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 Copies and Certificates

Ordering Plain Copies of Records

The records of the Business Division are public information.  Occasionally, a paper record must be retrieved from archived files to complete the record on older companies. Plain copies are available at a charge of $1 for the first page, and $.50 for each additional page, providing a search of 15 minutes or less is required, and providing the records do not have to be retrieved from archives.  Search charges are additional. Records which are available include:

  • Screen prints of current data, including type, formation date, addresses, status, officers & directors, and summaries of amendments, mergers and other details
  • Original articles, registrations or applications for certificate of authority
  • Amendments, including name changes
  • Mergers
  • Trade name registrations
  • Dissolutions & withdrawals

By-laws and other internal documents are not ordinarily filed with the Secretary of State, and are usually available only through the company.


    Ordering Certified Copies of Records  

    Any of the records listed above can be certified upon request.  The charge for certified copies is a flat $15 for the company formation documents plus $5 for each amendment or addition.


      Verifying Certified Copies Issued by Secretary of State's Office

      A certified copy that is not ordered online will always have the certification language stamped in red ink, on the back of the documents, in the lower right hand corner. If you receive a certified document and it is not properly certified in this manner, you should contact the Secretary of State's Office to inquire about the validity of the document.


        How to Order Copies
        Copies of documents on record with the Secretary of State may be ordered by the following methods:
        • In person, with payment by cash, check, money order or credit card,
        • By mail, with payment by check or money order,
        • By telephone 304-558-8000, fax 304-558-5758 or e-mail business@wvsos.com, with payment by credit card.

        Payment for copies must first be made before copies can be issued. When ordering copies by mail, telephone, fax or e-mail, the request is sent to the cashier for payment. Be sure to call our office at 304-558-8000 to speak with the cashier to make payment by credit card. Once the payment has been processed by the cashier, the request is returned to the clerk who will then process the copies request. The copies will then be forwarded to the contact person and/or address referenced in the request for service by regular USPS mail delivery, unless otherwise requested.


        For certified copies, our staff can determine the price from the data available on screen.  Orders can then be placed by telephone using a credit card or by mail using a check.


        For plain or certified copies, send your request by e-mail to business@wvsos.com and specify exactly which documents you wish to receive.  Our staff will return the number of pages and the copy or certification charge, which you can then pay by check or credit card.  See Ordering & Payment for more information.


          Ordering Certificates
          The Secretary of State can issue certificates of existence or certificates of authorization (depending on the type of company) on companies which are registered, active and have filed annual reports.  A "good standing" certificate does not imply that the company has met all its obligations to the state, such as payments for unemployment compensation or workers compensation, or that it is financially sound.  Certificates cannot be issued for a company solely under a trade name.  The fee for each certificate is $10.00.

          The Secretary of State issues certificates of existence or certificates of authorization for:

          • Domestic and Foreign Corporations
          • Domestic and Foreign Limited Liability Companies
          • Limited Partnerships
          • Limited Liability Partnerships
          • Business Trusts
          • Voluntary Associations


          How to Order Certificates
          A certificate of existence or a certificate of authorization for a company may be requested:

          • Online, through the Online Order Center, with payment by credit card,
          • In person, with payment by cash, check, money order or credit card,
          • By mail, with payment by check or money order,
          • By telephone 304-558-8000, fax 304-558-5758 or e-mail business@wvsos.com, with payment by credit card.

          You may want to call for an informal status to make sure you know the correct company name, and to be sure a certificate can be issued.