What Is a Certificate of Incorporation?
A Certificate of Incorporation Form is a legal document that confirms the formation of the company and its registration with the state. You can submit paperwork to receive this brief document at any time, but it is recommended to do so as soon as possible - the best time is when you formed a company, since the state may take a long time to process the request. If your business does not comply with the requirements of the state related to the legitimization of companies, the personal assets of business members may be at risk.
Certificate of Incorporation Forms by State
Whether you manage a small business or a large company, you will need an Incorporation Certificate in the following circumstances:
- You need to present a certified copy of this document when borrowing money from a financial institution.
- You are buying real estate and the current owner demands to see this document to close the deal.
- You lease office or store space and the landlord requests to examine your official documentation before the lease is signed.
- You need to confirm the existence of your entity before you enter into a new service or supply contract, apply for business permits or licenses.
|Alabama||Hawaii||Massachusetts||New Mexico||South Dakota|
|Arkansas||Indiana||Mississippi||North DakotaFile through FirstStop, the Secretary of State’s online filing system.||Utah|
|California||Iowa||Missouri||Ohio||VermontFile online through the Vermont Secretary of State website.|
|Colorado||Kansas||MontanaFile online through the Montana Secretary of State website.||Oklahoma||Virginia|
|Connecticut||Kentucky||NebraskaFile online through the Nebraska Secretary of State website.||Oregon||Washington|
|Florida||Maine||New Hampshire||Rhode Island||Wisconsin|
|Georgia||Maryland||New Jersey||South Carolina||Wyoming|
How to Get a Certificate of Incorporation?
Here is how you can obtain an Official Certificate of Incorporation on your own:
- Find out which agency in your state issues Certificates of Incorporation. Usually, you have to appear in person in the Secretary of State office or send them documentation via certified mail, but you can also submit information online.
- Confirm your business is active at the moment, state its exact official name, type of the company, purpose of business, date of incorporation, names of all business partners and members, physical and mailing addresses of the organization, and verify the identity of your registered agent. You do not have to share the internal procedures of your company (indemnification, voting rights, dissolving procedure) or financial information with the state.
- Pay processing fees for the Certificate - if you file the request online, you can also pay the fees online, otherwise, you need to find a mailing address for payment and send them a check or money order. Later you may have to pay a fee for photocopying - it depends on regulations in your state and the size of the document.
- When your documentation is examined, you will be able to get a plain copy of the Incorporation Certificate from the appropriate authorities. Note that you need to submit amendments to this document if you later modify crucial details, for instance, if you appoint a new registered agent.
Once the business owner and registered agent of the company get access to the Certificate of Incorporation, it means that anyone can obtain it to learn more about the company. Relevant state offices that maintain business records issue certified copies of incorporation documents to anyone who needs them - for personal use or to verify the information about a potential business partner or supplier.
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