Articles of Dissolution is the document issued by the Department of State as conclusive evidence that your company was dissolved and is no longer in existence.
Upon request the Office of the Secretary of State will issue a certified copy of the document as conclusive evidence that these changes were in fact filed. The process of obtaining a certified copy from the Office of the Secretary of State is called the “retrieval”. Certified copies bear the Seal of the Department of State, the signature of the state officer (Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of State, State Treasurer) and the statement that the document is in fact a true and correct copy of the original document kept on file in the Office of the Secretary of State.
If the document is intended for use in a foreign country it has to be legalized (“authenticated”) for foreign use. This is a process in which various seals are placed on the document. If the target country has joined the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (“The Hague Convention”) the only legalization required is an Apostille. A document bearing an Apostille is valid in all of the Hague countries.
If the document is intended for a non-Hague country the consular legalization will be required. Before the consulate or the embassy can stamp the document, the document has to be authenticated on the state and federal levels.
Only certified copies as described above are accepted for further legalization. Computer generated or notarized copies cannot be accepted for legalization.
1. List of U.S. states: Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Montana (MT), Nebraska (NE), Nevada (NV), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), Vermont (VT), Virginia (VA), Washington (WA), West Virginia (WV), Wisconsin (WI), Wyoming (WY).