Home » (old) Blog » Finalizing Your Nonprofit Organization: Required Paperwork

Finalizing Your Nonprofit Organization: Required Paperwork

The first step in taking your nonprofit organization from concept to reality is to file the necessary paperwork. This is a huge milestone for you and your organization, so if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Today, we’ll be discussing the paperwork you need to file, which includes Articles of Incorporation and 501c(3). In addition, we’ve provided information on ongoing compliance and annual reporting requirements.


The first step in formalizing your nonprofit organization is filing your Articles of Incorporation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Incorporating your organization comes with a variety of benefits. Incorporating your organization will:

• Show that your organization has a solid structure. This will create credibility for your business.

• Protect you by limiting your personal liability.

• Fulfill standard IRS requirements for the creation of businesses in the United States.

Some final notes on filing Articles of Incorporation:

1. The requirements for filing the Articles of Incorporation are specific to your location. Therefore, they vary by state

2. Filing your Articles of Incorporation will not make your organization 501(c)3 tax-exempt.


To achieve 501c(3) tax-exempt status, it is required that you file forms to apply for the status. You can find and complete your 501c(3) forms by applying with the IRS.

Please be aware, the fee for filing for 501c(3) tax-exempt status can be anywhere from $275 – $600. It may also take 3 – 12 months to receive a response to your application.


Achieving your incorporated and 501c(3) statuses is not the end of your paperwork. You’ll also need to fulfill ongoing compliance requirements. To do this, you’ll need to file paperwork with your state agency. This is commonly the state’s Attorney General’s office. Additionally, if you are planning to seek donations in other states, you may need to file with each additional state in which you plan to request donations.

To fulfill annual reporting requirements, you may need to file form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service.

We hope that the information presented will help put you on the right track to finalizing the creation of your nonprofit organization. If have questions about filing paperwork for your nonprofit organization or if we can help you with anything else, please contact us.