Identify a state where the corporation that you are researching transacts business. You can use the corporation's website or letterhead to identify the principal state where the corporation is headquartered, or you can pick any address associated with the business or its products. A corporation must maintain its home registration in the state where it originally filed its articles of incorporation and a registration in each state where it transacts a significant amount of business.
Go to the website of the corporation registrar for the state you have identified. In most states, corporate registrations are handled by the secretary of state's office. Follow the links to the business section of the website. This section will typically provide information on how to start a corporation.
Locate the business entity database. All states maintain a searchable database that is accessible from the website and contains information on all businesses registered in the state. Search the database by business name to locate the registration information for the corporation. If you have identified the corporation's home state, the record will indicate the date the company incorporated in the state. If you have identified a state where the corporation is simply authorized to do business, the record will indicate which state incorporated the company. Go to the website of the state of incorporation to continue your search.
Download a copy of the corporation's articles of incorporation from the business entity database of the state of incorporation. Most states allow you to download a corporation's articles from the database for free. Some states will charge a fee to download the document. A small number of states have not scanned documents into their database. If the document is not available for download, you can always call the corporations division of the secretary of state's office and request a copy of a corporation's articles.