How to Fill Out Articles of Incorporation

By Jennifer Williams

Articles of Incorporation are filed with state governments to create a corporation. Each state has its own statute setting out what must be addressed and included. Some states require a great deal of detail, while others provide very simple forms with little required information. Regardless of the individual state requirements, articles of incorporation establish a corporation's legal existence. Articles must be filed with the Secretary of State, or state equivalent, for the corporation to be officially created and commence operations.

Articles of Incorporation are filed with state governments to create a corporation. Each state has its own statute setting out what must be addressed and included. Some states require a great deal of detail, while others provide very simple forms with little required information. Regardless of the individual state requirements, articles of incorporation establish a corporation's legal existence. Articles must be filed with the Secretary of State, or state equivalent, for the corporation to be officially created and commence operations.

Incorporator

Most states require the name and contact information for an incorporator, the person responsible for filling out and filing the articles of incorporation. The incorporator is responsible for placing his personal signature on the articles and dating the signature. This is the individual the state contacts if there are any errors in the articles that require correction.

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Title

The corporate name is another standard requirement for articles of incorporation. The name must be unique, and many states provide online search databases to make sure there are no other corporations operating in the state already using the name you've chosen. The name must also have a suffix that indicates its corporate status, such as Corp. or Inc.

Location and Registered Agent

A street address for the principal place of business is often required in the articles of incorporation, along with a designated registered agent for receipt of service of process. When a registered agent is required, the articles must also provide the street address where the registered agent is physically located. If anyone needs to sue the corporation, this is who they serve and where they serve process.

Shares and Board of Directors

If a corporation is issuing shares of stock, the articles of incorporation typically set out the number and type of shares the corporation is initially authorizing, how many of those shares are to be retained by the company, and how many are to be issued. States can also require the name and addresses of each initial member of the board of directors, as these are the individuals who are ultimately responsible for the corporation's operations.

Micellaneous

Articles of incorporation can present additional information, such as the corporate purpose, whether it is for profit or not for profit, its intended duration and what circumstances constitute dissolution of the corporation. There is usually a limitation of liability clause included in online forms provided by state departments for the corporate officers and members of the board of directors. Generally, the incorporator can include any information he or she deems necessary in the articles as long as it does not conflict with the laws of the state of incorporation.

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What Is Needed to Incorporate a Business in Indiana?

References

Resources

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How to Incorporate in Iowa

Some state governments use the internet to streamline the business registration process. Most states have a central website to provide new business owners with resources to make it easy to incorporate within the state. These states either allow you to fill out articles of incorporation online or provide a fill-in-the-blank template that you can download from a state website. Iowa is one of a handful of states that does not provide an articles of incorporation template. Instead, it refers business owners to the state's corporations statute and requires incorporators to draft their own paperwork by looking at the law. Preparing articles of incorporation is fairly straightforward, but if you are uncomfortable drafting your own legal documents, you can consult an attorney or download a template from an online document preparation.

How To File Articles of Incorporation in Kentucky

Individual state laws set forth the procedures for officially filing articles of incorporation. Kentucky has a user-friendly process for either filing in person, online, or by mail. You can also use online document preparation service, such as LegalZoom, to prepare and file your articles of incorporation for you. Incorporating generally shields businesses owners from personal liability; therefore, if a corporation faces lawsuits, the owners' personal property is protected from judgment. Filing articles of incorporation is a critical part of forming a Kentucky corporation because it fulfills state recognition of the entity.

Incorporation in Utah

Incorporating a new business in Utah is a big step. Fortunately, the state wants to make the process as easy and convenient for you as possible. Business incorporation in Utah is handled by the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. The division is authorized by the Utah Revised Business Corporation Act to accept corporate filings and maintain a public registry of corporate information. All the information needed to file articles of incorporation is available on its website.

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