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Articles of Incorporation

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

The document that must be filed with an appropriate government agency, commonly the office of thesecretary of state, if the owners of a business want it to be given legal recognition as a corporation.

Articles of incorporation, sometimes called a certificate of incorporation, must set forth certain information as mandated by statute. Although laws vary from state to state, the purposes of the corporation and the rights and liabilities of shareholders and directors are typical provisions required in the document. Official forms are prescribed in many states.

Once the articles of incorporation are filed with the secretary of state, corporate existence begins. In some jurisdictions, a formal certificate of incorporation attached to a duplicate of the articles must be issued to the applicant before the business will be given legal status as a corporation.

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