States routinely accept articles of incorporation wholly created by the nonprofit’s initial members. However, if the articles are not completed correctly, the nonprofit may face denial of tax-exempt status when it applies with the IRS. For this reason, nonprofits often choose to use an online service or a business attorney well versed in handling incorporation.
If using an online service, simply indicate your desired state of incorporation and that you wish to create a nonprofit. The service will then take you through a short questionnaire to help it complete the articles on your behalf. Typically, you may also add on additional services that will help you to stay in compliance during the nonprofit’s lifespan, such as a registered agent service, help with IRS filings, and required legal documents.