Maryland Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a Maryland 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:Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)

Articles of Incorporation for Tax-exempt Nonstock Corporation

Filing Method:

Mail, fax, in-person, or online.

Agency Fee:

$100 filing fee + $20 organization & capitalization fee + $50 development center fee if applying for 501(c)(3),(4), or (6) + optional $5 return mail fee + optional $50 expedite fee. The expedite fee is required to file online, by fax, or in-person.


~10+ weeks. ~7 business days with expedite fee online or by fax. Same-day if filed in-person with expedite fee by 4:15pm.


Code of Maryland - Corporations and Associations - Title 5: Special Types of Corporations


If you do not pay the expedite fee, you could have to wait 10+ weeks for the secretary to process your articles. Upon processing, you will only receive notice of filing if you pay the $5 return mail fee; otherwise, look in the secretary's online records ~10 business days later to see your entity record.

Other Helpful Maryland Facts

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

Maryland Directors

  • Number: minimum 1
  • Qualifications: None. No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: next annual meeting and until successor elected and qualified
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 1 director

Maryland Officers

  • A president, a secretary, and a treasurer are required.
  • Term: 1 year and until successor elected and qualified
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual, if permitted by bylaws, except the offices of president and vice president. This person may sign instruments in only one capacity when the signatures of two officers are required.

Maryland Members

  • Members: If there are no members then the directors are members.
  • Annual meeting: required
  • Quorum: majority of entitled votes

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