April 20, 2014
How to Locate a Person or Business

Locating a Person

If you can't find the person you wanted to sue or who owes you money, you may find the following information helpful in locating them.

If the person has moved, address a letter to him at his last known address. Several spaces below your return address, write, "Address Correction Requested. Do not Forward". The letter will be returned to you with the new address, if one is on file.

If the person you are seeking owns property, a search of the tax rolls could help you find his home or business address. The tax rolls in the Assessor's office list the names and addresses of property owners in the County by both the owner's name and by the address of the property. Locations of Assessor's offices are listed in the telephone directory under "County Government Offices." In San Mateo County the Assessor's Office phone number is (650) 363-4500. They are located at:

555 County Center
Redwood City, CA

The County Register-Recorder's Office maintains a listing of property owners by name and lists the location of the property owned. Register-Recorder's locations are listed in the telephone directory under "County Government Offices". In San Mateo County the Recorder's Office phone number is (650) 363-4713. They are located at:

555 County Center
Redwood City, CA

If the only information you have concerning the other party is a telephone number, and the number is one that is listed, the Reverse Directory will provide the address. The Reverse Directories can be found at the main library.

Locating a Business

If the only address you have is a post office box, you can request the name, address and phone number of the holder of a post office box that is used for business purposes from the post office. Bring proof that the box is used for business purposes.

If the only information you have concerning the other party is a telephone number, and the number is one that is listed, the Reverse Directory will provide the address. The Reverse Directories can be found at the main library.

You may also find the following useful:

Corporations

The Secretary of State's office maintains a record of the names and addresses of the officers of corporations and their agents for service. The agent for service or a corporate officer can be served with the claim in a small claims action. The fee is $4.00 for an uncertified copy and $10.00 for a certified copy per name requested. Write a letter requesting the most recent Statement of Officers on file with the Secretary of State. Submit your written request along with your check or money order, payable to the Secretary of State, for the appropriate amount. Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of your information. Send to:

Secretary of State-Corporate Status Unit
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 657-5448 (recorded message)

You may now obtain the name of a corporation's Agent for Service of Process on line at www.sos.ca.gov/business/be.

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships

The County Clerk's office maintains a listing of fictitious business statements. The statement lists the names and addresses of the owners of businesses operating under a name different from the owners. Check the printout (or computer) for a listing of the business. Copy the certificate number to the left of the listing and ask the clerk to assist you in finding the certificate in the files. The certificate contains the owner's name and address. For information by mail, send a stamped self addressed envelope and a check or money order, payable to the County of San Mateo. The research fee is $5.00 for each business per year. The County Clerk's office phone number is (650) 363-4712. They are located at:

555 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063

The City Clerk's office, tax and permit division, maintains a list of the names and addresses of most persons licensed to do business in a city.

Limited Partnerships

For Limited Partnership information contact Secretary of State Limited Partnership Status Unit at (916) 653-3365

Give the name of the company. Ask for the following information:

  1. Full name address of the limited partnership
  2. Name and address of the General or Managing Partner
  3. Name and address of the Agent for Service.

For more information, send a written request to:

Secretary of State Limited Partnership Status Unit
1500 11th St. Room 345
Sacramento, CA 95814

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