How to Obtain a Copy of a Certificate of Incorporation

By Terry Masters

Certificates of incorporation are filed with the state where a corporation maintains its residency. These documents are part of the public record because they serve to inform the public of the authorized existence of corporations registered with the state and who members the public can contact if they need to sue the business. The popularization of the Internet has led every state to make its corporate records database available online. Most state databases append a printable image of the certificate of incorporation that can serve as a substitute for a lost certificate. Some states charge a fee to print out a copy. Other states only provide certified copies of certificates and only upon written request and when accompanied by the appropriate fee.

Step 1

Go to the state website for business incorporations for the state where the corporation maintains its official registration. If you do not know where the corporation maintains its official registration, go to the state website for any state where the corporation maintains an office or business location.

Step 2

Access the state's business entity database. Enter the name of the corporation in the search field and pull up the corporation's public information. Many states append a copy of all of the corporation's filings -- including the certificate of incorporation -- to its record in the database.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now

Step 3

Navigate to the "fees and forms" section of the state website if your state does not append the image of the certificate of incorporation to the database record, or if you need a certified copy of the certificate. Access the state's schedule of fees. The schedule will include the instructions for sending in a request for anything listed on the schedule of fees.

Step 4

Fill out an order form. The state usually provides a downloadable order form where you can indicate the name of the corporation, the document you need, the address to which it should be sent and how you intend to pay. Send the order form to the state office with payment.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now
How to Locate Articles of Incorporation



Related articles

How to Formally Dissolve a Delaware C Corp

Many corporations choose to incorporate in Delaware because of the state's business-friendly tax structure, corporations bureau and processes. There may come a time when a corporation needs to wind down its business. Delaware also has a rather straightforward procedure for formal dissolution of a C corporation.

How to Find an Owner of an LLC

A limited liability company, or LLC, is similar to a corporation in that it has a name chosen by its members, usually subject to approval of the secretary of state’s corporate or business division. The Articles of Organization, sometimes referred to as the Articles of Formation, is the document that creates the LLC, establishes its name and generally designates the names of its members or owners. It is sometimes possible to find this document through using the Internet.

Alaska Foreign Business Registration Requirements

When it comes to business registration, Alaska considers those that aren't based in the state as “foreign,” even if they're located in another U.S. state. Since out-of-state companies generally are required to register in the state of Alaska before operating within its boundaries, you’ll likely have to register if your business is based in another state.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Find a Corporation's Public Records

Corporations are required by law to make certain information available to the public so people know whom to contact ...

How do I Determine Who Is an Officer or Principal of a Corporation or LLC?

Limited liability companies and corporations must register in every state in which they conduct business. Companies ...

How to Find the Already Filed Articles of Organization for a Current LLC

Articles of Organization for limited liability companies are public record and are open to anyone interested in ...

How to Convert an LLC to a Corporation

A limited liability company, or LLC, is formed under state law pursuant to a state's Limited Liability Company Act. In ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED