The first requirement for an Organization Validation SSL certificate is called Organization Authentication. This is where the Certificate Authority (CA) will attempt to verify that your organization is a legitimate legal entity.
What is Organization Authentication?
The Organization Authentication requirement is perhaps the most involved of all the OV requirements. The CA will be checking that your organization is registered and active within your state or country. It's absolutely vital that all of the listed information from your organization's registration matches the details that you supplied during enrollment. It's also worth noting that if your organization operates under any trade names, assumed names or DBA's, that all of that registration information needs to be up to date and accurate as well.
The primary way that the CA's will attempt to verify this information is by checking the Online Government Database in your local municipality, state or country—whatever government site publically displays your business entity registration status. You can check on your registration information here.
If all the details match up, then you'll have satisfied this requirement. If not, don't worry. There are alternative methods your CA and you can utilize to authenticate your organization.
There are three other methods that can be used for organizational authentication.
- Official Registration Documents – You can use the business registration documents that have been issued by your local government to satisfy this requirement. Examples of these types of documents include articles of incorporation, chartered licenses and DBA statements—anything from the government showing your company is a legitimate legal entity.
- Dun & Bradstreet – You can use a comprehensive DUNS Credit Report to verify specific details associated with your business entity. Dun & Bradstreet is an organization that does financial reporting on other businesses. Their credit reports are held in high esteem by the CA's and can be used to satisfy multiple requirements.
- Legal Opinion Letter – Though Legal Opinion Letters, often called Professional Opinion Letters or POL's, can be a hassle to obtain, they are exceptionally useful during the validation process. They satisfy four of the five requirements for Organization Validation. Essentially you are having an attorney or accountant vouch for the legitimacy of your organization by signing a letter from your CA. You can learn more about POL's here.
Any of these methods will satisfy the Organization Authentication requirement.