Category Archives: Registration FAQ’s

Trusted Nonprofit Resources

National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO)

The National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) is an association of state offices charged with oversight of charitable organizations and charitable solicitation in the United States.  They have taken a leadership role in promoting uniform state charity registration and filing requirements, amicus briefs, and multistate lawsuits targeting fundraising deception. NASCO members have also participated in drafting the Uniform Law Commission’s Oversight of Charitable Assets Act which is a model for state solicitation law and jurisdictional guidelines for state regulation of charitable solicitation on the Internet.

National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) 

The National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) is a trusted resource and advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. Through their powerful network of State Associations and the nation’s largest network of nonprofits they serve as a central coordinator and mobilizer to help nonprofits achieve greater collective impact in local communities across the country. They identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents more than 30,000 members in over 230 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.  The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.

National Association of Attorney Generals (NAAG)

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high-quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions. The Association’s members are the attorneys general of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and the chief legal officers of the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico (Secretary of Justice) and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

Your Local State Charity Office

We have a blog devoted with a list of the State Charity offices!! Almost all states have an association devoted to nonprofit assistance no matter where your organization is in its life-cycle. Whether you just need a form or something more complex they will most likely have the answer. Most state associations offer online training, research and local events that you can attend to get more familiar with your fellow non-profiteer!


GuideStar encourages nonprofits to share information about their organizations openly and completely. They combine the information that nonprofits supply them with data from several other sources to provide information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800)780-6027 or


3 Factors Affecting Your Nonprofit Registration Timeline

One of the most frequently asked questions we get in our support email is “How long will it take to get my charity registered”.  That depends on 3 factors: organizational paperwork preparedness, number of states registering, and the state office for which you are registering.

Prior to beginning the process you should have all of the following paperwork/information in hand to facilitate completing the questions that are required to fill in the forms. If you look at the left-hand side on the website the navigation bar divides the questions by topic.  The sections will give you a sense of the types of required information you will need. You can even click on the sections ahead before entering information to see what you will need next.

Organizational Paperwork

In addition to the 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF or other financial reporting you will need:

  • Info on the origins of the charity, such as formation date and state, 501(c) designation and date or application date, organization type, purpose, mission, etc.
  • if this is an initial registration in states, you will also need to attach the articles of incorporation and by-laws
  • list of sources of government grants
  • personnel — list of board members with addresses (usually a business address other than the charity), key employees and their salaries and positions, and information about whether any of these people have connections to other related organizations or have any interaction with government agencies or courts
  • list of any paid professional fundraisers used by your charity along with their contracts and terms
  • a list of chapters, branches or offices of the organization
  • a list of resident agents for the states required as explained on the right side of the Resident Agent page

Most of these items are for answering the questionnaire, but some, like the articles of incorporation and by-laws, will need to be copied and attached to the registration form upon submission.

For the data entry, depending on the size of your organization, you should allow a few days just in case you need to contact other administrators in your office for missing information. The next step is proofing and putting the packages together. Add some signatures and stamps and you are on your way.

Number of States

The best part about having an account with is once all the information is in the software printing and preparing each consecutive state application becomes easier and the next year when it is time to renew you only need to review the prior year’s information and add the current financials and you are on your way to knocking this once burdensome process right out of the park!!

States Where Registering

Depending on the time of year and which states you are registering the time for approval can take a couple of business days up to 6 weeks or more.  Take note of the renewal date for each state when registering as you know that will be the time of year the state offices will be the busiest and your initial registration application may take a little longer.

You may also enjoy our new welcome video and our two-part blog on this topic.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

Frequently Asked Questions: What is Charity Registration

About the registration process:

What is charitable solicitation registration?

In order for states to provide their constituents with basic information about charities to whom they might donate and protect them and worthy charities from fraudulent ones, most states require charities soliciting in their state to file certain financial, organizational, and governance information.

Are all charities required to register?

Most states have a list of categories of charitable organizations that are exempt from registration. The State Registration Groups page of our questionnaire will help you determine whether or not you are exempt from registration.

When must I register?

Generally, you are not to solicit in a state until you register in the state or are determined exempt, so you should register prior to solicitation in a state. Most states give a 30-day grace period in which you can register after starting soliciting.

In which states am I required to register?

You will need to register in any state in which you solicit, providing that you do not fit in one of their exemption categories. Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming all do not require charitable solicitation registration.

What is solicitation?

States have different definitions, but for the most part it means any oral or written request for funds or services with the promise of the donation going to the support of a charitable purpose. See the definition in the Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act as a sample.

Does my website count as solicitation?

The Charleston Principles: Guidelines on Charitable Solicitations Using the Internet suggest that internet representation of a charity qualifies as solicitation in a state if it is sent directly to an individual or entity in the state, if there are regular donations coming from the state, or if there is follow-up with donors in the state either by direct mail, telephone, etc. or via other regular contact (such as newsletters, announcements, press releases, etc.)

