Illinois Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a Illinois nonprofit corporation.

Preparing and filing your articles of incorporation is the first step in starting your nonprofit corporation. Approval of this document secures your corporate name and creates the legal entity of the nonprofit. Only after this approval can you apply for 501c, apply for fundraising licenses, open a bank account, and otherwise conduct business.


Incorporating provides many important benefits:

  • Limits the liability of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • Fulfills statutory requirements to register your organization's name
  • Is a prerequisite for applying for 501(c) tax exemption
  • Provides governance and adds credibility to the business or organization

Fast Facts

Agency:Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department

Form NFP 102.10: Articles of Incorporation

Filing Method:

Mail, fax (only if you have a prepaid account), or online

Agency Fee:

$50 by mail or $75 online


~2 weeks by mail or fax. ~1-5 business days if you file online and pay the $100 expedite fee.


805 ILCS 105

  • The purpose of the corporation must be selected among the 33 purposes listed in Section 103.05(a) of the General Not-For-Profit Corporation Act.
  • You must file by paper to include additional provisions such as those required for 501(c) tax exemption.
  • When you file by mail you must submit the original articles with signatures in black ink and one copy.

Other Helpful Illinois Facts

As you are preparing to incorporate, keep in mind the following requirements specific to Illinois, keep in mind:

Illinois Directors

  • Number: minimum 3
  • Qualifications: None. No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: until next election unless staggered as provided in the articles of incorporation or bylaws
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 2 directors and directors must be the majority of membership, except for committees involved in electing directors

Illinois Officers

  • Defined in articles or bylaws. One officer certifies corporate records (e.g. the Secretary).
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual, if the bylaws so provide.

Illinois Members

  • Members: optional
  • Annual meeting: required
  • Quorum: 1/10th votes

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