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Certificate of Incorporation

Lia Kopin-Green
December 1, 2022

What is a Certificate of Incorporation?

In business law, a certificate of incorporation, also known as an article of incorporation, is a legal document that relates to the establishment of a company or corporation. Essentially, certificates of incorporation legally confirm a company’s formation. These documents typically include the name of the corporation, the type of the corporation, and the corporation’s legal address. Moreover, the document may also feature the purpose of the corporation and the number of shares of stock the corporation is legally authorized to use.

Most entrepreneurs choose to file their certificate of incorporation in the state in which their company operates. However, some business owners decide to file their company in another state if it offers financial and legal advantages. Your attorney will be able to offer guidance regarding where you should file your certificate of incorporation.

Key Takeaways

  • A certificate of incorporation, also referred to as an article of incorporation, is a document that confirms the establishment of a company or corporation.
  • The document must be approved by the state in order for the company to legally operate as a corporation.
  • Certificates of incorporation must be filed with the Secretary of State. 

Importance of Certificates of Incorporation

Let’s assume you recently opened up your own business. If you are interested in legally establishing your company as a corporation in the United States, you will need to file a certificate of incorporation with the Secretary of State Office. With this document, you will be able to conduct a variety of activities on behalf of your business, such as:

  • File corporate taxes
  • Hire employees
  • Open a corporate bank account
  • Apply for business licenses, permits and more

Filing a Certificate of Incorporation

Gathering all relevant information is one of the first steps to obtaining a certificate of incorporation. Although requirements for the document vary from state to state, most certificates of incorporation include the corporation's name, address, registered agent, business agent, number of shares, and the class of shares.

While certificates of incorporation can technically be filed independently without legal assistance, it is highly advised to work alongside a registered attorney. A professional legal team can ensure that you don’t make any unnecessary mistakes throughout the filing process, bringing you one step closer to federal recognition of your company.

Online filing is usually allowed in most states, with a filing fee ranging from $100 to $300. However, it is important to keep in mind that the filing fee for obtaining a certificate of incorporation is just one of the few costs to expect when it comes to forming a corporation. You will also need to pay for state franchise tax as well as fees for various business licenses and permits. 

Bottom Line

Have you recently founded your own corporation? Congratulations! Now, in order to do business in the United States, you must make sure your company is legally recognized. You can count on one of our professional business law attorneys to provide personalized support when it comes to forming a corporation. Contact a top-tier business attorney today with Attorney at Law.

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