How to File the Articles of Incorporation for an Arkansas Nonprofit

Filing the Articles of Incorporation is a critical step in starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit in Arkansas. 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 Arkansas. This will allow you to file for 501(c)(3) status and reap the benefits of having an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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

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

What is covered in this guide:

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

Information you will need to file the Arkansas Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Arkansas you must file Form NPD-1-501c3, the Articles of Incorporation - Domestic Nonprofit: 501(c)(3) Compliant Language.

Here are the sections that you will need to complete.

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 Arkansas nonprofit.

Section 2: Entity Type

Check the appropriate box to indicate if your nonprofit will be acting as a public benefit corporation, mutual benefit corporation, or religious corporation.

Section 3: Membership

Select the appropriate box depending on whether or not your nonprofit corporation plans to have members.

Section 4: Power

Select Box A or B to accurately describe the power of the corporation. If you select B, you must fill in the blank.

NOTE: We recommend Box A to ensure that your articles have all the language required for 501(c)(3) eligibility.

Section 5: Purpose

Select Box A or B to accurately describe the purpose of the corporation. If you select B, you must fill in the blank.

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

NOTE: You can read the IRS guidelines on their website.

Section 6: Dissolution

Select Box A or B to accurately describe what the assets of the organization will be used for, and what will happen to the assets if the organization is dissolved.

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, you must convince the IRS that the organization’s assets will always only be used for the purposes approved under 501(c)(3) rules. To this end, you must 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.

Section 7: Registered Agent & Registered Office

The registered agent can be any entity registered to do business in Arkansas or any person who is a resident of the state. Your organization cannot act as its own registered agent.

Any person you designate as the registered agent must have already explicitly consented to act as the registered agent for your organization even though you do not need to include proof of consent with your Form NPD-1-501c3.

Enter the information of the registered agent you have selected.

For more information read our guide: What is a registered agent? and The Arkansas Registered Agent Guide.

Section 8: Incorporators

Incorporators are the people who complete, sign, and submit the articles of incorporation. These people do not need to be a part of your organization. They can be you or a lawyer helping you with the process of formation. Include the names, signatures, and addresses of each incorporator.


You have the option of attaching additional provisions to your articles of incorporation.

Annual Report - Contact Information

When you file your initial articles of incorporation, the state of Arkansas requests that you also provide contact details for your organization so that an annual reporting form may be sent out. You need to include the following:

  • Entity name
  • Entity street address or P.O. Box
  • Entity phone number
  • Contact person’s name
  • Entity email address
  • Date
  • Signature

How to file the Arkansas Articles of Incorporation

You can submit your Articles of Incorporation one of two ways:


File the Articles of Incorporation through the Arkansas Secretary of State's online application.


Submit the Articles of Incorporation to the mailing address below:

Arkansas Secretary of State
Business and Commercial Services
1401 West Capitol Ave, Ste. 250
Victory Building
Little Rock, AR 72201

The filing fee is $50 for mailed forms and $45 for online forms.

  • Personal checks must be made payable to the "Arkansas Secretary of State"
  • Accepted online payments include Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or INA account (Information Network of Arkansas).

Arkansas Nonprofit Formation FAQ

How long does it take to process Form-1-501c3?

It typically takes about 2-4 business days.

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

You can call them at (501) 682-3409 or visit them at their website.