Articles of Incorporation: Your Commitment to Ethical Practices

The term Articles of Incorporation describes the primary rules that govern the management of corporations within the United States. They are your commitment to following the law and are typically filed with a state-based or other regulatory agency.

articles of incorporation

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Once you become incorporated, you are bound by the law to ethically comply with the rules, policy, and procedures. Just as you’d treat your marriage with respect, your business deserves equivalent respect.

About Articles of Incorporation

When individuals incorporate as an organization in Arizona they are required to complete Articles of Incorporation. The requirements to incorporate naturally vary from state to state. Therefore, it’s important to contact the state’s governmental office, typically their Secretary of State, to learn more about the incorporation process.

Many states including Arizona provide informational documents about how to incorporate. They even provide sample Articles of Incorporation to help individuals learn how to properly fill out the required forms. Generally, they request the following:

  • The name of the corporation
  • The names of individuals who have organized the corporation
  • The purpose of the corporation
  • The number and names of the corporation’s board of directors, in addition to the initial directors and registered agents; and
  • The location of the corporation’s registered offices and street address

Articles of Incorporation typically don’t describe the operations of the corporation in question. Those details are generally included within associated documents for the corporation’s bylaws.

The documents for Articles of Incorporation are important, as it’s the basis for registering a corporation within any state. In most cases, corporations that fail to file for Articles of Incorporation may be served with legal action if they proceed to act without securing their legalities.

Filing for Articles of Incorporation in Arizona

Individuals who want to incorporate in Arizona are required to submit their Articles of Incorporation. In addition to submitting the aforementioned information about their corporation, they also have to submit information pertaining to:

  • The number of initial authorized stocks associated with the corporation
  • The street address and signature of the statutory and registered agent associated with the corporation
  • The names and associated contact information of the business owner or individual who files the articles of incorporation

The Arizona Corporation Commission website provides fillable PDF documents for business owners to complete, print and mail.  In addition, the business owner must pay a filing fee, which is noted on the application form.

The Arizona Corporation Commission generally approves Articles of Incorporation after receiving documents if they are complete and accurate. Then, businesses are required to publish a copy of the document in the newspaper belonging to the county of the corporation’s business location. It must run for three consecutive publications within 60 days of the approval.

Importance of Ethics

Once the application is approved, the business is legal and bound by the laws of Arizona. It’s critical to understand the importance of ethics or run the risk of alienating shareholders, stakeholders, partners, employees, and customers. Unethical practices reduce growth and limit revenue-generating ability.

Here are four reasons why businesses should practice good ethical behavior:

  • Litigation—Breaking the law generally comes with heavy fines and may lead to lawsuits and indictments.
  • Perception—Companies that tolerate unethical practices are subject to wildly unpopular social media outbreaks. Additionally, supplier and partner trust is diminished.
  • Performance—Employees follow their employer’s lead. Furthermore, companies that are unethical tend to have a hard time attracting and retaining talent.
  • Integrity—It’s just the right thing to do.

There are many ways you can encourage ethics in your business, but the best place to start is with you—the owner. Take care of your business so that it can take care of you. What examples of ethical and unethical practices have you encountered?
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