Searching the Corporate Database
If you are using the Corporate Database for the first time, we’d like to provide you with basic search criteria information. A quick read through this section will give you an understanding of the system and the types of results you will receive.
There are eight different searches to choose from:
- Entity name
- Individual’s name
- Identification number
- Filing number
- Agent’s name
- Business address
- NAICS code
Search Options (active or inactive)
- Active: The Corporation Information Management System (CIMS) holds all active entity records, names of registered non-resident landlords and other miscellaneous filings. The CIMS also holds the records of entities whose certificates of incorporation/formation/authority have been revoked for less than one year.
- Inactive: The Inactive Database holds all inactive entity records, including cancelled non-resident landlord registrations, and other inactive miscellaneous filings.
This type of search requires the exact beginning part of the name to be entered.
EXAMPLE: AB will return results that include “Able” and “Abbot.”
This type of search requires the exact name to be entered. The system will return all records that ‘exactly’ match the entered search criteria.
The exact match search does not ignore entity endings (Corporation, Corp., Limited Liability Company or LLC) or punctuation. Results are based upon the exact entity name that is entered.
EXAMPLE: CUSTOM DESIGN INC will return “CUSTOM DESIGN INC” not “Custom Design Co”, Custom Design, Inc.” or “Custom Design, LLC.”
This type of search will return all records that contain any portion of the words that were entered in the search criteria. With this method, you can use AND and OR when searching with multiple words. You can also search using partial words by using a wildcard of *.
EXAMPLE: If you are searching for all entities that contain any variation of the words “CUSTOM” and “DESIGN” the criteria would be “cust*” and “des*.”
This type of search will return all records that ‘sound like’ the words entered in the search criteria.
EXAMPLE: The search term “four” will also return results that include the terms “far,” “fair,” “fire,” and “fore.”
This type of search will return records for entites that are currently inactive. The name search is limited to “begins with.”
This type of search is only available in the “Search by Agent” section. This type of search requires you to enter a last name or a portion of a name that is at least 2 letters.
You Should Know
- The active database is the default search option unless you select the “inactive” status button
- The Identification Number, Individual Name, Filing Number, Agent, Business Address, Purpose and NAICS Code searches will return search results from both the active and inactive databases.
To Begin Searching
- Click on the option button next to the search that you would like to conduct.
- Click the drop-down (when available) to identify the type of search you would like to run.
Minimum Search Criteria
- Entity Name - You must enter at least the first two letters of the entity that you want to find. The default search type is “begins with.” Click the drop-down menu in the search type box to change the type of search. All search types are described above.
- Individual’s Name – You must enter at least the first two letters of an individual’s last name; however, you do not need to type the entire name. Refining your search criteria will yield a more specific result. If you would like to limit the search, you may also include “First Name” and “Middle Name”. The default search type is “begins with.” Click the drop-down menu in the search type box to change the type of search. All search types are described above.
- Identification Number – If you know the exact Identification Number of the entity that you are looking to find, you can enter the Identification Number. The identification number is 9 digits long. If the ID number is less than 9 digits long then zeros must be added at the beginning of the number in order to satisfy this requirement.
- Filing Number – Each individual filing is assigned a unique 12 digit filing number when recorded in this office. The exact filing number must be entered in the search field in order to access the specific detail and image.
- Agent’s Name – It is suggested that you enter the agent’s full name (individual or organization name) in the “begins with” search. The default search type is “begins with.” The “begins with” search does require an exact match. EXAMPLE: John Smith will not return results for John F. Smith. If searching for just a last name or portion of a name then the “contains” search will prove beneficial. Click the drop-down menu in the search type box to change the type of search. Search types are limited to “begins with” and “contains.”
- Business Address – You must enter at least the first two letters or numbers of the business address you want to find. The more specific you are in your search criteria the more likely it is that your return results will contain what you want to find.
- Purpose – You must enter at least the first two letters of the purpose you want to find. The more specific you are in your search criteria the more likely it is that you return results containing what you want to find. Wild cards are built in so that you may enter part of a word and return more results. EXAMPLE: If you are searching for anything to do with manufacturing typing in “manufact” will yield all entities that listed manufacture, manufacturing, manufactured or manufacturer in their purpose.
- NAICS code – North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is a 6-digit number that identifies the specific business conducted by an entity. Click here for a full list of NAICS codes or use the link provided within the public search page.
- When conducting a name availability search, DO NOT use the Inactive Database.
- All searches are case insensitive. This means that you may type your search criteria in lower case letters, capital letters or both.
- Search results are displayed in alphabetical (ascending) order by name.
- If you are searching for a word that may also be abbreviated, such as St. for Saint or RI for Rhode Island, please be sure to perform a search with both spellings. The search function cannot determine that St. may also mean Saint. The same is true for Jr. and junior, Sr. and senior, etc. A company with the name Saint John's Signs may be found only in a search for St. Johns Signs.
- Punctuation will not change your search results. Smith, Jones and Water’s will also return Smith Jones and Waters.
- The search function ignores the word "The" when it is at the beginning of an entity name. The results will be the same whether you chose to include or exclude the word "The" in your “begins with” search criteria.