How To Get a Copy of Your LLC Articles of Organization

How To Get a Copy of Your LLC Articles of Organization

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Carolyn Young has over 25 years of experience in business in various roles, including bank management, marketing management, and business education.

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For over 15 years, Sarah Ruddle has been a noteworthy leader in the business and nonprofit world.

How To Get a Copy of Your LLC Articles of Organization

How To Get a Copy of Your LLC Articles of Organization

The articles of organization are the key component of registering your limited liability company (LLC) with the state. Although you only need to file the document once when creating your business, there may come a time when you need a copy.

Read on to learn about articles of organization and how to request a copy from the state. 

What Are LLC Articles of Organization?

If you’d like to make your new business an LLC, one of your first tasks is to file articles of organization with the state. 

The articles of organization, known as a certification or organization or certificate of formation in some states, is a legal document filed with the state to form an LLC. It includes details about your company and establishes your LLC as a registered business entity in that state. 

The articles of organization are much like the articles of incorporation business files to form a corporation. An LLC is an entity type that provides business owners with liability protection and pass-through taxation, similar to a sole proprietorship. 

Where Can I Find the Articles of Organization form? 

A visit to your secretary of state’s website will direct you to your state’s articles of organization form. In most states, you can fill the form out online and submit it electronically. 

Filing typically involves a fee, which varies by state. 

What Information Do I Need to File My Articles of Organization?

Articles of organization forms differ in every state, and the information you need to supply may vary. But they all generally require the following details. 

1. Company Name.

Before choosing a name, review your state’s business name regulations:

  • Search your secretary of state’s website to ensure the name you want to use is not already used by a different business.
  • Note that the name must include the acronym “LLC,” the term “limited liability company,” or the shortened “limited liability.” 
  • Using terms like “bank” or “insurance” in your name is unacceptable if this is not what your business does. 
  • Avoid using a name that might be confused with a government body. 
  • Check the US Patent and Trademark Office to ensure the name hasn’t been trademarked. 

2. Business Address.

You must provide a physical address; a P.O. box will not be accepted.

3. Company’s Purpose.

Some states are satisfied with a simple statement like “to engage in lawful activity,” while others require you to specify your product or service and type of business.

4. Registered Agent Name.

Most states require LLCs to identify a registered agent, the person or company authorized to receive and respond to legal documents on behalf of your LLC. 

  • The registered agent can be a member of the LLC, or you can choose a third party, such as an attorney or a company that offers registered agent services.
  • The agent must be a resident of the state where you do business or a corporation authorized to do business in your state.

5. Member Names.

LLC owners are known as members. The names of all LLC members must be stated. 

6. Manager Name or Names.

There are two types of management structures:

  • The LLC’s members manage a member-managed LLC. Smaller LLCs prefer this management structure with fewer members, who tend to be more involved in day-to-day operations. 
  • Non-member employees manage a manager-managed LLC. This structure is typically chosen when an LLC is more significant, with multiple members.

7. LLC Start Date.

Your LLC’s start date is when your state approves its formation. 

Most states allow you to choose a start date within 90 days of the formation date.

8. Duration of the LLC.

There are two LLC duration types:

  • A perpetual LLC exists forever unless you choose to dissolve it. 
  • An indefinite LLC specifies a trigger for dissolution, such as the end of a certain business-related event. 

Be sure to have all the above information on hand when filling out your articles of organization. Then, after you’ve submitted your LLC’s articles of organization and the state has approved your entity, you are officially a registered business in your state! 

It’s worth noting that occasionally a state will deny an LLC’s submitted articles of organization. This is not uncommon, and some reasons include the following:

  • Your chosen LLC name is already taken
  • Errors or gaps of information in the document
  • The required filing fee has not been paid 

When Do I Need a Copy of My Articles of Organization?

In addition to replacing a lost or damaged copy, there are several reasons you might need a copy of your articles of organization. 

If you’re looking to obtain funding for your business, lenders may request a certified copy of your articles of organization as part of the loan application process. Banks may also require a copy before you open a business bank account.

If you need to register as a foreign LLC to do business in other states, those state governments may need a copy of your articles of organization. In addition, if you have plans to expand your business through partnerships and outside investors, those parties may also request a copy.

Requesting a Copy of Your LLC Articles of Organization

The business filing agency in your state typically handles issuing copies of the articles of the organization. In many states, the agency is either the Secretary of State or the Department of Revenue, though it may be something else, so refer to your state business guidelines.

Most states allow you to request a copy of your articles of organization online, although some require a written request form. In addition, you can request a copy in person or over the phone. 

Some states have fees associated with obtaining a certified copy, and some business owners hire a legal service company to receive it. Turnaround times for acquiring a copy of your LLC articles of organization vary greatly, so refer to your state for details. 


An LLC owner might need a copy of their articles of organization for a variety of reasons. Though the process differs from state to state, it’s relatively easy to request a certified copy. Refer to your state guidelines for details on request forms, associated fees, and processing turnaround times, and best of luck with your business!