Benefits of our approach to UCC filing

  • Manage your UCC filings online or outsource the entire filing process to CT.
  • Built-in checks and features improve accuracy and compliance rates and increase filing efficiency.
  • Ability to file electronically in most states, for quicker notice.

Reduce risk, perfected UCC filing

Legal professionals prefer CT for efficient and accurate filings, however you choose to work.  Whether you e-File for immediate notice acknowledgement or use our nationwide service teams, CT helps you reduce risk and gain a perfected filing.

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UCC Filings overview (Uniform Commercial Code)
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CT Expert Insights: All about UCC filings

(Uniform Commercial Code)


Transactional Business Consultant Dan Lias explains what a UCC is and when your organization would need one. Because of the complexity of UCC transactions, he also discusses best practices and consequences of incorrect filings.

Common UCC filing questions:

What is a UCC?

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a set of regulations adopted to make commerce from state to state easier. While the code is the same among all states, filing requirements differ. It covers consensual agreements between parties and does not include non-consensual filings like tax liens. While the intent of the code is for cohesiveness among the states there are distinctions among the states. A number of these are found with each state’s filing requirements.

What is a UCC-1 Form?

The most common UCC form is the UCC-1 or Financing Statement. These forms are routine in the case of secured loan, where the lender uses the UCC-1 to place a lien on a particular piece of collateral or all assets belonging to a business or person.

What is a UCC filing & why file a UCC form?

A UCC generally is a form that parties use to solidify or notify the world of a business transaction between two or multiple parties. It is essential to file a UCC because you’re trying to safeguard your priority or your position in line in the event that something goes wrong in the business deal.

Why should I file a UCC-1?

In addition to creating a public notice of a lien, the financing statement is also used to perfect a security interest or to show priority over third-party creditors. It is a legal document and public record. The UCC-1 serves as evidence in the case of any legal disputes over liability.

What are the best practices for UCC filings?

The following checklist will help you catch any wild cards:

  • Ask for all names and address used in the past seven years
  • Look for former names, aliases, nicknames, and DBAs
  • Search past tax returns and credit reports, as well as pending litigation
  • Get driver licenses for all individuals
  • Find locations of old offices, or property owned or leased

What are the Legal Requirements for the UCC-1?

In order for a UCC-1 to hold weight in a legal proceeding, it must include the exact legal name of the debtor, the collateral included in the lien and the name of the secured party. When listing collateral, the law doesn’t require a detailed description. However, your deal may require additional details like disclaimers and subordination.

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Best Practices for UCC Filings and Searches 

Due diligence is significant when performing Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) searches. Originally designed to streamline commerce across all 50 states and territories, the process became more complex after the 2013 adjustments to UCC Revised Article Nine.

Due diligence experts must adjust to this new environment in order to maintain their high levels of accuracy; even the simplest UCC searches and filings require strong attention to detail. Whether you’re conducting a single search or a more complex due diligence strategy, it’s crucial the search and filing results are clear, comprehensive, and accurate. 

Missed deadlines and improper filing and searches can lead to lost time and money for you and your clients. 

Tips for Retrieving Debtor Name: Accuracy Is Paramount 
Listing the correct debtor name on a UCC filing or search is critical. It sounds like an easy enough step, but unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward. 

Current law requires the debtor name to appear exactly as it is listed on the entity’s most recent charter document. It’s not as simple as checking the state website for the organization’s name or a Certificate of Good Standing. The information listed here is considered “compiled data”, meaning it was entered manually by someone working for the state. All states handle this process manually. 

If the information was entered incorrectly it could lead to serious errors or omissions on your UCC form. 

Even seemingly inconsequential mistakes or variations will affect your filing status. Examples include: 

  •       Using an “&” instead of the word “and”
  •       Making a singular company name plural
  •       Using a DBA or FKA; this is a major mistake
  •       Incorrect punctuation or including extra spaces
  •       Using numerals when the numbers in the company name are spelled out
  • In some states, you can make one of the above mistakes on your UCC filing and be okay, while in others you could be creating a filing for a completely different entity. Not every state uses the same search logic. Don’t be fooled by the name; the UCC is anything but uniform. 

    Just a quick note: you can still use a Certificate of Good Standing for other purposes, including to check a company’s viability. But don’t rely on these when searching for the correct name to enter on a UCC filing, especially after the 2013 changes to the law. 

    Listing Individuals in a UCC 
    The majority of UCC filings involve corporations, LLCs and other business entities. When they involve individuals there’s even more room for error. 

    The headaches come up when it’s time to determine the individual’s “exact full legal name”, as specified in UCC-1. Accuracy is just as important when dealing with individuals. Where to find this information depends on the state. 

    There are two options listed: 

    Alternative A: Driver’s license. To file, you must list the individual’s name exactly as it appears on his or her driver’s license. This option has been adopted by 43 states. 

    Alternative B: the “Safe Harbor” option. This option gives the court the ability to come up with multiple names for an individual. For example, say someone’s driver’s license identifies him as “Steven Alexander Moore III”, but this person files taxes under the name “Steve Moore” and owns property as “Steven Moore”. In an Alternative B state, all variations would be accepted. Delaware is currently the most important UCC state that has adopted Alternative B. 

    In an Alternative A state, the filing is crystal clear. But with Alternative B we’re in much murkier waters. How do you navigate? When in doubt, file against multiple names. Ask individuals what names they may have used in the past seven years, as well as the addresses they used during this time. The more data you collect the better. 

    UCC Filing Checklist 
    How do you ensure you cast a wide enough net when searching for information for your UCC filing? The following checklist will help you catch any wild cards: 

  •          Ask for all names and address used in the past seven years
  •          Look for former names, aliases, nicknames, and DBAs
  •          Search past tax returns and credit reports, as well as pending litigation
  •          Get driver licenses for all individuals
  •          Find locations of old offices, or property owned or leased 
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