How to Get a Copy of Your Incorporation Papers

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Businesses owners incorporate their businesses to obtain legal advantages regarding personal liability and taxes. Incorporation involves filing the required paperwork with the state in which the company is incorporating. Each state has its own particular requirements, but incorporation generally involves filing initial documents, sometimes known as Articles of Incorporation, that identify the business, its address and the principle parties involved in the organization. You can get a copy of your original incorporation papers by contacting the appropriate agency of state government.

Identify the correct office in your state for requesting copies of incorporation papers. Use the "Secretaries of State" Web page at to find the link to the corporations site in your state.

Search for your company name at the corporations site in your state if an online search function is available (most states have this, but a few do not).

Download your incorporation documents from the search results at the corporation site if such a function is provided in your state. Many states provide online copies of incorporation papers; they may charge a fee for retrieving them.

Contact the corporations office in your state directly by phone, email, fax or letter, if online capabilities are not provided for document retrieval. You will find the contact information at the link to the corporations office in your state.