How to File the Articles of Incorporation for an Indiana Nonprofit

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

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

What is covered in this guide:

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

Information you will need to file the Indiana Articles of Incorporation

To become a nonprofit corporation in Indiana you must file Form 4162, the Articles of Incorporation for domestic nonprofit corporations.

Here are the sections that you will need to complete.

Article 1: Entity Name & Principal Office

Enter the name you have selected and the principal office address of your nonprofit.

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

Article 2: Statement of Purpose

Describe the purpose of your nonprofit organization and additional provisions.

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.

Article 3: Type of Organization

Check the appropriate box to specifically state what type of nonprofit your organization is (public benefit corporation, religious corporation, or mutual benefit corporation).

Article 4: Registered Agent & Registered Office

The registered agent can be any entity registered to do business in Indiana 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 and you need to check the box on Form 4162 to verify this.

Enter the information of the registered agent you have selected.

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

Article 5: Membership

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

Article 6: Incorporators

The incorporator is the person who completes, signs, and submits the certification of formation. This person does not need to be a part of your organization. This can be you or a lawyer helping you with the process of formation.

This information cannot be amended.

Article 7: Distribution of Assets

Use this section of the articles of formation to formally state 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.

In addition, your provisions must adhere to Indiana Code 23-17-22-5.


When you sign and date the form you are affirming everything written in the form. You are also affirming that the registered agent listed has already consented to be the registered agent for this nonprofit organization.

How to file the Indiana Articles of Incorporation

There are two ways to submit your Articles of Incorporation:


File the Articles of Incorporation through INBiz.

By Mail:

Submit two copies of the Articles of Incorporation (the original plus a copy) to the mailing address below:

Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street, Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

The filing fee is $50 by mail and $31 online.

  • Checks and money orders for mailed forms must be made payable to the "Secretary of State"

Indiana Nonprofit Formation FAQ

How long does it take to process Form 4162?

If you file online it typically takes about 24 hours or less. If you file by mail expect to get a response in about 1 week.

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

You can call for information at (317) 232-6576 or visit them at their website.