The Articles of Incorporation or “Articles” are usually short and often contain only the name of the homeowners’ association, the name of the association’s initial agent for the service of process (the person authorized to receive legal notices), and a statement that the association is a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation. Sometimes the Articles also include language about voting, directors, amendments, and dissolution of the association. Articles are required only when an association is incorporated. (Unincorporated associations sometimes have Articles of Association, but these are not required.) Articles are prepared by the developer’s attorney and filed with the secretary of state. The Bylaws describe the mechanics of association decision making and management. Bylaws vary widely in content and length, but usually include the following:
- Numbers and selection methods for officers and directors;
- Notice, meeting and voting procedures for owner and board decisions; and
- Association record keeping and reporting requirements.
The initial project Bylaws are typically prepared by the developer’s attorney and may be reviewed by a government agency at the time a condominium project or planned development is formed.