top of page

Wix Blog

15 Essential Steps to Starting a Business

Wix Blog

Best Online Business Ideas


Start a Business Website

Articles of Incorporation


What are Articles of Incorporation?

Articles of Incorporation refer to a legal document that outlines the fundamental details about a corporation. These include its purpose (why the business was started), location, structure, and ownership. It’s filed with the appropriate government agency in order to formally establish the business as a corporation and is essential for obtaining licenses and permits, opening bank accounts, and managing and running a business. They might also be referred to as articles of association.

The history of Articles of Incorporation

The concept of Articles of Incorporation dates back to ancient Rome, where corporations were created by special acts of legislation. In the US, the first modern corporations were formed in the late 18th century, and articles of incorporation became a standard legal requirement in the 19th century. Today, the process for creating Articles of Incorporation varies by state, just as registering a business does, but they generally include similar content.

What do Articles of Incorporation include

If you’re looking to start a business or corporation you’ll need to include the following:

  • Corporate name and purpose

  • Rights and powers of shareholders and board members

  • Number of shares authorized

  • Description of classes of stock

  • Registered agent information

  • Bylaws relevant to the business

These requirements may vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the state you’re looking to register your corporation in before filing the articles.

What benefits do Articles of Incorporation confer

Filing Articles of Incorporation are not only usually a necessary legal requirement for establishing a corporation, they also offer the following benefits and protection:

  • Limited Liability Protection for shareholders

  • Clear ownership structure and management hierarchy

  • Institutional credibility with clients, vendors, and investors

  • Access to capital through Issuance of Stock

  • Possible tax benefits


You may also be interested in:

Limited Liability Company

Non Profit Corporation

C Corporation


Examples of Articles of Incorporation

One example of a company that has effectively used Articles of Incorporation is Google. Their Articles of Incorporation include a unique stock structure that allows the founders to maintain control over the company, even as it has grown to become one of the largest corporations in the world. Another example is Starbucks, which includes in its Articles of Incorporation a commitment to social responsibility and ethical business practices.

These are often displayed on a business website.

Best practices for creating Articles of Incorporation

As a legal document we recommend you do the following before writing and filing your articles:

01. Consult with an attorney or business advisor

02. Create a clear and concise document

03. Include provisions for future changes and growth

04. Ensure compliance with state laws

05. File the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State

Challenges associated with writing Articles of Incorporation

One potential challenge associated with writing your Articles of Incorporation is the cost and complexity of creating them - they're a legal document and should be treated as such. Also, once a corporation is formed, it must comply with ongoing reporting and regulatory requirements. This might include an annual re-filing free, as one example.

Articles of Incorporation FAQ

What is the purpose of Articles of Incorporation?

Their purpose is to establish the legal existence of a corporation and provide a framework for how it will operate.

Do all businesses need Articles of Incorporation?

Can Articles of Incorporation be changed?


Related Term

Business Triage

Related Term


Ready to create your own website?

The latest trends in business, marketing & web design. Delivered straight to your inbox.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page