Finding a Person or Business
How to find a person or business you are suing.
Finding a Person or Business
Court forms are available at California Courts – Forms. Select “Small Claims” from the pull down menu. Forms are also available at the Court Clerk’s office. Completed Sample Forms are available here. Starting September 2, 2021 all litigants in Small Claims Court can appear virtually or telephonically for FREE. Read the details from the court here.
You need to find the person or business you are suing in order to serve them. You also need to find the person or business if you win your court case and want to collect money.
The court will not find the person or business you are suing for you. Read on to find out different ways to find a person or business.
How can I find a person?
Directory Assistance: You can call 411 to see if there is a public listing (fee may apply). You can use an online directory or search sites such as Google. Enter the Defendant’s name, address, or telephone number to see what information is available.
Reverse Telephone Directory: Reverse telephone directories are often available at public libraries and websites. In a reverse directory, you can look up a telephone number to get the name of the account holder and address if the number is listed.
U.S. Postal Service: If the person you are looking for has moved, consider finding them through the U.S. Postal Service. To do this, send a letter to their last known address and write the words: “Return Service Requested, Do Not Forward.” If the person filed a change of address with the post office, you may get the letter back with their new address.
If the person you are suing has a P.O. Box, you can get a form from the post office called Request for Change of Address or Box Holder Information Needed for Service of Legal Process. Complete the form and include your file number. File the completed form with the post office. Without a case number the post office will not provide information.
Online People Searches: There are several free websites like www.fastpeoplesearch.com, www.spokeo.com or one of many others that provide a free search. Be careful not to enter any of your personal information or credit card information. The Department of Consumer and Business Affairs does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of information provided on any of these free sites.
You can also search on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram.
Private Investigator: You can hire a private investigator to find the person you are suing. This can cost a lot of money.
Property Owners: The Tax Assessor’s Office can give you the property owner’s name if you provide them with the address for a property located in the County of Los Angeles. To get this information, you can go in person or call them.
Los Angeles County Tax Assessor’s Office is located at:
500 West Temple St., Rm. 225
Los Angeles, CA 90012
You can reach them by phone at (213) 974-3441.
How can I find a business?
The Los Angeles City Hall Tax & Permit Office can give you the business owner’s name and address for a licensed business in the City of Los Angeles. You can go in person or search online. Fees may apply.
Los Angeles City Hall Tax & Permit Office is located at:
201 N. Main Street Room 101
Los Angeles, California 90012
or call (844) 663-4411
Here are some additional city business license departments:
For other cities, contact their city hall.
Fictitious Business Names
If the business filed a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, you can get a copy. This will provide you with the owner’s name and address for a business in the County of Los Angeles. You can go in person but appointments are required. You can also request the information by mail.
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office is located at:
12400 E. Imperial Hwy
Norwalk, CA 90650
Check their website to perform an online search of business filings.
You can reach them by phone at (562) 462-2177.
Corporation, Limited Liability Company, or Limited Partnership
The Secretary of State’s Office can give you the name of the party (referred to as the Agent for Service of Process) who can be served on behalf of a corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership.
The information is available to you online.
Court forms are available at California Courts – Forms. Select “Small Claims” from the pull down menu. Forms are also available at the Court Clerk’s office.
County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Last change: April 14, 2022