Pennsylvania Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a Pennsylvania 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:Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

Articles of Incorporation

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:



~5-10 business days.


15 Pa.C.S. Subpart C

  • You need to file a PA docketing statement with your articles.
  • The $125 articles of incorporation fee is waived for veterans. Filers requesting a veteran/reservist-owned small business fee exemption should attach proof of the veteran’s or reservist’s status to the Articles of Incorporation form when submitted.

Other Helpful Pennsylvania Facts

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

Pennsylvania Directors

  • Number: minimum 1; default 3
  • Qualifications: Natural person of full age (some exceptions). No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: 1 year
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 1 director

Pennsylvania Officers

  • A president, a secretary, and a treasurer are required.
  • The president and secretary must be natural persons of full age. The treasurer may be a corporation or a natural person of full age.
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual.

Pennsylvania Members

  • Members: If there are no members, then the directors act as members.
  • Regular meeting: required annually
  • Quorum: majority of entitled votes

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