What Is a Business Charter?

A business charter is a general document determined by the chief operators of the company that is filed with the state and indicates the purpose, location and duration of the business and classes of shares. A business charter is also known as a corporate charter or articles of incorporation.

When incorporating a business within a specific state to the secretary of state’s office, the charter details the name of the corporation, the name and address of the registered agent and initial directors as well as the name and address of the person preparing the business charter. The business charter should also include the specific type of corporation the business is seeking, such as a non-profit, non-stock or stock corporation. The purpose for the corporation formation is typically required within the business charter as well.

A business charter also details core values, goals and specifics about the company’s operations. The business charter often serves as a guide or mission statement for company executives to conduct strategic planning and assessments. For example, if the company’s goals surround putting health and safety first by committing to being environmentally responsible, executives typically refer back to this goal when detailing safety policies within the workplace and mandatory recycling and water preservation strategies.