Delaware Articles of Incorporation

Getting copies of the Delaware Articles of Incorporation provides you with the necessary paperwork you may need for certain transactions. When you request a copy of an approved Certificate of Incorporation from the Delaware Division of Corporations, for example, the document serves as verification that you have established a valid company in Delaware. Until you receive an approved certificate from the Delaware Division of Corporations, your company is not considered valid.

What Is the Purpose of a Certificate of Incorporation?

The purpose of a Certificate of Incorporation for businesses is to certify that the documents on file with the Delaware Division of Corporations are authentic. The Delaware Secretary of State issues the official document. The information provided on the certificate is the name of the specific document being certified and the date it was filed.

The certification process uses the original document currently on file with the state. The Secretary of State's signature is attached to the Certified Copy along with the official state seal. Once it is signed and stamped with the seal, the document gets attached to the certified filing form.

Having a Certified Copy of your business's Certificate of Incorporation can be beneficial in a variety of situations:

  • It provides proof that the business exists.
  • You may need it to start a business account at your bank.
  • It may be necessary when applying for a loan.
  • The Certified Copy provides proof of the status of your company to potential investors.
  • You may need the Certified Copies when you're applying for foreign qualification status.
  • You can use the Certified Copies as backups for the originals or to replace the originals if they've been lost.

If changes have been made to the original document, it will not be reflected in a Certified Copy. You would need to request a Certificate of Amendment, which would be a Certified Copy showing any changes to the original document, such as a name change.

What Is a Certificate of Incorporation Versus a Certificate of Good Standing?

The two certificates are not the same. Certificates of Good Standing certifies that companies are in good standing with the state as of a certain date, meaning companies are fully compliant and have paid annual Franchise Tax Fees.

A Certificate of Incorporation describes the formation of a corporation. The certificate contains pertinent information about the business, including:

  • The business' legal name
  • Location of the business
  • Number of shares that may be issued to shareholders
  • Name and address of each incorporator
  • Name and address of the business or individual responsible for accepting legal documents being served against the business

What Is the Process for Getting Certified Copies?

Getting copies of Delaware Articles of Incorporation can be accomplished with a few steps.

  • Mail – If requesting by mail, an Order Form must be submitted that includes a daytime contact phone number.
  • Fax – Submit the Order Form. On the fax cover sheet, include a daytime phone number.
  • In person – Drop off a completed Order Form. If you pay priority fees, the order will be expedited.

The Order Form can be picked up at the Division of Corporations, or you can print it by accessing the Delaware Department of State website. You may also fill out the form at the Delaware Department of State office.

What Is the Cost of a Certified Copy of Delaware Articles of Incorporation?

There are four payment options to choose from when you want to get a Certified Copy of Articles of Incorporation.

  • Priority 1 expedited processing - $1,000, one-hour service.
  • Priority 2 expedited processing - $500, two-hour service.
  • Priority 3 expedited processing - $60, same day service.
  • Priority 4 - $50, 24-hour service.

Expedited fees are determined by the level of priority service being requested. Expedited processing fees are an additional charge and separate from normal processing fees. You have several options to choose from to pay for a Certified Copy of Delaware Articles of Incorporation.

  • Check – Make the check payable to the Delaware Secretary of State.
  • Money order – The check should be payable to the Delaware Secretary of State.
  • Credit card – Visa, MasterCard, or Discover are accepted forms of payment.

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