Preparing articles of incorporation is the first step toward incorporating a business. Be sure to complete the articles fully and accurately, follow your state's filing instructions, and include the proper fee. The Business Programs Division, the largest division of the Secretary of State's office, supports California Businesses by registering business entities and trademarks and enabling secured creditors to protect their financial interests. The Business Programs Division processes millions of business filings and information requests each year. The Secretary of State administers numerous other filings including immigration consultant and various business bonds, notices of joint powers, successor-in-interest, statement of facts – roster of public agencies, and athlete agents. Some states have minimum capitalization requirements to insure corporations have a bare minimum of assets before starting operations. Because shareholders are somewhat insulated from lawsuits against a corporation, these assets provide a means to pay any potential lawsuit winners. The Victims of Corporate Fraud Compensation Fund (VCFCF) provides limited restitution to victims of corporate fraud who have otherwise been unable to collect on their judgment for corporate fraud. The Secretary of State's office is the central filing office for certain Uniform Commercial Code financing statements and other lien documents including notices of judgment liens, attachment liens and federal and state tax liens. Filing with our office serves to perfect a security interest in named collateral and establish priority in case of debtor default or bankruptcy.