Law Dictionary

articles of incorporation

Updated on: 26 Jul 2017
  1. :  a document by which a corporation is formed that sets forth basic information (as the corporation's name, purpose, directors, and stock) usually as required by statute — see also certificate of incorporation — compare bylaws, charter

Additional Notes on articles of incorporation

In most states a corporation is created upon the filing of the articles of incorporation with the secretary of state.


Financial Definition of ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

articles of incorporation

What It Is

Articles of incorporation are legal documents that set forth a corporation's basic information, such as its location, profit/nonprofit status, board composition, and ownership structure. Articles of incorporation are often called corporate charters.

How It Works

The articles of incorporation must be filed with the Secretary of State for the state in which the corporation is headquartered. Many state government websites offer basic templates for articles of incorporation. Although requirements vary by state, articles of incorporation typically include the following:

The corporation's name and address
The corporation's purpose
Whether the corporation is nonprofit or for-profit entity
The name and address of the corporation's registered agent
The number of shares authorized
The classes and par values of these authorized shares
The directors of the new corporation

Once they are filed and approved by the Secretary, the corporation is considered to be legally created. In most cases, there is fee to do this.

Why It Matters

It is important to note the difference in the business laws of each state before considering opening a business in a certain domicile. Most business owners consult attorneys before filing their articles of incorporation.


Learn More about articles of incorporation


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up articles of incorporation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

done merely as a duty

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!