How to Start a Nonprofit | Step 3: State Forms

Laws and regulations on starting a nonprofit organization vary from state to state. Below, we have provided a very short general primer to help get you started. Before getting started you should consult information from your state charitable official and retain the services of an attorney familiar with nonprofit law. Regulations differ greatly from state to state, so this listing should not be considered comprehensive or a substitute for competent legal counsel.

  • Reserve/register intended name
  • File Articles of Incorporation - Some states require supplemental information, such as:
    • Certificate of Disclosure
    • Proof of Corporate Name
    • Filing fees - Be sure to follow the instructions on the forms and include these if applicable.
  • Extra steps, depending on state:
    • In many states you must publish your of articles of incorporation a certain number of times in a local newspaper, then file proof of publication with a state agency.
  • Samples to consider:

    Resources for state forms and filing requirements from Hurwit & Associates