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What Are Articles of Organization?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on May 11, 2015 12:55 PM

So you've weighed the pros and cons of incorporation and you've decided to take the next step and form your small business as an LLC. As you move down your LLC to-do list, you see: "File your LLC's Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State office in your state."

Wait, what are articles of organization? And how are they important to your business? Here's a quick background and a few tips on writing and filing your LLC's articles of organization.

Corporate Charter

The articles of organization will act as the structural and legal backbone of your new LLC. The articles establish document certain basic information about the new business and describe the fundamental identifying and operating characteristics of your LLC. Once filed, the articles of organization will legally establish your LLC as a registered business entity within the state.

Documentation Details

While state business registration laws may vary, most states will require that your articles of organization include the following information:

  • The LLC's name and address (principal place of business);
  • The nature of the LLC's business (usually stated in broad language to avoid limiting any future business prospects);
  • The name and address of your LLC's registered agent (person who is authorized to physically accept delivery of certain legal documents on behalf of your LLC); and
  • The name(s) of manager(s) and members of the LLC.

Most states require articles of organization to identify the LLC's organizers who are responsible for the incorporation process and signing the articles before filing them with the state.

Articulating the Articles

Not all articles of organization need to be complex documents, and some Secretary of State offices will even provide form articles into which you can insert your LLC's information. That said, there may be some aspects of the articles that could require some legal expertise. Before filing your articles of incorporation, you may want to consult with an experienced small business attorney in your area.

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