How Do You Find Out a Company’s Date of Incorporation?

To search for the date of incorporation of an American chartered company, visit the division of corporations Web page of the state in which the entity filed its articles of incorporation, and enter the name of the entity in the search field. A company’s articles of incorporation may also be available from an investor relations page on its website, or in legal and tax databases. The date of incorporation appears near the top of the certificate of incorporation document.

If you are unsure which state awarded a company its founding charter, start with Delaware. Nearly half of all U.S.-chartered publicly traded companies incorporate in Delaware, including giants such as Coca-Cola, Google, Walmart and Facebook. This is because Delaware traditionally offers corporations legal and tax advantages that are unavailable in other U.S. jurisdictions, according to LegalZoom.

Articles of incorporation for many American companies are also available in the archives of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Online legal and tax databases feature articles of incorporation and other specific information about companies, but these databases typically require users to pay an access fee. However, some are accessible to students and faculty at university business and law schools, such as Harvard Business School, and at law libraries.