Articles of incorporation are public documents that anyone can access. They establish a business as a legal corporation and provide basic information about the business. To serve both the public and business owners, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs offers a variety of ways to get copies of these documents.
Decide What Version You Need
A standard version may be sufficient if you’re interested in reading corporate articles for personal reasons. However, if you’re requesting a copy as a business owner or executive, a certified copy is usually a better option.
Unlike a standard version, which is an unauthenticated photocopy, certified articles of incorporation bear an official seal on the last page of the document. Banks, lenders and potential investors often ask for certified copies as a prerequisite to conducting business transactions.
View a Standard Copy Online
The easiest way to view a standard copy is to access it online. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website maintains a free public database. You only need to enter the business name to locate corporate records.
Order a Copy
Certified and uncertified copies of articles are available in person or by postal mail, fax or telephone orders. According to Northwest Registered Agent, postal mail, fax and telephone order processing takes five to 10 business days, not including mailing. However, next business day expedited service is available if you need the document sooner.
Orders require a certification and copies request form and the appropriate fee. You'll need to provide the same information if you order copies by phone. As of the publication date, the fee is $16 for the first seven pages and $1 for each additional page. Expedited fax and mail service costs an additional 25 percent of the total cost for normal processing.
Acceptable payment methods are a check or money order payable to the state of Michigan, Visa and MasterCard.
Order Copies in Person
In-person service is only available at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' Okemos office located at 2501 Woodlake Circle. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Order Copies by Mail
Mail the request form and payment information to the Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, P.O. Box 30018, Lansing, MI 48909
Order by Fax
Send the request form and payment information via fax to 517-373-3085. On the cover sheet, specify the Licensing Division in the “attention to” line.
Order by Telephone
Call 517-241-9288 during normal business hours.
Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.