This webpage has been created to provide insight into the process of registering a new corporation the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). In this tutorial we’ll go through each step required in forming your new business, be it a profit, non-stock, statutory close or service corporation. An online portal has been created in which incorporators can file their registration documents. Within our guides, we have also included downloadable PDF applications for individuals who would like file by mail. The filing fee for non-stock corporations is $35 while the registration of all remaining entity types will require filers to submit $100.

We highly recommend that you perform a Business Entity Search prior to registration to check the availability of your business’s proposed operating name. Furthermore, incorporators might want to consider filing a Name Reservation Application to secure the rights to their business name. A non-stock corporation can reserve a name for a period of 120 days at the low cost of $10, while profit corporations must pay $15.

How to File a Profit or Statutory Close Corporation (Online)

Step 1- The online filing process for profit or statutory close corporations begins by navigating to this website. From there, select the type of entity you would like to form.

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Step 2- Scroll down to the bottom of the following page and select Click here to start filing.

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Step 3- Enter the name of the corporation into the available field. Each name must contain a proper abbreviation (ex. Corp.).

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Step 4- The registered agent’s details will need to be provided on this next page. Enter the agent’s name as well as the address of the registered office and click Next.

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Step 5- Provide the corporation’s stock information by specifying the number of authorized shares, class of shares, series and par value per share. You may then Save & Add Another or Save Stock to continue.

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Step 6- The stock information will be reviewable on the following page. Add additional stock or edit the stock previously supplied by using the available options. Click Next when you are ready to proceed.

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Step 7- The name and address of each incorporator will need to be provided. Enter those details and click Save Incorporator to continue or Save & Add Another to add additional incorporators.

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Step 8- You may add additional incorporators on this page, or edit the name and address of the incorporators previously supplied. Click Next to continue.

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Step 9- Additional provisions may now be provided. Enter any provisions you would like to include and click Next.

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Step 10- Enter the name of the individual drafting this document and specify a delayed effective date, if not effective upon filing the Articles of Incorporation.

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Step 11- Check the small box beside the incorporator’s name to provide a virtual signature.

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Step 12- Each of the entry fields highlighted with red must be completed before being able to continue.

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Step 13- All of the information submitted thus far can be reviewed on the following page. Scroll down to the bottom and click Next after verifying that the details have been supplied correctly.

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Step 15- Registration is completed upon payment of a filing fee. Enter your credit card details and click Submit Payment to provide the $100 fee.

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How to File a Profit Corporation (PDF)

Step 1- Filers can begin by downloading the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2- Open the application in your PDF viewer and supply the following information:

Page 1

  • 1-Name of the corporation
  • 3-Number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue
  • 4-Name of the registered agent
  • 5-Street address of the initial registered office
  • 6-Other provisions (optional)

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Page 2

  • 7-Name and address of each incorporator
  • Signature of each incorporator
  • Name of the individual drafting this document
  • Alternative name (optional)

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Page 3

  • Return address
  • Phone number

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Step 3- Once the application has been completed, a $100 check made out to the Department of Financial Institutions will need to be attached. Send all articles to the address below.

State of WI Dept. of Financial Institutions

Box 93348

Milwaukee WI 53293-0348

How to File a Non-Stock Corporation (PDF)

Step 1- The filing process begins by downloading the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2- Continue by supplying the following information:

Page 1

  • 1-Name of the corporation
  • 2-Mailing address of the principal office
  • 3-Street address of the registered office
  • 4-Name of the registered agent
  • 5-Specify as to whether or not the corporation has members
  • 6-Specify as to whether or not the corporation is authorized to make distributions under s. 181.1302 (4)
  • 7-Name of the individual drafting this document
  • 8-Name and address of each incorporator
  • Incorporator’s signature

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Page 2

  • 9-Delayed effective date of the Articles of Incorporation (optional)
  • 10-Other provisions (optional)
  • 11-Name and address of the initial directors
  • Contact information (name, address, phone number, email)

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Step 3- A filing fee will need to be attached to the completed application. Have a check made out to the Department of Financial Institutions in the amount of $35 and forward both items to the address below.

State of WI Dept. of Financial Institutions

Box 93348

Milwaukee WI 53293-0348

How to File a Statutory Close Corporation (PDF)

Step 1- Start by downloading the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2- The following information must be submitted in the application:

Page 1

  • 1-Name of the corporation
  • 3-Number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue
  • 4-Name of the registered agent
  • 5-Street address of the initial registered office
  • 6-Other provisions (“This corporation is organized as a statutory close corporation under ss. 180.1801 to 180.1837 of the Wisconsin Statutes”).

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Page 2

  • 7-Name and address of each incorporator
  • Signature of each incorporator
  • Name of the individual drafting this document
  • Alternative name (optional)

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Page 3

  • Return address
  • Phone number

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Step 3- Once the application has been completed and signed by the incorporators, a $100 check made out to the Department of Financial Institutions will need to be attached. Forward both items to the address below.

State of WI Dept. of Financial Institutions

Box 93348

Milwaukee WI 53293-0348

How to File a Service Corporation (PDF)

Step 1- Filers must begin by downloading the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2- The information required on the application is as follows:

Page 1

  • 1-Name of the corporation
  • 3-Number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue
  • 4-Name of the registered agent
  • 5-Street address of the initial registered office
  • 6-Other provisions (see instructions on Organizing a Service Corporation).

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Page 2

  • 7-Name and address of each incorporator
  • Signature of each incorporator
  • Name of the individual drafting this document
  • Alternative name (optional)

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Page 3

  • Return address
  • Phone number

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Step 3- Once completed and signed by the appropriate individuals, a check made out to the Department of Financial Institutions in the amount of $100 will need to be attached. Forward all articles to the address below.

State of WI Dept. of Financial Institutions

Box 93348

Milwaukee WI 53293-0348

Tips

EIN – Once the filing of your Articles of Incorporation has been completed, and correspondence confirming acceptance has been received from the Department of Financial Institutions, you should immediately apply for an Employer Identification Number. Once obtained, an EIN will allow your business to hire employees, register for bank accounts, apply for loans, and perform a number of other transactions. To gain more knowledge about the application process, you should take a moment to review our tutorials on the Online and paper filing procedures found linked in the heading of this paragraph.

Corporate Bylaws – Drafting a set of bylaws when forming a new corporation is a great way to strengthen the organizational structure of your business. This legal document will allow you to define the manner in which the internal affairs of the corporation are to be managed. This will also provide you with the opportunity to institute any provisions that would otherwise remain undocumented without this document. Drafting an agreement of this nature is not legally required in Wisconsin, though we recommend taking a moment to review our free template to see if implementing an agreement might prove beneficial to your business. Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to access our template in MS Word or PDF formatting.

Renewal – All corporations in Wisconsin will be required to file an annual report with the Department of Financial Institutions. This renewal will allow business representatives the opportunity to notify the state of any major structural changes that may have transpired over the course of a year. A notice will be sent to your business from the DFI’s offices with instructions on when to file. Using your ID number, you will be able to submit your renewal application online as well as the $25 filing fee required when submitting reports for profit corporations or $10 fee issued to non-stock entities.