How to File the Articles of Incorporation for a Florida Nonprofit

Filing the Articles of Incorporation is a critical step in starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit in Florida. 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 Florida. 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 Florida is easy, just follow these easy steps to file the Florida Articles of Incorporation:

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

What is covered in this guide:

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

Information you will need to file the Florida Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Florida you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Florida Division of Corporations.

Here are the sections that you will need to complete.

Article 1: Corporate Name

Enter the name you have selected. This name must include a suffix such as 'corporation,' 'incorporated,' or an abbreviation of one of those.

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

Article 2: Principal Office

Enter the street address and mailing address (if different) of your office.

Article 3: Purpose

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: You can read the IRS guidelines on their website.

Article 4: Manner of Election

State how the directors of your organization will be elected and appointed.

Article 5: Initial Officers/Directors

List the names and addresses of at least three directors of your nonprofit.

Article 6: Registered Agent

List the name and address of the registered agent you have selected.

Your registered agent must also consent to their appointment by signing the Articles of Incorporation form either physically or electronically. If filing online, your registered agent must fill out the "Registered Agent Signature" section themselves or give the filer permission to fill out that section on their behalf.

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

Step 7: Incorporator

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 the incorporator.


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.


Both the incorporator and the registered agent selected must sign and date the form.

How to file the Florida Articles of Incorporation

You can submit the Articles of Incorporation in one of two ways:


File the Articles of Incorporation through the Division of Corporations' online portal.

By mail:

Submit your cover letter along with two copies of the Articles of Incorporation to the following address:

Department of State
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314

The filing fee is $35.

Florida Nonprofit Formation FAQ

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

You can call them at (850) 245-6052.