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I am trying to find the real owners of a Texas LLC. The SOS will only give a member's name.

Lewisville, TX |

The current member listed is dead and it seems the real owners of the company have hidden there names due to some type of other legal issues. How do I find the real owners names?

Attorney Answers 3


There are alternative ways to the SOS to find out the owners of an LLC. Sometimes however, members will take extra precautions to shelter their identity. In those cases, you could need the court's intervention to find the information you are looking for. In order to get to that point, you first have to have a legitimate need, right or reason to find out the owners of an LLC. Curiosity alone is not going to satisfy this requirement.

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There's a reason why some companies are called "privately owned." It's because the information about owners is kept private. Most states don't even have that information in their databases, nevertheless make it public.

Depending on your reason for wanting to know, you might just write to the company and ask. My guess is that wouldn't work, but you might get in touch with someone who could relay information to the owners.

Private investigators can sometimes dig up the information, but not if the owners have been careful. But it might be worth a try. Otherwise, you're stuck with the courts.

You don't tug on Superman's cape; you don't spit into the wind; you don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger; And you don't get legal advice from a free Q&A page on the Internet. The above is a general statement of the law or just my opinion. I am not saying whether it applies to your situation or not because I don't know the details and you’ve not hired me as your attorney.

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I assume that because you stated that the Secretary of State provided you with the member's name only, you are phoning into the TX SOS's office for information rather than searching for the information through the SOS's online system. If you search for the LLC online using the Texas Secretary of State's "SOS Direct" system (small fee applies and account required), you would likely have access to a great deal more information than is provided by phoning the SOS. For example, SOS Direct can provide officer names, previous member/manager names (depending on the type of LLC - member-run v. manager-run), and annual information filings required by the TX Comptroller.

Another option is to search for the LLC using the Texas State Comptroller's Taxable Entity Search. This is a less well-known Texas business entity search engine and is free to use. I actually wrote a blog post on this recently that contains further information on the subject. Please click the link below for more discussion on that topic and a link to the search engine:

As all Texas filing entities are required to update information on the officers and governing authority of the LLC each year along with their annual franchise tax filing, you will likely have the information you are looking for at some point - it just might not be right away. Once these documents are filed with the Comptroller and processed, the updated information will appear online in both the SOS system and the Comptroller's search engine.

Finally, you could try searching the assumed name certificate filings (often referred to as "DBA filings") in your county. If the LLC ever operated under any assumed names, you may be able to find information on who registered the assumed name at your local county clerk's office.

The list above is certainly not exhaustive, but it should give you a few pointers on other places where you might be able to locate the information you seek. If you have a dispute or other legal issue related to the LLC, please sit down with an attorney to discuss your situation before taking any action on your own.

Best of luck!

The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice. Additionally, nothing in this post may be construed to create an attorney-client relationship between the attorneys at Walters Dunn and any other person.

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