How to Obtain a Copy of a Certificate of Incorporation

A Certificate of Incorporation is a very important document. It proves that your business has been registered and is formally recognized by the government. Without it, people would be unwilling to conduct business with you because there’s no legal backing. This article will show you how to obtain a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation.     


Each state has its own processes for requesting this certificate. You’ll need to pay for processing, but the fee isn’t usually high. The steps to follow include

1.Visit the Secretary of State’s Website Or the Office

Most states issue all certificates of incorporation via an appointed secretary. You should visit the state’s official government website. It will likely have an area where you can search for corporate filings and see what companies were given incorporation certificates.


Alternatively, you can visit the official government office to search for corporate records.

2.Search For Your Company Name

On the government website, check for a link called “Corporate Filings,” “Companies,” “Business Entities,” or something similar. Click the link to bring up the search box. Type your company’s name and hit the Enter button or search icon. Check the search results to see if your company is there. If it is, click the link to bring up any available information.


Note that many companies have similar names, so ensure the name you choose is exactly that of your company.

3.Fill Out A Request Form

You’ll need to fill out a formal request for your certificate. The form will likely ask for details such as your name, address, contact information (email address or phone number), etc. 


Some states don’t offer the option to request the certificate online. In this case, you’ll have to visit the government office to fill out and submit the form.


4.Pay Processing Fee

Most state charge money to process and fulfill your certificate request. The fee varies according to state, but it’s usually not significant. If you have the option to request a form online, then you’ll also be able to pay online. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay through other methods such as a check, money order, or bank transfer.


If you visit the government office to request this document, you can fill out the form and pay immediately.

5.Wait For the Document

After requesting and paying for the certificate, you’ll have to wait for some time to get it. The wait period depends on your state and the method of request. Online requests usually take shorter to fullfill than manual requests. You can receive the document in your e-mail within 24 hours.


If you requested the document in-person, you’ll have to wait some days to receive it via post or head to the office to collect it.

When Will I Need My Certificate Of Incorporation?

This document contains essential details about your business, including its unique registration number and date of incorporation. It’s what validates your business’s existence, and you’ll need it in several cases, including


  • Opening a corporate bank account
  • Applying for a bank loan
  • Renting our buying a property in the name of your company
  • Applying for a business license, permit, or grant
  • Selling your business

Where Should I Keep My Certificate Of Incorporation?

You should keep it in a safe at your office, as it may be required at random times. If it’s in a digital format, you can keep it in a secure cloud storage platform such as Dropbox or Google Drive.



We have explained the process of obtaining your certificate of incorporation. If you need help in registering your company and obtaining this certificate, Osome is available to provide it. 

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