Wisconsin Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a Wisconsin 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:Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) - Division of Corporate and Consumer Services - Corporations Bureau

Articles of Incorporation

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:



~4-7 business days


Wisconsin Statutes 181.0202


Submit original and one copy. The copy will be marked "FILED" and returned as evidence of filing. No certificate of incorporation is issued.

Other Helpful Wisconsin Facts

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

Wisconsin Directors

  • Number: minimum 3
  • Qualifications: Individual. No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: 1 year
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 3 directors

Wisconsin Officers

  • A president, a secretary, and a treasurer unless otherwise defined in articles or bylaws.
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual.

Wisconsin Members

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

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