The incorporators first draw up and execute in duplicate the articles of association and the organization certificate, and then forward one copy of each of these to the Comptroller. The articles of association state the terms under which the stockholders agree to do business and contain the title of the bank, its location, the number of directors and the manner of electing them, the date and number of stockholders' meetings, the capitalization, the powers and duties of the board of directors, the term of the charter, and the method of amending it. The articles are signed by at least three shareholders, preferably the five incorporators, and may be varied to meet the views of the incorporators so long as the changes are consistent with the national banking laws.

The provisions of the organization certificate are prescribed by statute. They include a statement of the title, location, and capital of the bank, together with the total number of its shares, the names and places of residence of the shareholders, the number of shares held by each of them, and the chief purpose of the certificate. It is signed by the same persons as sign the articles of association and is acknowledged by all signing parties before a notary public or a judge of a court of record and authenticated with a seal. The association becomes a body corporate from the date on which the organization certificate is executed.