How to Find Out if a Business Has Filed for Bankruptcy

Written by stephanie mojica
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There may be an occasion where for your own personal or business knowledge you need to learn if a company has filed for bankruptcy without spending a lot of time or money to get the information. While commercial bankruptcy is often published in newspapers, it can be easy to miss such articles. Because any person or company's bankruptcy is considered public information under federal laws, there are several ways to quickly find out if a business has declared bankruptcy.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Call or visit your local bankruptcy courthouse and ask if the company in question has declared bankruptcy. If you do not need copies of records, this is a free service and available during normal weekday business hours. If you want copies, you may have to pay a nominal copying fee.

  2. 2

    Register for the website Public Access to Court Electronic Records (see Resources section.) Follow the directions and search the PACER system for the business. If you wish to see or print records, the cost as of 2009 was 8 cents a page. Such fees must be paid online by credit card.

  3. 3

    Buy a business credit report on the company from Experian or Dun and Bradstreet (see Resources section.) These reports are available instantly to anyone who has the company's name and can pay by credit card. Credit reports have bankruptcy information and other important business financial data. As of 2009, such reports cost £16 or less.

  4. 4

    Visit the website of the United States Bankruptcy Court Federal Record Retrieval Service (see Resources section.) The court can provide you copies of any company or person's bankruptcy records within a few hours through e-mail, or within a few days through postal mail. As of 2009, the cost for records was £13 to £32. The website requires a credit card.

Tips and warnings

  • If the bankruptcy filing was very recent, it may not have posted yet to a business credit report.

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