Once your club has chosen an organizational structure, whether it is incorporating or forming a limited liability company (LLC), you’ll need to draft articles of incorporation or organization to become a legal entity.
Articles of incorporation, sometimes known as a charter, is a legal document that establishes a corporation and must be filed with your state government. Articles of incorporation vary from state to state, so make sure you have the proper information for your state’s requirements. In most cases, it’s a good idea to seek the assistance of a qualified legal professional for this task.
Articles of incorporation tend to have basic information about the organization, including, but not limited to:
Clubs seeking tax-exempt status also will have to apply to the IRS. When incorporating, be sure to consider whether you want a tax exemption in the future. If so, specific language may be required in your articles of incorporation for the club to receive tax-exempt status. More information can be found in the tax exemption article (insert link).
To file articles of incorporation, you’ll need to get the appropriate forms from your state. In most states you can get these forms online from the office of the Secretary of State or Department of State. If you search the Internet for articles of incorporation and include your state’s name, you should find what you need. Be sure to include “tax-exempt” in the search if you plan to file for tax-exempt status because the forms may be different.
Most of these forms come with instructions that provide step-by-step guidance on completing and filing the forms. Again, it’s a good idea to seek advice from qualified legal or accounting professionals, although it is not required.
Sample articles of incorporation and organization are available below.