The electronic absorption spectra of a series of azo dye compounds containing -Cl, -SO(3)H and -OH groups were recorded in twenty one solvents with different polarities. The solvents were selected to cover a wide range of parameters (refractive index, dielectric constant and hydrogen bonding ability). Solvent-induced effect on the maximum absorption band frequencies of azo dye compounds are described in terms of solute-solvent interactions. Multiple linear regression equation for v(max) was performed using polarizability-polarity parameters and Kamlet-Taft solvatochromic parameters. The results help to assign the solvent-solute interactions and the solvatochromic potential of the investigated compounds. It is concluded that the electronic of the substituent and hydrogen bonding acceptor ability of the solvents are the major factors to the interaction in solutions. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.