When determining how to find Articles of Incorporation in Florida, it's first pertinent to understand what Articles of Incorporation are. Articles of Incorporation are a legal document that outlines the legality of a business. Although a company doesn't need to have this document in their possession on a daily basis, there are times your company will need to be able to provide it, such as when taking out a business loan or opening a business checking account.

If a company is involved in a court case, Articles of Incorporation will likely be necessary. Potential investors will also want to see proof of incorporation before they make an investment. The best place to keep Articles of Incorporation is in a lockbox.

Knowing How to Find Articles of Incorporation in Florida

If you are in need of Articles of Incorporation, perhaps because you are an investor, you can always check with the individual corporation itself. In addition, the State of Florida will have a copy in its public records collection.

Companies that have not yet incorporated themselves will need to fill out the appropriate paperwork and submit it to the Florida Division of Corporations. You can go online to the official Florida website and access the documents you need to form your company as an incorporation. If you need help with a request, you can also use the online website to find answers to your questions.

Tips for Doing an Online Search for Articles of Incorporation in Florida

When using Florida's online site to search for a company's Articles of Incorporation, you need to have as much information as possible about the company you are searching for, because there is a good chance the search results you receive will include multiple businesses with the same name. If you know the contact number and postal address of the company you are searching for, this makes it much easier to pinpoint the correct entity.

Understanding Search Results

When conducting your search, the results will be based on the type of search you perform:

  • If you do a search according to a corporation's name, this will provide you with a list of companies that have the name you are searching for as well as their document numbers and whether or not their business status is active or inactive.
  • If you do a search for a registered agent, you will be provided with a list of agents who have that name and their corresponding numbers.
  • If you do a search for a trademark, your results will include a document number and whether or not the trademark is active or inactive.

Once you find the entity you are searching for, click on its link and go to the bottom of the page to see if there any available documents for you to view. Hopefully, there will be a document titled "Articles of Incorporation." If you can't find the document you are looking for, simply contact the Division of Corporations in Florida (850-245-6052) and request a copy.

If you are unable to contact them by phone, you can always send a written request to the following address:

Department of State

Division of Corporations

Corporate Filings

P.O. Box 6327

Tallahassee, FL 32314

If you choose to email the Divisions of Corporation and request a copy of Articles of incorporation, it is pertinent to understand your email address will then become public according to Florida law, meaning it can be released to anyone who requests your public records.

How Long Does It Take to Receive the Copy?

Generally, you can expect to receive a copy of a company's Articles of Incorporation within 10 to 15 business days. The processing time takes about seven days, and then you must allow time for the copy to go through the mail. Expedited service is available, but only in person.

What Information Do Articles of Incorporation Include?

Articles of Incorporation are a public record. Within the document are explanations of a company's legal structure, including who owns it and who is on its board of directors. By law, a company must operate according to the structure that is outlined in its Articles of Incorporation.

If any changes are made within the corporation, such as the onboarding of a new agent to communicate official communications for the company, then it must be updated in the Articles of Incorporation. When changes are made to the Articles of Incorporation, they must first be voted on.

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