For anyone wanting to start any kind of business, to become official, firstly they need to file articles of incorporation. In this post, we will discuss the steps any business owner needs to take.

What Are Articles of Incorporation?

Articles of incorporation are the official documents that a business owner must file with a government agency. The filing process is how a business registers an official name, physical address, and lists any officers and/or agents representing the company. It is essential to note that in Florida, businesses file with the Florida Department of State.

Does Filing Mean I Must Register as a Corporation?

No, “articles of incorporation” is just the formal name of the process of registering a business with a government. Depending on the jurisdiction, you might also call this process a “certificate of incorporation” or “corporate chartering”. When a person files, they will also elect the corporate structure which can be anything from a sole proprietorship to an S-Corporation.

Are Articles the Same Thing as Corporate Bylaws?

No, articles of incorporation inform the government and the public as to the identifying information for the business.  On the other hand, corporate bylaws are internal rules that dictate how to business conducts itself. Depending on the jurisdiction and/or corporate structure, you might need to file the corporate bylaws with the government as well.

What to Include

Although each government might have slight variations of what needs to be included in articles of incorporation, the following are the requirements in Florida which is representative of most jurisdictions.

  1. Corporate Name
  2. Principal Address
  3. Registered Agent(s)
  4. Stock
  5. Name and Address of Incorporator

Is That All?

The above list is the minimum requirements needed under Florida law to properly file articles of incorporation.  It is important to note, that each item also has specifics in statutes that need to be met. Lastly, depending on the type of corporate structure a person chooses, they might have additional information they might need to include.

In Conclusion

Starting a business is a very important decision. Allow Dowd Law to use their expertise to ensure your business is being set up correctly. Contact us for a free consultation.