Articles of Incorporation


The term articles of incorporation refer to documents submitted by a business entity to a government agency to legally register the creation of a corporation.  The articles of incorporation are typically submitted to the Secretary of State or Department of the Treasury using a form that is unique to each state.

The approval process involves a review of the information appearing on the form, along with the collection of a registration fee.


While the form of an organization can change over time, business owners can choose to operate as a corporation.  This provides a number of benefits, including limiting the liability of the owners, unlimited commercial life, and the ability to issue common stock.

Also referred to as a corporate charter, and certificate of incorporation, the articles of incorporation legally document the formation of a corporation.  The registration process occurs at the state level, and is administered by agencies such as the Department of Commerce, Secretary of State, or the Department of the Treasury.  While the fees charged and rules of compliance will vary by state, the types of information provided include:

  • Federal I.D. / Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Corporate Name
  • Business Purpose
  • Registered Agent / Incorporator
  • Business Address
  • Members / Managers

During the registration process, the state agency will perform a check to ensure the corporate name is not in conflict with another already on file.  Once accepted, the corporation needs to comply with rules set forth by the state such as the requirements for non-profit organizations.

Related Terms

business organization, limited liability corporation, sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations