What is a Certified Copy?
A Certified Copy is a copy of a primary document which includes an endorsement or certificate that states
it is a true copy of the primary document.
A Certified Copy is normally a photocopy.
A Certified Copy bears the signature of a representative of the issuing agency.
In the case of Corporate Documents this is usually the Secretary of State.
When the Secretary of State issues a Certified Copy of a Corporate Document, this means that the
Certified Copy is a true, accurate and valid copy of the Corporate Document that the Secretary of State has on file.
What is a Plain Copy?
A Plain Copy of a Business Document is just what the name implies.
It is simply a photocopy of a Document.
There are no stamps or seals on a Plain Copy of a Business Document
Why do I need a Certified Copy?
Businesses often need a Certified Copy of a Corporate Document for bank loans, tax purposes,
foreign qualification, or to replace original Corporate Documents that were lost or destroyed.
If you are responsible for the corporate records of a Corporation or LLC it is important to retain on file Certified Copies of Business Documents
which bear the stamp or seal of the Secretary of State or other state department respnsible for maintaing business records in a state.
A Certified Copy of a Business Document is legal proof that the Document is authentic.
Certified Copies for Foreign Qualification
A Corporation or LLC which is registered in one state and wants to do business in another state must first qualify as a "Foreign Corporation"
in the state in which it wants to do business.
For example a Corporation that is registered in California wants to do business in Florida.
The California Corporation must qualify as a Florida Foreign Corporation.
Some states require a Certified Copy of the formation documents,
usually called Articles of Incorporation for a Corporation or Articles of Organization for an LLC, from the Foreign Corporation.
We offer full Foreign Qualification services in all 50 states.
Click here if you would like more information on our
Foreign Qualification Services.
Can I get a Certified Copy of a Good Standing Certificate?
The Secretary of State issues a Good Standing Certificate, sometimes called a Certificate of Existence, to Corporations and LLCs
which are up to date with all administrative requirements.
The Secretary of State will Certify any Business Document which has been filed with the Secretary's office.
On the other hand, the Secetary of State generally does not Certify Documents which are issued by the Secretary's office.
So, no the Secretary of State will not Certify a Good Standing Certificate or any other document which is issued by the
We can get a Good Standing Certificate in any state, in 2-3 hours from most states.
Click here if you would like more information on getting a
Good Standing Certificate.
How long does it take to get a Certified Copy of a business document?
The time it takes to get a Certified Copy of a Business Document varies from state to state.
Choose your state from the list below to see more detail on the time it takes to get a
Certified Copy in that state.
How much does it cost to get a Certified Copy Online?
State fees for a Certified Copy of a Business Document vary from state to state.
Click on any state in the list below to see the state fees a Certified Copy Online from that state
How can I Order a Certified Copy Online?
If you are ready to Order a Certified Copy Online now, simply click on your state in the list below to
access our Certified Copy Online order entry page