business and corporation records
California Department of Corporations Securities Records
Companies that issue securities or stock in California must file with the California Department of Corporations.
These are not companies traded on public stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ. Rather they are private companies, often partnerships or small businesses, that have issued securities that other people or companies may purchase in private transactions.
The companies issuing the securities have to file documents with the Department of Corporations describing the securities they've issued.
The Department of Corporations also regulates and keeps files on securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers and financial planners.
The Department of Corporations has an alphabetical index of all businesses in the state that have issued some form of stock or securities and filed documents related to the issuance.
In a file, (which sometimes is just a single sheet of paper), will be a listing of the company, its address, and the value of the securities being issued.
In some cases the file may only be a letter of exemption in which the company is stating it does not have to file the disclosure documents about its stock issuance.
In other cases there may be more documents in the file, including more detailed information on the company, correspondence about the company with the Department of Corporations, or letters of complaint to the Department of Corporations concerning the company. In rare cases there may be information about the people or companies to whom the securities have been issued.
Accessing Department of Corporation Files
You can review corporation filings in person at the California Department of Corporations. The Department of Corporations has offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego.
You should call a California Department of Corporations office first to make sure the file for the company in which you are interested is located at that office. You can request to have the file transferred to that office, but it could take a week or so for it to be delivered.
For more information on the Department of Corporations, go to: