Small Business Brief

Business Advice

The Art of Business: What to Include in Your Articles of Incorporation

Congratulations on your decision to start a business. Legitimizing your business by filing for incorporation is an important step. Each state has its own process for registering a business. 

The term incorporation can seem intimidating to someone just starting out. Understanding there are subgroups your business falls under removes some of the stress.

First, you will need to decide if your business entity is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) which is common for small businesses. S-Corps, C-Corps, and Not-for-Profits are additional business structures. 

Articles of Incorporation are part of the registration process. When you file for incorporation, you’ll need to have them outlined.

Keep ready to see what you’ll need to include in your Articles of Incorporation.

What Are the Articles of Incorporation?

The Articles of Incorporation is also called a corporate charter. When filing for incorporation, you will be required to give specific information about your business and its structure.

For entrepreneurs and small businesses, it is a simple process, especially if you’re required to create an LLC. For larger companies with multiple entities, it can be more complex. 

What Is Included?

The Articles of Incorporation doesn’t require a lot of information. Most states offering online portals will have an Articles of Incorporation sample to follow. The portals also guide users through the process.

Here are the basic items you’ll need to include.

Official Name

Your legal business name is included in the Articles of Incorporation. Some states also require filers to apply for a fictitious name. You’ll need to check with your individual state. 

If you have any DBAs or Doing Business As, you will list those as well. 

Contact Information

The contact information for the business is both your mailing address and the business physical address if it is different. You’ll also want to include a contact person.

Some states ask for a business email address.

Agent of Record

The Agent of Record (AOR) is the term given to the person who will be responsible for receiving legal documents sent to your company. These documents are not limited to your interactions with the State. Someone bringing legal action against your business will receive this information.

The owner or officers of the business are not obligated to be listed as an AOR. It is recommended that businesses use a law firm or agency that offers AOR services. Utilizing this service will come with a small fee.

Using yourself and your home address is not recommended for legal reasons.

Type of Corporate and Profit Structure

The most complex portion of the Articles of Incorporation is the corporate and profit structures. This is where you list information relating to company stocks and members of your Board of Directors, if applicable.

Your state may have other specific items they require. 

That Was Painless

Knowing how to write the Articles of Incorporation is painless. It is merely information you already know because it is your business.

We have more useful tips and guides for business owners so check back frequently.