10 Items You Will Need to Incorporate Your Business

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If you’re planning to incorporate your business, both a S corporation and a C corporation require the same items. The first and most important item is your articles of incorporation. Although individual states differ slightly on the items they require, below are 1o items you should plan on including in your articles of incorporation as you prepare to file paperwork to incorporate your business.

Legal Name

The legal name of your business must be included in your articles. Before deciding on a name, use your state’s name checker to make sure it hasn’t been registered already. When you included your company name it must include a corporate identifier like “LLC” or “inc.” You may also spell out “corporation” or “incorporated”.


Not all states require a legal address for a corporation so check with the company helping you incorporate your business for guidance on this issue.

Director List

This is a list of those people who formed the corporation. Along with their names, addresses and other contact information may be required by the state where the company is registered.

Officer List

Corporation documents are often required to disclose the officers but not all state require the reporting of these officials.


This is the person or an incorporation company like ActiveFilings.com who prepared the incorporation documents. Their contact information, including name, address, phone, e-mail, and signature are required in your articles of incorporation.

Purpose for your Business

What do you sell or what service do you provide? Before you can incorporate your business you have to have a clear description of the purpose for your business. Some states will allow a very general explanation while others will want a more specific statement of purpose.

Statutory Agent

States have a variety of titles for this person. (registered agent is a common title) This person must have a physical address in the state where the company is registered and is the designated person to receive all mailings and official correspondence related to the corporation.

Authorized Shares of Stock

Even if you aren’t offering stock for public trading, you have to authorize a certain amount of shares that your owners or other stake holders could potentially hold should you award those. You don’t have to award all shares but your document should state how many are available for issue.

Par Value

Along with the amount of shares available for award, you have to state their par value. This doesn’t necessarily correspond to their actual value. This is different than actual value which is often determined by book value.

Preferred Shares

If the soon to be corporation will offer preferred shares, the number of shares along with a specific description of the voting rights that come with the different levels of ownership must be included. If you are confused about the types of shares to issue and the different rights, payouts, and other benefits that go with it, consult an expert. (Most small businesses don’t offer preferred shares)

Incorporating your business can sometimes become difficult. Use an online business registration service to help you.