Original Publish Date: March 1, 2019
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.
Historic Retrieval of a Copy of Articles of Incorporation for Existing Corporation
If you have pulled a copy of the Articles of Incorporation, the process and turnaround time have changed.
Historically, it had taken 3 to 5 business days to order and retrieve the microfiche for any incorporation document within Ontario. The microfiche held a copy of the Articles of Incorporation documents filed for each incorporated company in Ontario.
Current Retrieval Under the New Ontario Business Registry (OBR)
Recently, the Province has revamped its systems and moved to a digital format of the retrieval of the original Articles of Incorporation and, at least for now, it has slowed down the process of retrieving the documents to an 8 to 10 day turnaround time.
Obtaining a Certified Copy of the Articles of Incorporation
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 format, the Province is now providing the Articles of Incorporation with a certified 1-page document attached to the file, which is a much better and more up-to-date option. There is no longer the requirement of a third party to view the microfiche to ascertain that the certified documents reflect what has been provided within the microfiche. The government now offers either non-certified or certified copies of Articles of Incorporation for the same government fee.
How Do I Retrieve a Copy of My Articles?
Since digitalizing Articles of Incorporation, the process to obtain copies no longer involves going in person to the manual filings office in Toronto. You are now able to order a copy of the articles and obtain a copy much easier and completely online.
Whereas previously, if you wanted to get these documents yourself, you would have had to submit your request in person through the Provincial office at 393 University Avenue, 2nd floor in Toronto, then go a second time when your request was ready to be picked up, which was sometimes take a number of days. Now, you are able to request and receive these copies of documents within just a few business days.
Can I Use This New Copy For Opening My Bank Account and More?
Yes, you can use the replacement copy of the Articles of Incorporation 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.
Can I Order a Copy of the Articles of Incorporation Anywhere in Canada?
Yes, Ontario Business Central offers the ability to order a copy of the Articles of Incorporation from any provincial or federal jurisdiction across Canada. You may select either non-certified or certified copies in any jurisdiction.
Can I Order More Than One Company’s Articles of Incorporation in the Same Request?
Yes, Ontario Business Central has made it very easy to order multiple searches of different corporations within the same order reducing the need to place one business search at a time.
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, together with the certifying cover page.
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 obtaining a Copy of Certificate of Incorporation and Articles of Incorporation, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.
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.