Illinois requires corporations to submit articles of incorporation to operate as a legal business in the state. Incorporation documents are public records and can be viewed by anyone for any legal or business purpose. You may already have the original copy of the articles of incorporation from when you filed. However, applying for a loan, opening a bank account or providing proof of your incorporation to a third party may require a certified copy. You can obtain a certified copy by contacting the Illinois Secretary of State's Department of Business Services. There is a charge for the document.

Go to the Illinois Secretary of State Department of Business Services official database to search for the company. Begin your search by selecting the correct tab to identify your company type. Choose a search method -- by the company name, keyword, partial word or file number. Enter the corporation details and submit it. The database will return your corporation’s filing information.

Contact the Illinois Secretary of State by mail and request a certified copy of the articles of incorporation. On a handwritten or typed note, include the corporation’s legal business name and year of incorporation as found in the database. Include the name and mailing address where you want the certified copy mailed to. Submit your request to: Illinois Secretary of State Corporations Division, 501 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62756

If you prefer, you can call the Illinois Secretary of State by phone and request a certified copy. Provide the corporation’s information to the representative, along with the name and address of where he should mail the copy.

Pay the applicable fees for your copy. The cost to obtain a copy in Illinois by mail at the time of publication is $25. The fee to obtain a copy by phone is $27.50. Payment can be made by mail with a money order or check; by phone you can use Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. If you also want amendments or corrections made to the article of incorporation, costs start at $50.


You should receive your certified copy of the articles of incorporation by mail within five to seven business days.