Articles of Incorporation vs. Certificate of Organization - What's the Difference?

certificate of organization vs. articles of incorporation

Clients often come to us because they have been asked to provide a document called the "Certificate of Organization". This document is commonly requested by financial institutions during financing or merger related activities. It can also be requested by insurance companies, attorneys, accountants, and more. 

This document frequently causes confusion because it has a variety of names, based on the state the entity was formed in. You may be asked for your Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, Articles of Formation, or your company formation documents.

In Delaware, this document is called the Articles of Incorporation (for a corporation) or Articles of Formation (for an LLC).

When the term "formation" is used, it's referring to an LLC. When the term "incorporation" is used, it's referring to a corporation, regardless of whether "articles" or "certificate" is in front of it. 

All of the terms mentioned above are referencing the same document - the document that proves the creation of your company or corporation. 

You may be asked for your Certificate of Organization (or any variation of this term) and you'll present them with your Articles of 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).

This document has a file-stamp from the state of Delaware on it, confirming the existence of your company. 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. We can provide you with either. 

If you have any questions about your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Formation documents, feel free to give us a call at 800-223-3928. We'd be happy to assist you!

DISCLAIMER: The Incorporators LTD. is a business formation service company only.
All content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, taxation or financial advice or services.