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Better HTTPS verification for smaller companies

Going straight to face to face verification for sole proprietors and partnerships.

By Mike on 25th Jul 2017

CertSimple's been focusing on EV HTTPS since we started more than two years ago. We've made a bunch of changes but one thing's always been consistent:

We've always asked customers to provide an active, registered, incorporated company.

What is an incorporated company? And how does this relate to verifying identities for HTTPS?

In the case of EV, we're associating a verified legal entity with a public key. The legal entity and public key are contained in the certificate, and the certificate being signed by a CA means that the CA has asserted the public key is, in fact, controlled by that legal entity.

So how do legal entities differ by company type?

Incorporation might sound like something for big companies, but it isn't: CertSimple itself is a small company, but we're also incorporated. However many other small business aren't incorporated, and are sole propreietors or partnerships instead.

The only legal entities in a sole proprietorships and partnerships are that of the founders themselves. So that's what we check.

For incorporated companies, we connect to government databases in 60+ countries to find active, registered companies during our signup process (and before people pay). We connect to a large list of Independent Information Sources to confirm the operating status and contact details of the company. And we do a bunch of other stuff, all aimed at checking identity as fast as we can, and then passing those details onto our CA to use in issuing a certificate.

But what if you're not incoporated? In this case, the validation process for sole founders is very different from companies. We've wanted to improve our process for sole founders for some time - in particular we wanted to address some of the issues in Troy Hunt's Journey to an Extended Validation Certificate.

We launched a small feature today: customers can pick 'Sole Proprietor or Partnership' and:

It's a small feature, but will save a bunch of time for sole props and partnerships, help an even wider variety of sites verify their legal entities and prove who they are online. Got any questions? Mail me and we'll go from there.

Mike MacCana, founder at CertSimple.

CertSimple makes EV HTTPS fast and painless.

An EV HTTPS certificate verifies the company behind your website. But getting verified is a slow painful process. CertSimple provides EV HTTPS certificates 40x faster than other vendors. We check your company registration, network details, physical address and flag common errors before you pay us, provide verification steps specific for your company, update in realtime during the process, and even check your infrastructure to help you set up HTTPS securely.
Verify your site now!