Articles of incorporation, also referred to as the certificate of incorporation or the corporate charter, are a document or charter that establishes the existence of a corporation in the United States and Canada. They generally are filed with the Secretary of State or other company registrar.
The articles of incorporation outline the governance of a corporation along with the corporate bylaws and the corporate statutes in the state where articles of incorporation are filed.
The articles of incorporation typically include the name of the corporation, the type of corporate structure (e.g. profit corporation, nonprofit corporation, benefit corporation, professional corporation), the registered agent, the number of authorized shares, the effective date, the duration (perpetual by default), and the names and signatures of the incorporators.
The state fee to file articles of incorporation to incorporate a profit corporation range from $50 - $300, and to incorporate a nonprofit corporation range from $0 -$125.