How to File the Articles of Incorporation for an Arizona Nonprofit

Filing the Articles of Incorporation is a critical step in starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit in Arizona. Whether you have been running a charity for a while or are just starting out, your nonprofit organization will need to fill out the Articles of Incorporation and file them with the State of Arizona. This will allow you to file for 501(c)(3) status and reap the benefits of having an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Want to form a nonprofit elsewhere? Check out our other How to Start a Nonprofit guides.

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Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Arizona is easy, just follow these easy steps to file the Arizona Articles of Incorporation:

If you are starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Arizona, you have come to the right place. After reading the comprehensive guide for Arizona nonprofit formation, follow this guide to file the Arizona Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. Information you will need to file the Arizona Articles of Incorporation
  2. How to file the Arizona Articles of Incorporation
  3. Arizona Nonprofit Formation FAQ

Information you will need to file the Arizona Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Arizona you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Form M002, Certificate of Disclosure, and Incorporator Attachment must be filed along with the Articles of Incorporation. You can read the complete instructions as well.

Here are the sections you will need to fill in the Articles of Incorporation:

Section 1: Entity Name

Enter the name you have selected.

For help with selecting a name for your nonprofit read our comprehensive guide on how to name an Arizona nonprofit.

Section 2: Character of Affairs

Describe the purpose of your nonprofit organization.

In order to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, the organization’s purpose must explicitly be limited to one or more of the following:

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

NOTE: Check out the IRS guidelines.

Section 3: Members

Indicate whether your organization will have any people or corporations as its members.

Section 4: Known Place of Business

Indicate if your organization will have a business address other than that of the statutory agent.

Section 5: Directors

Enter the names and business addresses of the directors you have selected.

Section 6: Statutory Agent

Enter the name and address of the statutory agent you have selected.

A statutory agent is called a registered agent in most states. For more information read our guide: What is a registered agent? and The Arizona Registered Agent Guide.

NOTE: Along with the Articles of Incorporation you must also submit form M002 which ensures that a statutory agent has been assigned.

Section 7: Certificate of Disclosure

Along with the Articles of Incorporation, you must also submit a Certificate of Disclosure.

Section 8: Incorporators

An incorporator is any person filing the Articles of Incorporation for an organization. This may be you or a lawyer helping you with the process. Enter the name and address of each incorporator.

NOTE: Along with the Articles of Incorporation you must also submit an Incorporator Attachment.


To be eligible for 501(c)(3) tax exemption you must attach an additional section to include provisions ensuring that in the event your organization is dissolved, the assets of the organization will be used towards tax-exempt purposes.

Section 5 of this sample document provides an example of these provisions required for 501(c)(3) eligibility.

How to file the Arizona Articles of Incorporation

You can submit to the Arizona Corporation Commission one of two ways:


File the Articles of Incorporation through the Corporation Commissions online portal.

By mail:

If submitting by mail you must include the following documents:

Send completed forms to the address below:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporations Division
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

The filing fee is $40.

  • Accepted credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
  • Paper checks must be made payable to "Arizona Corporation Commission" (by mail/in-person only)
  • Money orders (by mail/in-person only)
  • Cash (in-person only)

Arizona Nonprofit Formation FAQ

How long does it take to process the Articles of Incorporation?

Processing should take about 2 months. An additional expedite fee of $35 will ensure that your paperwork is processed within 2-3 weeks.

How do I contact the Secretary of State for more information?

You can call for information at (602) 542-3026 or visit them at their website.