New York Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a New York 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:New York Department of State - Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code

Certificate of Incorporation


Not-for-Profit Incorporation Instructions

Filing Method:

Mail, fax, or in-person.

Agency Fee:

$75 + optional $25-150 expedite fee


~14 business days. Within 24 hours for $25 expedite fee. On the same day for $75 expedite fee. Within 2 hours of receipt for $150 expedite fee.


NY Code - Not-For-Profit Corporation

  • If faxing, use the Credit Card Authorization form.
  • The NY Division of Corporations accepts check, money order or credit card.
  • When a Certificate of Incorporation is accepted for filing by the Department of State, the organization’s corporate existence begins. The Department of State will issue an official filing receipt that contains the filing date, which is also the date of incorporation

Other Helpful New York Facts

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

New York Directors

  • Number: minimum 3
  • Qualifications: 18 years of age (some exceptions). No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: 1 year unless otherwise specified in the articles or bylaws, 5 year maximum
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 3 directors

New York Officers

  • A president, one or more vice-presidents, a secretary and a treasurer.
  • Term: 1 year
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual, except for president and secretary.

New York Members

  • Members: optional
  • Regular meeting: required annually
  • Quorum: majority of entitled votes

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