Once you write and file an article of incorporation, your business is on the road to success. An article of incorporation is simply a formal statement of how your business will operate.
You must file articles of incorporation with your state’s Secretary of State office or a similar agency responsible for managing business filings. At minimum, your article of incorporation information must include your company’s name and address, a broad definition of products/services your business will market, stock information and the name of a registered agent--an individual who is authorized to receive confidential documents on behalf of your company. There are three basic steps required to finalize your company’s article of formation:
1. Write your article of incorporation.
2. Sign your article of incorporation.
3. File your article of incorporation.
Create your own article of incorporationPreparing your own article of incorporation is not a difficult process so long as you follow the minimum requirements on what information should be included. Before mailing, be sure to check your state's submission requirements. Some states require you to notarize all signatures and they request a specific number of copies of the article of formation.
Consult with an article of incorporation lawyerIf you don't want the hassle of filing your own article of incorporation, you can consult with an attorney. An attorney will ensure that you understand all state-specific laws regarding business formation and submit all required documents for you. You can also obtain professional assistance from an article of incorporation consultant.
Pay your article of incorporation filing feesNo matter if you prepare your article of incorporation on your own or if you receive article of incorporation help from a lawyer, you are required to pay all necessary filing fees. Depending upon the state in which you file, fees could range from nearly $40 to approximately $300.
- Simply mailing your article of incorporation doesn't give you the green light to conduct business in the company's name. After you file article of incorporation documents for your company, it's a good idea to wait until you receive your formal certificate of incorporation from the state. In most cases, you'll receive formal confirmation within seven to 10 days.