Certified Business Formation Documents
Obtain an official copy of your incorporation or other state-filed document.
Official copy of state-filed documents
Business owners may encounter situations where a Certified Copy of their incorporation documents or qualification documents, if the company has registered to transact business in other states, may be required. Additionally, in our busy lives today, it is relatively easy to lose or misplace important documents. Requesting a Certified Copy provides another true copy of your state-filed documents to keep with your company records.
Why it’s important
A Certified Copy is a true, exact copy of your company’s incorporation or other state-filed document, as issued by the state and is often used for the following purposes:
- Replace a lost or misplaced original. It’s critical to keep the original of your formation documents or any other state-filed document with your company records. If the originals are ever lost or misplaced, be sure to request a Certified Copy from the state of formation or qualification.
- Provide additional proof of authenticity. Many states allow for electronic and/or fax filing of documents. Consequently, the state-approved documents may not look “as official” as you think they should (even though they are official). Having a certified copy sometimes makes business owners feel there’s additional proof of authenticity.
- Open a bank account. A Certified Copy of your company’s formation documents is often needed in order to open a bank account.
- Foreign qualification. A Certified Copy or a Certificate of Good Standing are typically required in order to register your company to transact business in another state (foreign qualify).
Frequently Asked Questions on Certified Documents
See important questions and answers on certified documents:
What is a Certified Copy?
A Certified Copy is a true and exact copy of your company’s incorporation documents or foreign qualification documents issued by the state of formation or foreign qualification.
How soon can I expect to receive my Certified Copy and how will it be shipped?
When a Certified Copy is included in or added to one of our incorporation service packages, there are certain cases when we ship the Certified Copy separate from your state-approved incorporation documents. This is typically dependent on the state’s process for issuing Certified Copies. In these cases, the document will be shipped by UPS overnight if you purchased our Complete Incorporation Service or you added a Certified Copy and overnight shipping to the Standard or Basic Incorporation Services. For Standard and Basic Incorporation Services where overnight shipping is not selected, the Certified Copy will arrive via standard US Mail.
Please note, Certified Copies ordered as stand-alone items (not with one of our incorporation service packages), may take up to 4-6 weeks to obtain from the state.
What does a Certified Copy look like?
Many states allow for fax filing of the incorporation documents. In these cases, the incorporation documents are submitted to the state via fax and the state returns the state-approved Articles of Incorporation (for corporations) or Articles of Organization (for LLCs) to us by fax. Fax-filed incorporation documents often look different than if the incorporation documents were returned by mail. Because of this, some people think that a Certified Copy of fax-filed documents doesn’t look as official, but it is the certified, true copy.
Is there a limit to the number of Certified Copies that can be obtained on behalf of my company?
No, there is no limit to the number of Certified Copies that can be obtained for your company.
There is no limit placed by states on when a business owner can request a Certified Copy. Even if you incorporated your business 10+ years ago, you can obtain a Certified Copy of your incorporation documents.
Keep in Mind
For companies which are incorporated in the United States but with owners who do not live in the US, a Certified Copy with gold seal or apostillized copy of the incorporation documents may be required to open a bank account in the owners’ home country. Dash Tax & Business Solutions’ can also obtain an Apostille or Certified Copy with gold seal.