What are Articles of Incorporation?
'Articles of Incorporation' act as a charter for your corporation that establishes the existence of your corporation in the state it is registered, and establish basic information about the new corporation. Articles of Incorporation are filed as a single document with the Secretary of State's office (or similar government agency that handles business registration). This document describes the basic indentifying and operating characteristics of your corporation (explained in more detail below). Once this document is filed and approved by the state, the articles of incorporation legally establish the corporation as a fully registered business entity within the state.
What is included in the Articles of Incorporation?
Regardless of the type or size of your business, there is a minimum amount of information that most states require be included in the articles of incorporation. These are:
Writing the Articles of Incorporation
Whether you prepare the articles of incorporation yourself, or hire a business attorney, the articles of incorporation do not need to be overly complicated or extensive. As long as you have the minimum information outlined in the above bulleted list, your articles of incorporation will most likely be accepted for filing in your state. Most state's Secretary of State's websites will offer pre-printed articles of incorporation forms that your business can fill out in a short time.
Articles of Incorporation Fees and Filing Costs
Once the articles of incorporation are written and signed they are ready to be filed with your state's Secretary of State's office or other similar agency. All states will require a filing fee to file your corporation's articles of incorporation. This fee varies from state to state and ranges anywhere from $35 to $300, depending on the state of incorporation. This fee can vary in some states, for example, if your new company is a non-profit rather than a for-profit corporation.
Writing and filing your new corporation's articles of incorporation is an important step for your business's success. You may want to consult an experienced business attorney to ensure that all of your state's legal requirements have been met in the incorporation process.