Business Registration Certificate Definition

A business registration certificate is an official document issued by a government authority that confirms a company's legal existence and compliance with local regulations, allowing it to operate and engage in business activities.

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Who needs a business registration certificate?

Business registration certificates are the essential document to form a business entity. Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) are the most common types of business entities, but others may require registration. The registration requirements depend on the regulations in your specific state. 

Which form to file as your business registration certificate

The form you use for your business registration certificate depends on your type of business and the state you are filing in. Different states have different names for their business registration certificates. Here are some business registration certificate examples. 


Corporations usually file a Certificate of Incorporation. This could also be called the Articles of Incorporation or Corporate Charter.

Limited Liability Company

Limited liability companies typically file Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, or Certificate of Formation. 

Limited Partnership

A limited partnership may need to file a Certificate of Partnership. Some states don’t require the small business registration of partnership entities. 

What is included in a business registration certificate?

The requirements for filing each document will vary by state. One of the best things you can do to make sure the filing process goes smoothly is to have everything you need already prepared. Most formation documents are submitted to the secretary of state, but this also varies by state. The information you need will also depend on which type of legal entity you are forming. Here are some things that are often required.

Official name of the business

Make sure to follow all business naming guidelines for your state. Generally, your name must be unique and not confusing. We can help you be sure your name is available with our Business Name Checker

Doing Business As (DBA)

If you plan to operate your business under a different name than the official registered name, you will need to have a DBA. In some states, this is called a trade name. 

Registered agent

It’s necessary for all legal business entities to have a registered agent. This person or business is responsible for accepting all legal correspondence on behalf of the company. We can help you find a registered agent in your state. 

Physical and mailing address

You will need to supply the principal business address and the mailing address if it is different from the physical address. 

Corporate shares

Corporations will need to list information regarding initial shareholders and the number of authorized shares. 

Member / manager Information

LLCs are run by members and managers. Many states will require the contact information of all members and managers with management-level authority. It is a good idea to determine management structure before filing formation documents. 

Authorized signature

It’s necessary for someone with authority to sign the document, stating that they assert all the information is true. 

Filing fee

There is a filing fee that must be paid at the time the document is submitted. Many states have online filing options. 

Business registration certificate benefits

One advantage of filing a business registration certificate is that all of your basic business information is in one place. If things change, feel confident in your ability to amend the document. In fact, we can do that for you with our amendment service.


For those looking for a basic business registration certificate definition, this document is used to officially start a business. 

How we can help

Forming businesses is one of our specialties. Let us streamline the process of filing your business registration certificate with our Business Formation Services. We can also help you stay compliant with additional filing requirements along the way with our Worry-Free Compliance Service.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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