What are articles of incorporation? – Simply put, the articles of incorporation are a set of documents that you will need to file with a government body so as to legally document the creation of your corporation. These are also known as Certifications of Formation or Charters. You will need to include the general legal information about the corporation, which will include the name and location of the business.
In this article, you will learn about articles of incorporation in general. Apart from that, we will also explain how the Articles of Incorporation work in the United States and how to prepare them.
In addition to that, we shall also discuss the importance and purpose of articles of incorporation. Finally, you will come across an example of what to include in such a set of documents. Hence, to learn more, read on through to the end of the article.
What Are Articles Of Incorporation?
According to Investopedia,
“Articles of incorporation are a set of formal documents filed with a government body to legally document the creation of a corporation. Articles of incorporation generally contain pertinent information such as the firm’s name, street address, agent for service of process, and the amount and type of stock to be issued. The articles of incorporation are used to legally form the corporation.”
It is important for a corporation to file articles of incorporation to structure a company as a professional corporation, non-profit corporation, or any other type of corporation. Based on the state where your corporation is located, you might need to fill in different requirements for paperwork. Furthermore, there are also other rules that you will need to follow if you want to file articles of incorporation.
The job of the state officials is to review applications for articles of incorporation. If the filer of the articles of incorporation follows the state regulations and pays the right fees, the state officials will notify the business of its corporation status.
Articles Of Incorporation – How Do They Work?
According to the Wall Street Mojo,
“A corporation can either prepare Articles of Incorporation by itself or may contact a professional for the purpose. The documents must be accompanied by a set of all necessary credentials. However, this does not mean it must be extensive or highly complicated. A self-made filing is also acceptable, but only if it has the required basic minimum information.”
In most states, you will need to file the articles of incorporation with the Office of the Secretary of the State, based on the state where you are located. In some other states, there might be another agency that will be handling the problem.
All you need to do here is consult with an attorney in the state, who will give you details about what agency in the state registers businesses in the state. The attorney will help you locate the form (in either PDF or online) so that you can fill the form after completion.
Once you get the certification of formation, you will need to complete other important documents related to your company. One of the important documents you need to fill in this regard is the Bylaws. It will contain information about the running of the corporation, including the rights and responsibilities of all the officers, directors, and shareholders in the corporation.
Apart from that, you will also need to get the EIN (Employee Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. It will help you establish your corporation’s bank account and credit account. With the help of this number, you will also be able to file taxes.
The Importance And Purpose Of Articles Of Incorporation
According to Business News Daily,
“Articles of incorporation separate the business owner from the business by creating a separate legal entity for the business. Incorporating reduces a business owner’s personal risk because the business becomes financially responsible for its debts and legally responsible in the case of lawsuits.”
All businesses can file articles of incorporation, regardless of their type. A new business might launch as a corporation body, or a business structured as a sole proprietorship can also become a corporation. Based on the size of the business, the company can choose to be an S Corporation or a C Corporation.
In S Corporation, the business will only need to pay taxes on dividends since it is a small business. In a C Corporation, since the business is a large one, it will pay corporate taxes and must consist of a board of directors to operate the business.
Where To File Articles Of Incorporation?
In all states, you will need to file AOI with the Office of the Secretary of the State based on the state where the business chooses to operate. In some states, the regulatory and tax environments are more favorable than others. Hence, these states attract a higher proportion of businesses that want to be incorporated into the state.
For example, two states, Nevada and Delaware, attract more than half of the public corporations in the United States. This is because the state laws in these states are flexible and strong enough to offer protection to the corporation. After the establishment of the corporation, the articles of incorporation become a public record in the state and provide valuable information about the corporation.
Hope this article was helpful for you in getting a better idea of what are articles of incorporation. Actually, these are the documents that you will need to file with a government body when you are creating a corporation. Based on the state where you are situated, you will need to file the AOI with the Secretary of State’s office.
The things that you will need to include in the articles of incorporation documents are the company name, type of corporate structure, and number and type of authorized shares. Do you have any more suggestions regarding how to prepare articles of incorporation? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below.