Operational Existence

The next requirement for an Extended Validation SSL certificate is proving Operational Existence. The CA must confirm that your company has been operational for three or more years. If your company has not been operational for three years, it's still possible to have your Operational Existence verified—but it's going to require a little more work on your part.

Proving Operational Existence

For a well established company that has been around for longer than three years, proving Operational Existence should be a breeze. In fact, much like with getting Organizational Authentication, there's a chance you won't have to provide any documentation at all and the CA will be able to verify your company's Operational Existence just by checking online.

In this case the CA will check the Online Government Database – either in your local municipality, state or country – that displays your incorporation date. If you're located in a place that keeps good records and you've been around for long enough, this requirement will be met easily.

Other Ways to Prove Operational Existence

If your company resides in a place that doesn't keep good online records, or if your company is younger than three years old, then proving Operational Existence is going to require a little more work on your part. But don't be worried, it's still not all that labor-intensive (or scary).

There are four alternative ways to prove Operational Existence:

  • Official Registration Documents – If your company has been operating for more than three years you'll simply need to forward along documentation. This can be done with almost any document issued by your local government, for example, articles of incorporation, a charter license or a DBA statement.
  • Dun & Bradstreet – Dun and Bradstreet is a company that provides credit reports on businesses. Regardless of how long your company has been operating, if there is a Dun & Bradstreet credit report on your organization the CA's can use it to verify Operational Existence.
  • Bank Confirmation Letter – No matter how long your organization has been operating, if you have an active checking account at a local financial institution all you have to do is supply a letter verifying this information to the CA and you can check the Operational Existence box off.
  • POL – If you have a Professional Opinion Letter – a notarized letter from a lawyer or accountant vouching for your company's legitimacy – you can use it to prove your operational existence.

Any of these options will satisfy the Operational Existence requirement and get you one step closer to being issued an Extended Validation SSL Certificate.