual report, and access document filing history.
From the DFI website, you can also access the Name Availability search you can use to see if there are any records that might conflict with the name you’ve searched for availability. However, you should keep in mind that even though it appears there’s no conflict, final determination will be made by the DFI once the document has been received, examined, and filed.
Since we've got a lot to cover, let's start with the Washington business entity search!
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Search Corporate Records by Entity Name
To access the Wisconsin Corporate Records Search, click on this link. You can use this link to search corporate records by entity name.
Click on the search bar and type the keywords you want to look up. Click on the Search Records button below.
You’ll see the ID number, name, type, registered effective date, status and status date for business entities that match your search criteria. If there are too many search results, you won’t be able to see all of them.
If there are no records, you’ll see the following message “Sorry, your search returned no records”. You should first check for misspellings, and if the spelling is ok, you can try using fewer words or adding another word if you were using just letters or initials. If nothing gives expected results, you should try advanced search.
To access additional information about an entity, click on its name. On this page, you’ll see a period of existence, addresses (registered agent office and principal office), and historical information.
Search Corporate Records by DFI Entity ID Number
You can also search business entities by DFI entity ID number. The ID number consists of one alpha character (A) and six numeric characters (#). The number will be in one of the two formats – either A###### or #A#####. Since the ID number is unique, there’ll be either one or none search results, depending on whether the number belongs to an entity or not.
If the basic search doesn’t give expected results, you can try Advanced Search by clicking on this link.
Click on the search box and enter the words you want to search for. Select whether you’re looking for the exact phrase, names that use all of the words or start with the words entered.
You can search in the names of business entities or registered agents. Select the entity status (in existence, no longer in existence, or both) and names (current, old, or both). You can also select one or more available entity types, and enter the dates in between you think the registration date was. Click on the Search Records button below.
Review the search results you’ve got. Click on the hyperlinked entity name for more details or refine your search criteria to get different results. When searching for the registered agent, only the current names are searched. You can try variations of a name to get different search results. Pay special attention to individual surnames that are compounded with prefixes (try with and without spaces and apostrophes).
Name Availability Search
To check whether the business name you’ve chosen is available for you to use when forming a new business entity in Wisconsin, click on this link.
Click on the search bar and type the name you’d want to use. Click on the Search Records button below.
If the name is available, the following message will appear “No records appear to conflict with the name you entered”.
Otherwise, you’ll be notified that “The record(s) in the search results below appear to conflict with the name you entered for availability”. You’ll see the entity ID, name, type, registered effective date, and status and status date. For additional information, click on the entity name.
Wisconsin Business Entity Search Recap
Once you’ve read this Wisconsin business entity search guide, you’ll definitely know everything you need to know about both basic and advanced search methods. Use one of these two search methods to find a certain business entity and access the available information. The basic information you’ll obtain from the search records includes:
- DFI Entity ID Number
- Name of the Entity
- Type of the Entity
- Registered Effective Date
- Status and Status Date
Once you click on the name of the entity, you’ll access additional information, including:
- Vital Statistics (all the basic information, plus the period of existence and annual report requirements)
- Addresses (Registered Agent Office and Principal Office)
- Historical Information (Annual Reports, Certificates of Newly-elected Officers/Directors, Old Names, and Chronology)
From this page, you can also file an annual report or registered agent/office update form. You can request a Certificate of Status but please note that there’ll be a processing fee of $10. If ordering a document copy, you’ll need an email address and one of the available payment methods.
If you cannot find the business entity you're looking for it might be possible that it's not on record. Only the entities in existence on or created after 01/01/1977 are on record with the state of Wisconsin.
If you’re thinking about forming a business entity, you should use the Wisconsin name availability search to find out whether the name is available for you to use or not. If the name is available, you can start the registration process by yourself, or you can hire one of the available LLC formation services, such as ZenBusiness to do everything for you.