So You Want To Start A New Business or Nonprofit?…How To File An Article of Incorporation

By: Aaliyah S. Ogletree

Congrats! You want to start a new business or nonprofit? Well the first step is creating a cohesive and well thought out business plan or strategic plan, but let’s skip to the second step,( I will talk more about the first step later at some point),which is filing an Article of Incorporation in your state.

First, what does it mean to file an Article of Incorporation? Articles of Incorporation describe the characteristics of your corporation and serve as a charter to establish your corporation in your state. Here’s how to file an articles of incorporation form with the state. So let’s get started! Listed below are first steps and resources to help you on your way!

Step 1-Verify that your articles of incorporation include the minimum requirements as specified by your state. Most states require the following: the corporation’s name, the mailing address, the purpose of your corporation, the name and mailing address of the agent who represents your corporation and stock information. Name the directors of the corporation and have them sign it, if signatures are required by your state.

Step 2-File your articles of incorporation with your state’s secretary of state. You can also file them with an agency that deals with the registration of businesses. These are plentiful, and most operate online only. Examples include LegalZoom and Instacorp. In most cases, incorporating simply means filling out the form posted on the state’s secretary of state site.

Step 3- Pay the filing fee for your articles of incorporation. This fee will be determined by the state in which you incorporate. You may pay a slightly higher fee if you work through a third-party incorporation company.

RESOURCES:

http://www.business.gov- Your one stop shop to getting the information you need for your new business.
http://foundationcenter.org/- Your one stop shop for get the information you need in the nonprofit world.
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