How to Prove the Existence of Your Company

how to prove company exists - articles of incorporation

One of the most common questions we receive from clients is, "How do I provide proof that my company exists?"

It may seem like a simple question but it's one that causes confusion - and for good reason! The document proving the existence of your company may be called a variety of names depending on where your company was formed. Let's jump in and clarify how you provide proof that your company exists.

When You Might Have to Prove the Existence of Your Company

Companies are most often asked to provide proof of the legal existence of their entity during activity related to:

  • Mergers
  • Financing
  • Insurance coverage
  • Accounting or legal issues

You will also be asked to provide proof of the existence of your company in order to open a business bank account. Learn more about the documents needed to open a business bank account here.

Documents Needed to Prove the Existence of Your Company

The document that generally causes the most confusion among business owners is the document received when the entity was formed which proves it was created and exists. To put it simply, it's essentially the birth certificate of the company. 

Depending on where your entity was formed and what type of entity it is, this document may be called several different things. This document might be called:

  • Certificate of Formation
  • Articles of Organization
  • Certificate of Organization
  • Articles of Formation
  • Company formation documents

In the State of Delaware, this document is called the Articles of Incorporation (for corporations) or the Articles of Formation (for LLCs). 

So for instance, if your bank's loan officer asks you for your Certificate of Incorporation, you would provide him or her with the Articles of Incorporation. These terms are interchangeable because they are referencing the same document. 

How to Get a Copy of Your Articles of Incorporation or Formation

When you form a corporation or LLC with The Incorporators, we send you this document with your package.

If you choose one of our E-Kits, you will have received this document via email. If you chose one of our Basic, EZ Snap Kit, or Executive packages, you will have received this from us via UPS along with your corporate supplies (based on package).

If you're unsure where your Delaware Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Formation document is, we can retrieve a copy for you. You do not need to have formed your entity with The Incorporators in order for us to obtain a copy for you; we can pull a copy directly from the state system. 

You may be required to provide a Certified Copy of your Articles of Incorporation/Formation, though a Plain Copy may be acceptable in certain situations. 

Is Your Company in Good Standing with the State?

In many of the situations where you need to provide proof of existence of your company, you'll also need to provide proof that your company is in good standing with the state. To do this, you'll also need a Certificate of Good Standing.

A Certificate of Good Standing provides proof that (as of the date of the certificate), your company has paid all applicable taxes to the state and is still considered an active entity. Should you need a Certificate of Good Standing, you can quickly order one from our website here

We hope this has been helpful in clarifying how to prove the existence of your company. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 800-223-3928 or contact us here