Starting a nonprofit in Arizona

Starting a nonrofit in Arizona is governed by the Arizona Nonprofit Corporation Act.

Eligibility to start a nonprofit in Arizona

1) The Proposed Nonprofit must have a valid address in Arizona as its registered address. The registered address may be dfferent from the address of the place of business.

2)The nonprofit must have a statutory agent with address of Arizona. The stautory agent would be served all notices and demands on behalf of the nonprofit organization.

3) The minimum number of directors required to start a nonprofit corporation in Arizona is one. There is no upper cap on the number of directors.

4) The organization may or may not have membership provisions.

Documents required

1) Articles of Incorporation – The articles of incorporation of a propsoed nonprofit organization in Arizona must include the following manadatory clauses: Name of the proposed nonprofit organization (see: How to choose a name), A brief statement that describes the nature of affairs proposed to be initially conducted by the new nonrprofit corporation, the name and address of each person who are to serve as the initial directors(before the next election), the name, street address and signature of the corporation’s statutory agent(or the resident agent), The street address of the known place of business for the corporation, (if different from the address of its residnet statutory agent), The name and address of each incorporator of the proposed nonprofit organization, Organizations stand on membership plus any other provisions of the Nonprofit corporation Act that the incorporators wish to include in the Articles of Association.

The articles of Incorporation is to be signed and delivered by all its incorporators.

If a nonprofit organization plans to obtain tax exemption under any section of the Internal Reveue Services (IRS), this should be mentioned in the Articles of Incorporation along with a specific mention of the section under which the exemption will be sought.

A sample of this clause would read like {assuming the organization seeks tax exemption under sec 501(c)(3) }-

Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles, this Corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (1) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (2) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code or any future federal tax code.

Click here to download the Articles of Incorporation format provided by the Arizona State Authorities. (This is the minimalistic version – be sure to add IRS clause and any other clause that you may wish to add)

2) Properly executed certificate of disclosure- This is essentially a comprehensive undertaking stating that none of the individual board members have not been convicted in felony, injunction, judgment, decree or permanent order and there is nothing against that prohibits them from starting a nonprofit organization.  The exact content to be incorporated in the certificate of disclosure can be assessed at:

3)Bylaws – The board of directors of the proposed nonprofit organization must draft and adopt the initial bylaws for the organization. The bylaws of the nonprofit organization conatis provision for regulating and managing the day to day affairs of the organization. The bylaws should not have any clause conflicting with the clauses of the Articles of incorporation.

Click here to downlaod a sample bylaw

Fee Payable – The fee payable at the time of incorporation include –

$25 for processing the incorporation request, $30 towards filing of  Articles of incorporation, $10 if an organization chooses to reserve names in advance.

The commision may additionalyy charge $10 towards improving data processing systems from domestic corporations ($25 for foreign corporations).

Where to file –The above mentioned documents along withcheck for the filing fees need to be hand delivered/ mailed at/faxed to :

Arizona Corporation Commission, Corporations Division ,

1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2929

Phone: 602-542-3026
Toll free (within AZ only):

Time required – The incorporation exercise can be completed in as less as one day provided all formalities are properly executed.

Other formalities – A nonprofit organization must publish the details of incorporation in a approved newspaper with circulation in the proposed place of business for the nonprofit organization for three consecutive publications., within 60 days of filing of incorporation.


Having completed the above formalities, a nonprofit organization comes into a formal legal existance in the state of Arizona.

The complete and original Nonprofit Corporations Act of Arizona can be assessed at –

The process of starting a nonpofit corporation in Arizona is easy and can completed without hiring lawyers.

As an alternative to all this, one can seek the services of professional service providers or attroneys to Incorporate their nonprofit organization.

There are literally hundreds of such service providers. (You can search local service providers  on the net). Some examples include –, (not to be construed as endorsements of their services – discretion advised when dealing)