Benzoylhydrazine based Schiff base-ligated two new copper(II) complexes, [Cu(L1)2] (1) and [Cu(L2)2] (2) were synthesized by the reaction of Cu(CH3COO)2·H2O with respective Schiff base ligand 1-[(4-nitrophenyl)ethylidene] benzohydrazide (HL1) or 1-[(4-methoxyphenyl)ethylidene] benzohydrazide (HL2). Both complexes were isolated as greenish solid and fully characterized by elemental analysis, FT-IR, EPR, thermo-gravimetric (TG) analysis and Cyclic Voltammetry. The molecular structures of both complexes have also been determined by single crystal X-ray crystallography, which confirmed the coordination of Schiff base ligands through N, O donor atoms and distorted square planar geometry around the Cu(II) ion. Both complexes were found to be good homogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of a wide range of substituted thioethers and 5-substituted 1H-tetrazoles in 92% and 93% yield, respectively, at a low catalyst loading (0.5 mol%). The bond angles and distances, as discerned from the DFT calculations, commusurated with the experimental findings. The energy difference between the HOMO and the LUMO, calculated from DFT studies, was found to be 5.645 eV and 6.459 eV for complex 1 and complex 2, respectively. These results are in harmony with the observed higher catalytic activity of complex 1. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.