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What are articles of organization?

The articles of organization are a document created early in the process of setting up an LLC which are filed with the state of organization - it is the creation and filing of the articles of organization that essentially “creates” the LLC. This document is short, often only one page long, which includes basic information about the LLC such as its name, its address, the name and address of the registered agent and a short description of the company’s purpose. Some articles will include the names of the initial members and/or managers or some other information - you should check the laws of the state you are organizing in to determine precisely what else you need to include in your articles of organization. However, you should generally not disclose more information than necessary/required, because this is a public document which anyone can access.

Most secretary of state websites include boilerplate forms, showing you what exactly your articles of organization need to include. Beyond that, as mentioned, you should check the specific requirements of your state. Once you have completed drafting the articles, you must then file them with the secretary of state and wait for the document to be processed - this processing usually takes several weeks, although many states offer an option to expedite the process. When you file your articles of organization, you will generally have to include a filing fee as well - the amount of this fee varies from state to state.

While most states refer to this document as the articles of organization, some alternatively refer to it as a certificate of organization.