I recently challenged a publishing company claiming to be a(n) LLC to show us their articles of incorporation, daring them to prove that they exist as a legal LLC. Researching the topic today, I come across these definitions and answers.
This is the definition of a LLC:
A limited liability company (LLC) is a flexible form of enterprise that blends elements of partnership and corporate structures. An LLC is not a corporation; it is a legal form of company that provides limited liability to its owners in the vast majority of United States jurisdictions.
Regarding those articles of incorporation, I also found this:
File the Articles of Organization. The “articles of organization” is a simple document that legitimizes your LLC and includes information like your business name, address, and the names of its members. Specifically, a West Virginia limited partnership is formed by filing a certificate of registration with the Secretary of State. So, while a(n) LLC isn’t technically the same as a corporation, there are still public records you can find. That you, as a consumer or potential client, MUST be able to find if a business is legally formed.
There’s a searchable database for businesses in West Virginia on the Secretary of State’s website. You can search for not only the business, but the name of any owner or partner associated with a business in West Virginia. Feel free to check it out for yourself, HERE.
Also of note: One million dollars of insurance, which covers the partners and the partnership, must be carried at all times by a(n) LLC in West Virginia. If it’s not, the business in question is in direct violation of state code.
Conversely, there’s a taxable entity search database for Texas. You can search for the business, as well as the name of a business owner.
So when it comes to LLC partnerships, there’s nowhere to hide. They exist or they don’t.
It’s simple, folks. If you can’t find any public trace of any company that claims to be a(n) LLC, it DOESN’T EXIST. And, even better, if a company is claiming to be a(n) LLC when it actually isn’t, that’s not just a bogus company, it’s also false advertising.
Run, don’t walk, the other way.