1. Types of Documents That You Can Obtain a Certified Copy Of
2. Why Would Someone Need a Certified Copy?
3. Certified Copy and Certificate of Good Standing: What is the Difference?
4. How to Obtain Certified Copies From The Pennsylvania Department of State

Obtaining a copy of LLC certificate may be necessary for a business or individual for a number of reasons. You can obtain legal and true copies of these documents as well as articles of incorporation or articles of organization that is certified by the state. When obtaining these documents, most states will include a cover letter that has the seal or the signature of the Secretary of State to certify that the copies are valid.

If you order a certified copy, you will be requesting what is considered an original document that is on file with the state. Since the federal government of the United States does not have a standardized federal system in place for handling certified documents, each state will have their own processes and procedures for obtaining certified documentation.

There are some states that will only allow a notary public to certify the authenticity of documents, but there are other states which will allow both county clerks and postal employees to make certified copies. There are even some states that will require the entity that handled the original documents to produce certified copies. It is important to realize that when you obtain certified copies, any changes that were made after the original filing will not be included in them.

Types of Documents That You Can Obtain a Certified Copy Of

There are many types of documents that individuals or other businesses make seek to obtain certified copies of including:

  • Articles of incorporation or other formation documents
  • Name change amendments
  • Company annual reports
  • Certificates of Authority
  • Corporate liquidation of dissolution forms
  • Doing business as (DBA) filings
  • Certificates of Cancellation
  • Changes of Registered Agents
  • Certificates of Conversion
  • Certificates of Merger
  • Other documents that may be filed with the Secretary of State's Office

Why Would Someone Need a Certified Copy?

There are various reasons why someone would need a certified copy and also certain types of entities that required certified documents for use. Some of the entities and reasons why certified copies may be obtained include:

  • State governments in areas where you are seeking foreign qualification
  • Lenders when you are in the process of seeking financing for a business
  • Banks when you are opening a business account
  • Potential investors looking to invest in your company
  • A company that is replacing their lost or damaged originals
  • Companies seeking to have duplicate certified copies on file

Certified Copy and Certificate of Good Standing: What is the Difference?

A Certified Copy and Certificate of Good Standing are two completely different forms. A Certificate of Good Standing states that your company is in good standing with the state as of a certain state. This means they are in compliance with all of their filings and fees.

A certified copy is an authorized and legally valid copy of a document that has already been on file with the state. The certification validates that the document is correct and true.

How to Obtain Certified Copies From The Pennsylvania Department of State

If you need to order a certified copy of a business's articles of organization or articles of incorporation you can do it by fax, online, by mail, or in person.

  • Online - The online processing cost is $40 with an additional fee of $3 per document and often is processed immediately. You must go to The Pennsylvania Department of State website, sign up, and select search and print a certificate. You can pay by credit card for this service.
  • Mail - When requesting by mail you will need to provide the business name, fee, return address and a phone number if there are questions. Normal processing time is about two days plus the time for mailing although an expedited service is available to obtain it in 24 hours for an additional $70 fee.
  • Fax - To request by fax you must have a prepaid account, and it will be treated as an expedited request. You will provide the same information as with mailing but include it on the fax cover sheet.
  • In person - When requesting in person you may be able to receive the copies the same day with no additional charge. The service can take three to four hours while you wait.

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