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 Copies and Certificates

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 paper 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. Plain copies may be sent via e-mail at no charge. Search charges, if applicable, however, are an additional charge. Records which are available include:

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

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

    How to Order Plain Copies
    The fastest way to order plain copies is by telephone at 304-558-8000 and request the copies sent to you via e-mail. Plain copies may also be ordered by completing the Customer Order Request form and selecting:
    • Standard Processing (5-10 business days) or
    • Expedite Service - Additional expedite fees apply
      • 24-Hour - $25.00
      • 2-Hour - $250.00
      • 1-Hour - $500.00

    then submit the request to our office by one of the following methods:

    • In person, with payment where applicable by cash, check, money order or credit card,
    • By mail, with payment by check or money order,
    • By fax 304-558-8381 or send email to CorpFilings@wvsos.com for standard processing or to eFilings@wvsos.com for expedite service with payment by credit card using the e-Payment Authorization form to provide credit card payment information. Your request will be rejected if the form is not included when paying by credit card.

    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 additional document filing. Our staff can determine the cost of the documents requested by the data available

    How to Order Certified Copies
    Certified copies of documents on record with Secretary of State may be ordered by completing the Customer Order Request form and selecting:

    • Standard Processing (5-10 business days) or
    • Expedite Service - Additional expedite fees apply
      • 24-Hour - $25.00
      • 2-Hour - $250.00
      • 1-Hour - $500.00

    then submit the request to our office by one of the following methods:

    • In person, with payment where applicable by cash, check, money order or credit card,
    • By mail, with payment by check or money order,
    • By fax 304-558-8381 or send email to CorpFilings@wvsos.com for standard processing or to eFilings@wvsos.com for expedite service with payment by credit card using the e-Payment Authorization form to provide credit card payment information. Your request will be rejected if the form is not included when paying by credit card.

     

    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 black ink and dated and signed in red ink by the filing clerk, 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 the Order/Payment Process Works

      Payment for copies must first be made before copies can be issued. When ordering copies by mail, telephone, fax or e-mail, an invoice is created by the filing clerk. The invoice is then sent to the cashier for payment. Be sure to include the e-Payment Authorization form 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.

      Ordering Certificates of Existence or Certificates of Authorization

      The Secretary of State can issue certificates of existence (domestic entities) or certificates of authorization (foreign entities), 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 (domestic entity) or certificates of authorization (foreign entity) for:

      • Corporations
      • 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:

      or by completing the Customer Order Request form and selecting Standard Processing (5-10 business days) or Expedite Service (additional expedite fees apply; see form for fees). You may call 304-558-8000 if you need the form sent to you. Then submit the request form to our office by one of 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 304-558-8381 or email CorpFilings@wvsos.com, with payment by credit card using the e-Payment Authorization form to provide credit card payment information. Your request will be rejected if the form is not included when paying 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.