LLC property ownership is very commonplace in commercial real estate, and is used to protect the true owner of a property or business.
Good for owners, bad for commercial real estate professionals…
For the majority of CRE professionals, Limited Liability Companies, or LLCs, mostly serve as a stonewall to direct contact with decision-makers.
So then, how do you find LLC owners on an individual level?
In this article, we’re going to show you.
How to Find LLC Owners
First, let’s define and clarify a few things…
What is an LLC?
An LLC is a legal entity that protects an owner’s personal assets in the event of a lawsuit or other legal issues.
LLC owners are not personally liable for the debts and dues attached to the company itself.
An LLC can be used to run a business or to hold assets—i.e. commercial real estate.
For clarity, you cannot create a Limited Liability Corporation. An LLC is a company, formed and managed by its owner.
LLC vs. Corporation
An LLC is not a corporation in and of itself; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners in many jurisdictions.
LLCs are well-known for the flexibility that they provide to business owners.
Depending on the situation, an LLC may elect to use corporate tax rules instead of being treated as a partnership, and, under certain circumstances, LLCs may be organized as not-for-profit.
Some differences between LLCs and Corporations:
- LLCs don’t have to elect a board of directors; Corporations do.
- LLCs don’t need to hold board meetings; Corporations do.
- LLCs don’t have to keep records of all their meetings; Corporations do.
- LLCs are not subject to double taxation; Corporations are.
- LLCs can distribute profits however they want; Corporations can’t.
In short, LLCs are the most popular and the most flexible business structure for business owners, entrepreneurs and real estate investors.
But, for those looking to conduct business with commercial owners and assets, LLCs act as a wall to true ownership access.
The ability to uncover those owners is immensely powerful, saving CRE professionals hours of research each week.
LLC vs. Partnership
A business partnership is legally different than an LLC.
LLCs generally offer more flexibility. States can govern the structure of a partnership.
The biggest difference is that a partnership does not offer its members any liability protection on personal assets. An injury claim for a business owner, for example, could end up falling on them as opposed to the company itself.
When it comes to LLCs, owners are also called members.
If an LLC is owned by an individual, it is a single-member LLC. If it is owned by two or more people, then it is a multi-member LLC.
The fact is, what a member actually does can vary from each LLC to the next. The frequent titles you’ll see attached to LLC members, however, are:
You’ll often see variations of these titles, like “managing director,” or “managing member,” which simply serve as a more direct indication of someone as a decision-maker.
So then, after all of this, how exactly does one find the managing members of an LLC?
Finding LLC Owners and Contact Details
As a professional involved with land, multi family, or any other commercial asset type, it’s important to be able to connect with the decision makers behind a property.
Access to that kind of data can open up a new world of business.
It helps you better understand individual owners as prospects, but also creates the opportunity for you to make your pitch directly to them.
It also creates an ability for you to close off-market deals.
You can approach an owner off-market with knowledge of:
- What and where their assets are.
- The different LLCs they are apart of.
- If they own any properties on their own.
Approaching off-market deals with knowledge of an owner’s portfolio will heighten your chance of interacting, and eventually working with them.
Even if you’re technically cold calling them, it can still make those calls much warmer.
Reonomy LLC Owner Search
With the Reonomy Platform, you can quickly find LLC members and owners by searching for a property by owner name, or by the name of the LLC.
If you’re unfamiliar with the name of an LLC but know the property they own, or simply want to find entirely new LLC owner prospects, you can run a property owner search from scratch.
To search Reonomy for a specific LLC name, you can visit the Ownership tab of the search platform.
In the tab, there is an “Owner of record” search option, where you can search for the reported owning entity of a commercial property—the LLC.
By entering the name of an LLC, you’ll be given a list of all the properties that have ownership that is associated with that company.
Accessing Owner Details
In your list of properties, you can click into any individual property profile page, and again visit the Ownership tab.
Here, you’ll see the reported owner of the property, which is where you should see the name of your target LLC.
Piercing the LLC to Get Contact Information
From there, you can click to see the members of that owning entity.
You’ll be able to see the phone numbers, email and mailing addresses of those individuals, along with their role in the LLC.
Not only can you uncover the true owner of an LLC, but you also have the potential to then run a property search using the owner name you’ve discovered.
You can see their full portfolio, and see the properties that they own under the guise of a different LLC, then even see all the properties owned by that LLC.
Export Contact Information in Bulk
If you’ve found a variety of properties that you’d like to find owner contact information for, you can export a list of properties in bulk (as a CSV) along with owner contact information.
Let’s say you run an LLC owner search for “123 Property Owner LLC,” and Reonomy returns a list of 16 properties associated with that entity.
Instead of going through each property individually to access its ownership, you can simply export your full list to dive in further, and, if you choose, integrate that list into your existing workflow.
Finding LLC Owners with Public Records
Aside from Reonomy, searches can be conducted through public records, as well.
You can find property deeds and other documents from the county recorder/county clerk’s office—they aren’t likely to have any information beyond the reported owner of a property, however.
In conjunction with the Secretary of State, many states have business search platforms that allow you to learn about specific companies.
Usually, you’ll have to know individual LLC names or owner names in connection with the building you want to search.
So, in the case of identifying a new owner, you may have to use a variety of public records sources to first find the recorded owner, then research them more heavily as a business.
In some instances, you may encounter an LLC with members that are LLCs.
At that point, you’d need to run additional searches on the member LLCs to learn the names of individual owners.
Not only do you have to know how to search in your area, but if you are looking to expand business, different states provide the LLC registration information in various formats that dictate the amount of detail you can generate online.
Some states, such as Ohio, provide a minimum of information – the LLC name, registered address and status, and new LLC registrations.
Other states include the name of the registered agent and addresses.
Further, some states do not have an online search option or do not provide you with the type of information you need, leaving you needing to file a public records request with the appropriate office.
While these sources are usually free (or close to it), when looking to pierce the LLC and find the true owners of a property, you always need to consider what your time is worth.
Reonomy eliminates all of those steps and allows you to identify the building you are interested in, the LLC and the owner – as well as their email, phone number and mailing address – all in one step.