Yes, the Province of Ontario maintains a copy of your original Articles of Incorporation, which includes the Certificate of Incorporation as part of the legal document.
The process in Ontario has changed recently and the turnaround time to obtain a copy of the Articles of Incorporation has increased.
Historically, it has taken 3 to 5 business days to order and retrieve the microfiche for any incorporation within Ontario. The microfiche held a copy of the Articles of Incorporation documents filed for each incorporated company in Ontario.
Recently, the Province has revamped its systems and moved to a digital format of the Articles and, at least for now, it has slowed down the process of retrieving the documents to an 8 to 10 day turnaround time.
In the past, if you wanted certified copies of the documents, the Province would certify the actual microfiche and attach it to the Articles of Incorporation, which was not effective for anyone unless they could get to a microfiche reader for review.
With the change to digital, the Province is now providing the Articles of Incorporation with a certified 1-page document attached to the file, which is a much better option. The government charges additional fees for the certified copies above the pricing for a regular copy.
How do I retrieve a copy of my articles?
To order a copy of the articles, the process remains as a manual request. The documents must be ordered in person through the Provincial office at 393 University Avenue, 2nd floor in Toronto.
If you do not wish to attend this office yourself, we offer the service to go on your behalf and order the documents over the counter at the Provincial office.
Can I use this new copy for opening my bank account and more?
Yes, you can use the replacement copy for anything you may require. If you are retrieving the documents to be used in a foreign jurisdiction, it is recommended you obtain a certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation. If you are not sure whether to get a regular or certified copy, before ordering we recommend asking whoever you are obtaining the articles for, if a certified copy is required.
Once you have ordered and completed the request for documents as a regular copy, you cannot change those into certified. You would be required to order again and wait the time delay again for the certified copy.
Do the Articles of Incorporation show changes completed since the Incorporation?
No, the Articles of Incorporation remain the same as the day they were originally filed, regardless of any changes. If you wish to see the most updated information of directors, officers and addresses connected with a corporation, you can order a Corporate Profile Report. We can assist you to do this as well.
If you have made changes to the corporate name or structure, it is best to also request the Articles of Amendment, along with your Articles of Incorporation. The Amendment documents will show a new corporate name for the business or if you have changed the structure such as changing from one class of shares to two or more classes of shares.
How will I receive the documents?
If you order the documents with us, we will email you a scanned copy of the Articles. If you order a certified copy, we will email you the scanned documents, as well as mailing the certified documents.
Ontario Business Central has supported clients with the retrieval of documents from the Province of Ontario since 1992. If you would like our assistance here is the link to assist you.
Should you have any questions about changing obtaining a Copy of Certificate of Incorporation, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.
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Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.