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How to find out who owns a business

(© Drobot Dean –

There are many reasons why someone wants to know who owns a business: from the consolidation of B2B prospects to the growth of a business network and even potential litigation. Regardless of your reasons, if you are trying to get a business owner’s name, you may run into several brick walls. Business owners have a keen interest in privacy protection, and they won’t display their identities easily, so if you want their names, you have to know where to look for them. Here are some tips to get you started.

Start Simple and Professional

Internet searches, if you don’t have many leads, can turn into never-ending foxholes. You may click links for hours and still get nowhere. This is why we recommend you start with a professional service to get a business background search. You can also use them for reverse phone or address lookups. Their technology and expertise allow them to browse thousands of websites in very little time. In return, you get a straightforward report, without duplicate and/or irrelevant information. Even if you don’t get the name right away, you’ll get important leads to continue your search. To choose a reputable service, especially if it’s your first time, visit a review site like

Other Internet Resources

Once you have some basic data, you can continue your search using other sources. Use search engines if you have specific search terms, such as the name of the person who registered the address or telephone number. To keep things in order, start a spreadsheet and organize it into categories.

The next step is social media. Most companies have social media accounts to promote their business or products. Also, you can search using #hashtags. Hashtags categorize mentions of specific terms and show you all the accounts using such terms. LinkedIn, as the biggest professional network, may offer a lot of valuable insights. Look for names of people writing articles or press releases for the company, as well as people linked to the company profile.

Finally, search for WHOis registration for the company’s website. Usually, business owners also want to maintain ownership of their domain names as they rapidly become intellectual property assets. Know that some owners will pay to keep their information private, but the search is very easy and well worth your time.

Your Own Network

If you are a LinkedIn member, you can search for the company’s name and find out if any of the people within your network is connected to them. If you are in a similar business, chances are, some of your contractors, clients, or suppliers have a connection to the company that you are interested in. Lastly, you may be surprised by the power of personal networks, such as parents in your kid’s school, or members of your country club. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask.

Local Authorities

In order to establish a business, owners must go through licensing and regulatory agencies. You can make a formal request for a business owner’s name through some regulating bodies. Some others will allow you to look at business documents as some information is public. You must be aware that, in most cases, businesses will be notified about any searches or requests for information from third parties.

Search Professional Associations

Most established businesses are members of professional associations. You can try a simple search through their online directories, or give them a call and ask for specific business contact details. Because professional associations are also supposed to work for networking purposes, not all their member’s information remains private.

Be Aware of Legal Restrictions

While there are no laws that restrict you from looking for a business owner’s name, there are laws that protect privacy. Always remain on the safe side, and never use any service or company that offers information using illegal techniques.  If you have doubts about the legality of your searches, always consult with a professional attorney. Remember that privacy violations are considered crimes in some states, and you can find yourself in the middle of an ugly litigation process.

Finding the name of a business owner may be complicated, but not impossible. In a society permeated by technology, information is an asset and one that’s available to anyone who knows how to search. A final recommendation is to always double-check your data and try to contrast your sources. Information may be outdated, misleading, or false.

augusta free press
augusta free press