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What is a Corporation’s Incorporation Date?

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about a corporation's incorporation dateThis post explains how a state assigns a corporation’s incorporation date and how you can find the incorporation date for a given corporation. I first wrote about this in my answer to a Quora question. Please see What is the date of incorporation? Is it the date the articles of incorporation are adopted and signed, or when the state agency accepts them (USA)?

Assigning an Incorporation Date

Generally, the incorporation date is the date that the state receives the Certificate or Articles of Incorporation for filing.

Please note that one typically learns about the filing, and that date, some time later. For example (and unless one requests and pays for expedited filing):

Finally, I will note that it is possible to request (within limits) a later effective filing date. For example, assume that you want to have a corporation in effect as of January 1 of the new year. You can submit a Certificate or Articles of Incorporation in mid-December with a request that filing be effective on January 1. The returned document will be provided after January 1 and will have January 1 as the filing (incorporation) date.

Finding an Incorporation Date

A straightforward way to find the incorporation date for a given corporation is to do a search for that corporation at the applicable Secretary of State website. Examples:

That date typically appears immediately when you retrieve the corporation’s record. If not, you can obtain it with an additional click or two.

Alternatively, if you have a copy of the filed Certificate or Articles of Incorporation that was returned by the state, the filing date (and other information) will appear at the top of the first page.

Here are examples from Delaware (2/18/2013)…

Delaware filing stamp for post about a corporation's filing date


…and California (3/22/2010):

 California filing stamp for post about a corporation's filing date





Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510-547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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