posted on 06-06-2019

Articles of Incorporation

Updated October 1, 2019

What are Articles of Incorporation?

Articles of incorporation are legal documents that set forth a corporation's basic information, such as its location, profit/nonprofit status, board composition, and ownership structure. Articles of incorporation are often called corporate charters.

How Do Articles of Incorporation Work?

The articles of incorporation must be filed with the Secretary of State for the state in which the corporation is headquartered. Many state government websites offer basic templates for articles of incorporation. Although requirements vary by state, articles of incorporation typically include the following:

The corporation's name and address
The corporation's purpose
Whether the corporation is nonprofit or for-profit entity
The name and address of the corporation's registered agent
The number of shares authorized
The classes and par values of these authorized shares
The directors of the new corporation
Once they are filed and approved by the Secretary, the corporation is considered to be legally created. In most cases, there is fee to do this.

Why Do Articles of Incorporation Matter?

It is important to note the difference in the business laws of each state before considering opening a business in a certain domicile. Most business owners consult attorneys before filing their articles of incorporation.