How to File the Articles of Incorporation for a Georgia Nonprofit

Person submitting paperwork.

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

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

What is covered in this guide:

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

Information you will need to file the Georgia Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Georgia you must file the Articles of Incorporation as well as a Transmittal Information Form with the Secretary of State.

There is no official form for the Articles of Incorporation, but the state does provide instructions. Here are the sections you must include:

Article 1: Corporate Name

Enter the name you selected.

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

Article 2: Nonprofit Statement

Your Articles of Incorporation must include this exact phrase:

"The corporation is organized pursuant to the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code"

Article 3: Registered Agent

Write in the name, address, and county of the registered agent you have selected for your organization. All official correspondence will be sent to this address.

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

Article 4: Membership

Indicate whether or not your nonprofit organization will have members by writing one of these statements:

"The corporation will have members"

OR

"The corporation will not have members"

Article 5: Principal Office Address

Put in your organization’s principal address. If you do not plan to have a physical office you may use a P.O. Box address or that of your registered agent.

Article 6: Supplemental Provisions/Information

There are two things you will need to cover in this section:

1) 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.

2) 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.

Article 7: Execution

When you sign and date the form you are affirming everything written in the articles. Make sure to identify that you are signing the document as the incorporator for the organization.

How to file the Georgia Articles of Incorporation

Mail the following to the Secretary of State:

  1. Transmittal Information Form
  2. Articles of Incorporation
  3. A nonrefundable filing fee of $110.00 payable to the Secretary of State.

Georgia Secretary of State
Office of Secretary of State Corporations Division
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334

Georgia Nonprofit Formation FAQ

Can I expedite the time it takes to file the Articles of Incorporation?

There are various options to expedite the process:

  • $1000 expedite fee to get 1-hour service
  • $250 expedite fee for same-day service
  • $100 expedite fee for processing within 3 business days

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

You can call for information at (404) 656-2817 or visit them at their website.