When you incorporate as a nonprofit, the state in which you incorporate will require Articles of Incorporation. What is required may differ from state to state. It is important to contact the state office (usually the Secretary of State) responsible for incorporations to find out what the requirements are. Many state offices will provide a packet of information about how to incorporate as a nonprofit and even samples of articles of incorporation or fill-in-the-blank forms that you can use.
Articles of Incorporation provide information such as:
- The corporation's name
- The name of the person(s) organizing the corporation
- Purposes for which the corporation is formed
- Wording that states that no part of the assets of the nonprofit corporation are to benefit the members.
- Number and names of the corporation's initial board of directors.
- The initial director(s) or registered agent.
- Location of the corporation's registered office where legal papers can be served to the corporation if necessary.
The Articles of Incorporation do not go into the details of how the corporation will be run. That is spelled out in the corporation's bylaws.