What are Articles of Organization?

The Articles of Organization are required by each state to legally form a limited liability company (LLC). Occasionally, the Articles of Organization may be referred to as the Certificate of Organization, Certificate of Formation, or the Articles of Association.  


A similar document called the Articles of Incorporation is usually required when registering corporations. 


When officially registering your company with the Secretary of State or a similar administrative filing agency, business documents like the Articles of Organization are required along with a fee that can range between $40 on the low end in Kentucky and $400 on the high end in Massachusetts.

Why do I Need Articles of Organization?

Your Secretary of State or other similar administrative filing agency requires these documents to officially register your business as an LLC. The process of filing Articles of Organization with the state gives the appropriate agencies the ability to track and review businesses to ensure they comply with state laws.  

What’s Included in the Articles of Organization?

Each state will have different requirements for what to include when filing your Articles of Organization, but here are some common business details to gather: 


  • The LLC’s name 
  • Description of the company or statement of purpose
  • The mailing address or principal place of business
  • The name and address of the LLC’s registered agent 
  • The names of the business owners, members, managers, and other officers


Before working on your Articles of Organization, you may want to check your state agency’s website for fill-in-the-blank forms. If your state doesn’t have a form like this, there are templates available online that can provide a basic guideline. However, these free templates may not be comprehensive, so be sure to verify that you have all the required information before filing. 

What is a registered agent?

The registered agent, also known as a resident agent or statutory agent, is an individual or entity that receives tax and legal paperwork, including service of process, on behalf of your business. You can designate this role to a professional service, yourself, another member of the LLC, or any individual that meets the state’s criteria. Choose your registered agent carefully as this individual or entity will serve as the general point of contact for receiving business and tax notices, payment reminders, and other documents that can impact your LLC’s future operations.

Filing Organizing Documents for an LLC

To officially register an LLC, business owners will need to follow instructions from their state’s Secretary of State or a similar agency. 


While a business owner may complete these forms and gather these documents for filing independently, it’s a good idea to reach out to an attorney to review the information. Filing instructions vary from state to state and occasionally, filings are rejected for mistakes or missing information.  


Below you’ll find some helpful links to each state’s agency. Review the details of your state’s requirements carefully. 

Agency Name

Alabama Secretary of State

Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

Arizona Corporations Division

Arkansas Secretary of State

California Secretary of State

Colorado Secretary of State

Connecticut Secretary of State

Delaware Division of Corporations

Florida Department of State

Georgia Secretary of State

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Idaho Secretary of State

Illinois Secretary of State

Indiana Secretary of State

Iowa Secretary of State

Kansas Secretary of State

Kentucky Secretary of State 

Louisiana Secretary of State

Maine Secretary of State

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Minnesota Secretary of State

Mississippi Secretary of State

Missouri Secretary of State

Montana Secretary of State

Nebraska Secretary of State

Nevada Secretary of State

New Hampshire Secretary of State

New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services

New Mexico Secretary of State

New York Department of State

North Carolina Secretary of State

North Dakota Secretary of State

Ohio Secretary of State

Oklahoma Secretary of State

Oregon Secretary of State

Pennsylvania Department of State

Rhode Island Department of State

South Dakota Secretary of State

Tennessee Secretary of State

Texas Secretary of State

Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code

Vermont Secretary of State

Virginia State Corporation Commission

Washington Secretary of State

Washington D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

West Virginia Secretary of State

Wisconsin Department of Revenue

Wyoming Secretary of State


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