What are Articles of Incorporation?

What are Articles of Incorporation?

Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office before a corporation can do business in a state.

Articles of Incorporation are legal documents which contain descriptions of the most pertinent information about a company at its formation. This includes a list of board members, the number of shares to be issues, bylaws, business model, facilities and assets, and so forth.

These documents must be filed with the Secretary of State before a corporation will be approved to do business or to accept any startup capital. States will charge a fee to incorporate and most states have a corporate franchise tax as well. Corporations must also name a “resident agent,” to whom lawsuits and so forth can be served if they need to be.

Some law firms, for the purpose of serving as a resident agent despite not actually working in that state regularly, will maintain offices in various states with one employee at each office to answer phones and receive mail. Articles of Incorporation are also called a “corporate charter” or “articles of association.”

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