Certificate of Incorporation

What Is A Certificate of Incorporation?

A certificate of incorporation is a document related to the formation of a corporate entity.

Do I Need A Certificate of Incorporation?

A certificate of incorporation is essentially a license to form a company issued by the Secretary of State. It is proof that your company exists. You may need to present a certificate of incorporation if your business is entering into a transaction such as opening a line of credit or entering into a lease agreement. You may also need a certificate of incorporation for certain tax purposes.

How Do I Get A Certificate of Incorporation?

You will be issued a certificate of incorporation from the Secretary of State’s office for the state in which you incorporate upon filling out the required incorporation or entity formation paperwork. In Connecticut, you can obtain a copy of the document online through the Secretary of State website:

Step 1: Head Over to the Secretary of State Website

How To Find Your Certificate of Incorporation Online - Step 1
CT Secretary of State’s Office Commercial Recording Division Business Search Tool

Navigate to the Secretary of State’s Office Commercial Recording Division business search tool. It should look like the picture above.

Step 2: Search the Name of Your Business

How To Find Your Certificate of Incorporation Online - Step 2
CT Secretary of State’s Office Commercial Recording Division Business Search Tool – Search by Name

Search for your business by typing its name in the “Search By Name” section and pressing the “Search” button. The search feature is sensitive, so if your business does not come up, try entering a portion of your name followed by an asterisk (*). Doing so will return a search of all businesses registered with the state that contain the terms you entered. Often, you will have better luck with this method.

Step 3: Find and Select Your Business

How To Find Your Certificate of Incorporation Online - Step 3
CT Secretary of State’s Office Commercial Recording Division Business Search Tool – Search by Name Results

Once you hit search, a list will come up. Find your business and select it by clicking on its name.

Step 4: Select “View Filing History”

How To Find Your Certificate of Incorporation Online - Step 4
CT Secretary of State’s Office Commercial Recording Division Business Search Tool – Example of Business Filing

Since you want to find a copy of a filing you made, you’re going to want to look at the filing history. Select “View Filing History” by clicking the box containing that label at the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

Step 5: Select Your Certificate of Incorporation

How To Find Your Certificate of Incorporation Online - Step 5
CT Secretary of State’s Office Commercial Recording Division Business Search Tool – Sample Business Inquiry

Find your certificate of incorporation and the list and view it by selecting “View PDF.” Generally, your certificate of incorporation will be of the filing type “Organization” and will be the earliest dated document.

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Christopher J. Mutchler, Esq.

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