The first step in forming a 501(c)(3) charity in Arizona is to file your Articles of Incorporation. This tutorial will help you through the ten steps necessary to submit the Articles of Incorporation in Arizona and formally create a nonprofit.

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You must submit the Articles of Incorporation for a Nonprofit Corporation in Arizona to form a domestic nonprofit corporation. This tutorial covers every step you need to follow to effectively complete this paperwork and begin on the right road to forming an Arizona charity.

Along with your Articles of Incorporation, you must submit a completed Certificate of Disclosure, cover sheet, and Statutory Agent Acceptance form – all of which are discussed more below.

Step 1: List the name of your nonprofit. Step 2: Describe the nature of your nonprofit’s operations.
Step 3: Confirm any additional members
Step 4: Provide the address of your nonprofit. Step 5: Name your initial board of directors.
Step 6: Select a Statutory Agent.
Step 7: Submit a Disclosure Certificate.
Step 8: Collect Signatures of Incorporators
Step 9: Include Any Extra Attachments
Step 10: Documents for File Formation

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit

The first step in completing the Arizona Articles of Incorporation is to include the name of your organisation in article one of the document. If you haven’t yet decided on a name for your organisation, these are the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit in Arizona:

The words “association,” “business,” “corporation,” “limited,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of any of these phrases must appear in the name of your nonprofit.
Your nonprofit’s name must be distinct from any other name on file in Arizona, including any reserved names.
Your nonprofit’s name cannot include any terms that may imply it is associated with a government entity.
Your nonprofit’s name cannot contain the terms “university,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “trust” as a distinct word to indicate that the organisation is involved in banking or trust.

Look for the Availability of Your Name
Following the selection of prospective names β€” preferably, at least four or five β€” it’s essential to check their availability in your state. You may do this by completing the four suggested searches listed below.

Arizona Corporation Lookup
A nonprofit company must have a distinct name in order to exist in Arizona. You may simply verify whether your desired name is available by utilising the Arizona eCorp Business Entity Search tool.

Domain Name Lookup
We highly advise you to additionally check to see whether your company name is accessible as a web domain (URL). Even if you don’t intend to construct a company website right away, you should purchase the domain name to prevent others from gaining it. It’s a completely free search.

Federal Trademark Lookup
Using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System, you may quickly see whether your preferred charity name has already been trademarked. Even if you do not intend to create your charity right immediately, this is essential.

You may register for a trademark for your organisation after you have confirmed that no one else has previously trademarked your selected name.

Search the Web and Social Media
A good social media presence can help you reach out to prospective funders as well as customers who will employ your services. As a result, before registering your preferred name, check the web and prominent social media platforms for it to confirm it is accessible on all platforms where you want to advertise your group.

Step 2: Describe the nature of your nonprofit’s operations.

In article two of the Articles of Incorporation, describe your organization’s original nature of operations β€” its goal. This is one of the most significant parts of this document since your federal tax exemption is dependent on your organization’s purpose being in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criteria.

To be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, your organization’s mission must incorporate one or more of the following characteristics:

Charitable\sReligious\sEducational\sScientific\sLiterary
Public safety testing
promoting amateur sports competition on a national and worldwide scale
Preventing animal/child cruelty
Notably, unlike many other states, Arizona does not require nonprofit companies to maintain their founding condition of affairs for the duration of their existence.

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Step 3: Confirm any additional members

Check the relevant box to indicate whether or not your organisation will have members.

Step 4: Provide the Address of Your Nonprofit

Article four provides you with two options:

If the street address of your organisation is the same as the address of your statutory agent, just tick “yes” and go to article five.
If the street address of your nonprofit varies from the address of your statutory agent, choose “no” and proceed to article 4.
2. Enter your organization’s actual or street address – it cannot be a P.O. Box.

Step 5: Form Your First Board of Directors

The state of Arizona requires you to list each director of your company, as well as their business address, on your Articles of Incorporation. Follow these guidelines while creating your nonprofit’s inaugural board of directors:

Prefixes such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” should be avoided.
Use lineage titles if relevant.
If appropriate, use titles such as “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”
If you have more than six original directors and want more space, just select the appropriate box under this section and then fill out and submit a Director Attachment form.

Read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Arizona article for a comprehensive guide on creating your nonprofit’s board of directors.

Step 6: Select a Statutory Agent.

In order to submit the Articles of Incorporation for a nonprofit in Arizona, a statutory agent, also known as a registered agent in most states, is necessary. A registered agent acts as your nonprofit’s official contact by receiving official papers on its behalf, such as compliance notifications and tax filings. In the case of a lawsuit, your registered agent is also responsible for receiving service of process paperwork.

In addition to stating your statutory agent’s name and address in article six, you must submit a completed Statutory Agent Acceptance form.

Step 7: Submit a Disclosure Certificate.

In order to incorporate a nonprofit corporation in Arizona, you must submit a completed Certificate of Disclosure along with your Articles of Incorporation.

Step 8: Collect Signatures of Incorporators

You must provide the signature and address of at least one incorporator for your organisation. The person who submits the Articles of Incorporation is known as an incorporator. If you have more than two incorporators, use the Incorporator Attachment form to attach their details.

Step 9: Include Any Extra Attachments

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, you must include a section in your Articles of Incorporation that explains how your charity will utilise its funds and what will happen to it if/when the organisation dissolves. A example of such a provision may be seen on the IRS website. In particular, in the case of dissolution, all earnings should be utilised for tax-exempt causes.

Step 10: Documents for File Formation

In Arizona, you may submit your Articles of Incorporation online, by mail, via fax, or in person. To file online, you must first register an account with Arizona eCorp.

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