How to File Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation in Utah

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Utah is easy — and the first task is filing your Articles of Incorporation. This guide will walk you through the 10 steps required to file the Articles of Incorporation to officially start a nonprofit in Utah.  


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Getting Started

Step 1: List Your Nonprofit’s Name

The first step to filling out your Utah Articles of Incorporation is to list your nonprofit corporation’s name. If you haven’t gone through the process of establishing a name for your organization, here are the requirements for naming a nonprofit in Utah:

  • Your corporation’s name must be distinguishable from any other name on record within the state of Utah, including any reserved names. 
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Recommended: For a step-by-step guide to naming your nonprofit corporation in Utah, read our guide on How to Name a Nonprofit in Utah

Search the Availability of Your Name

After selecting potential names — ideally, at least four or five — it’s important to search for their availability in your state. You can do this by conducting the four recommended searches outlined below. 

Utah Business Name Search

To operate in Utah, a nonprofit corporation must have a unique name. You can easily check if your chosen name is available by performing a search using the Utah business name search tool.

Domain Name Search

We strongly recommend that you also check to see if your business name is available as a web domain (URL). Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the web address to prevent others from acquiring that domain name. It’s a free search.

Find a Domain Now

Federal Trademark Search

You can easily check if someone already trademarked your chosen nonprofit name by using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System. This is important even if you don’t plan to incorporate your nonprofit right away.

Once you confirm that no one else already trademarked your chosen name, you can apply for a trademark for your nonprofit. 

Web and Social Media Search

A strong social media presence will play a key role in expanding your reach to potential donors as well as clients that will use your services. That makes it important to search the web and popular social media platforms for your desired name before registering it to ensure it’s available on all the platforms where you plan to promote your organization.

Step 2: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose

In article two, describe your nonprofit’s purpose for forming. To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, your nonprofit must have a purpose that includes one or more of the following characteristics: 

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

Step 3: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is required to file the Articles of Incorporation in Utah. An individual, a business entity, or a commercial registered agent may fill this role. A registered agent’s responsibilities include accepting and forwarding service of process documents for the corporation as well as serving as a point of contact for the entity. 

Your corporation can’t act as its own registered agent. 

Requirements for this section include:

  • Your registered agent’s name 
  • Your registered agent’s street address (skip this part if you have a commercial registered agent)
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Recommended: Using an affordable registered agent service offers many benefits. For more information on choosing a registered agent service, read our full guide.

Step 4: List Your Incorporator Information

An incorporator is any person who participates in the completion and submission of the Articles of Incorporation. Your formation document must include the name, address, and signature of each incorporator. Use an attachment if you have more than one incorporator. 

Step 5: Confirm Any Voting Members

Check the appropriate option in this section to indicate whether or not your nonprofit corporation will have voting members.

Step 6: Confirm Any Shares

To complete this section, confirm whether or not your nonprofit corporation will issue shares by checking the appropriate option. 

If your nonprofit will issue shares, you also must provide the following information:

  • The number of shares your nonprofit has the authority to issue
  • Whether or not it will divide those shares into classes 
  • A description of the preferences, limitations, and relative rights of each share class (if applicable)

Step 7: Provide Your Nonprofit’s Principal Address

In this section, provide the primary address at which your nonprofit corporation will be located. 

Step 8: Name Your Initial Board of Directors

Utah requires nonprofit corporations to have at least three directors. To complete this section, provide the following information: 

  • The name of each initial director
  • The street or mailing address of each initial director

If your nonprofit has more than three initial directors, use an attachment to provide the names and addresses of each additional director.

For a complete guide to forming your nonprofit’s board of directors, read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Utah article.

Step 9: Provide Business Owner Demographic Information (Optional)

If desired, you may choose to provide information about the gender and race of the business owner in this section. This information isn’t required to file the Articles of Incorporation in Utah.

Step 10: File Formation Documents

You can file your Utah Articles of Incorporation in two ways: online or by mail.

File the Utah Articles of Incorporation

OPTION 1: File Online With the Utah.gov Portal

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Download Form


Fee: $30

Mailing Address:
Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code 
P.O. Box 146705 
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6705

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get copies of my Articles of Incorporation in Utah?

You can request copies of your Utah Articles of Incorporation in three ways:

  • Submit a request by mail to:
    • Utah Division of Corporation & Commercial Code
      160 East 300 South
      P.O. Box 146705
      Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6705
  • Submit a request by fax to 801-530-6438.
  • Submit a request in person at:
    • Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code
      160 East 300 South, 2nd Floor
      Salt Lake City, UT 84111

How do I start a 501(c)(3) in Utah?

To start a 501(c)(3) organization in Utah, you must file the Articles of Incorporation (Nonprofit) with the Utah Division of Corporations & Commercial Code following these IRS guidelines

Once the state of Utah processes your formation documents, you may then complete the application process for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.

Utah Nonprofit Quick Links

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