What is the typical registration process?

The typical process involves:

  1. Initial registration
  2. Renewal registration and/or annual reporting (financial reporting)
      • this usually occurs at a point in time following the end of your fiscal year or on the anniversary of registration
        • a couple states, Georgia and DC, renew biannually
    • a few states do not require registration registration renewal, but do require annual financial reporting

What if I am not able to renew on time?

There are three options that states use — our questionnaire will walk you through the state processes:

  1. Extension of renewal
  2. No extension of renewal, but extension of annual financial report
  3. No extensions — usually because they have a later due date

I use paid fundraising services. Are there additional requirements?

Two things you will need to keep in mind:

  1. A paid fundraiser must be registered in a state before you can begin a solicitation campaign in that state.
  2. Most states require that contracts with fundraisers and commercial co-ventures usually need to be filed with states prior to solicitation or within 30 days (or at least attached to registration forms)

Are there other requirements?

  1. Many states also require business registration, even if you are registered or exempt from charitable solicitation registration.
  2. Maintain records for no less than 3 years — most states require it


About how Simple Charity Registration can help:

How does Simple Charity Registration work?

Our service walks you through a series of questions that will fill in the forms required for the states in which you solicit. It will then produce the form and a checklist and instructions of what you need to do to send in your form. Our How it Works tab will guide you.

Does the charity file the forms or is that part of the service provided by Simple Charity Registration?

The charity files, using the auto-filled forms that appear on the bottom of the left navigation area. There is a checklist attached giving information on where to file, what to attach, and how much to pay, along with additional helpful information.

Is the service fee the same as the state fee? Does the fee include state fees or only the use of the application and printable forms?

Our fee is for our DIY software which streamlines the registration process. State fees are separate and are set by the individual states for either initial registration or renewal/annual reporting.

Our service will help you to determine which type of forms and which states that your organization will need to file your charity compliance documents in as well as help you collect, file and store your organization’s information in an efficient time saving manner.  There are also many resources on our site for your organization to take advantage of and we provide reminder emails for your annual compliance deadlines as well as information on changing state filing requirements.

What if I have questions?

Our Customer Support will be glad to help you with technical questions. We can help with some state specific issues, but we are not legal advisers, so we may refer you to the state websites for help.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or


Is My Nonprofit Organization Required to Have an Audit?

Is your organization required to submit an audit with your state charity registration or renewal?? Simply stated, “Yes”!! Over half of the states that require state charity registration and annual financial reporting do require audited Financial Statements by a independent CPA in addition to the IRS 990 reporting.

Most states base their requirements on Total Revenue while the others base theirs on Total Contributions while some exclude government agency fees & grants, foundation grants, membership fees and investment income.

State Financial Statements Review Audit
Alabama No Audit Required
Alaska No Audit Required
Arizona Veteran’s Organizations Only – No Audit Requirement
Arkansas Revenue > $500K
California Revenue > $2M
Colorado No Audit Required
Connecticut Revenue > $500K *
DC No Audit Required
Florida $500K to 1M Contributions > $1M
Georgia Revenue < $500K $500K to 1M Revenue > $1M *
Hawaii Revenue > $500K *
Idaho No Charity Registration Required
Illinois Contributions > $300K **
Indiana No Charity Registration Required
Iowa No Charity Registration Required
Kansas Contributions > $500K
Kentucky No Audit Required
Louisiana No Audit Required
Maine No Audit Required
Maryland $300K to $750K Contributions > $750K *
Massachusetts 200K to $500K Revenue > $500K
Michigan $275K to $525K Contributions > $525K *
Minnesota Revenue > $750K
Mississippi $250K to $500K Contributions > $500K *
Missouri No Audit Required
Montana No Charity Registration Required
Nebraska No Charity Registration Required
Nevada No Audit Required
New Hampshire Revenue > $500K to $1M Revenue > $1M
New Jersey Revenue > $500K
New Mexico Revenue > $500K
New York $250K to $500K Revenue > $500K
North Carolina No Audit Required
North Dakota No Audit Required
Ohio No Audit Required
Oklahoma No Audit Required
Oregon No Audit Required
Pennsylvania  $100K to $300K Contributions > $300K *
Rhode Island Revenue > $500K
South Carolina No Audit Required
South Dakota No Charity Registration Required
Tennessee Revenue > $500K *
Texas Veteran’s and Police Organizations Only – No Audit Requirement
Utah No Audit Required
Vermont No Charity Registration Required
Virginia No Audit Required
Washington No Audit Required
West Virginia $100K to $200K Contributions > $ 200K *
Wisconsin $300K to $500K Contributions > $500K *
Wyoming No Charity Registration Required
* These states excluding certain types of revenue such as government agency fees & grants,
foundation grants, membership fees and investment income.
** $25K if professional fundraiser usedAs of 4/30/17

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

Colorado Corporate Registration/Qualification

Every charitable organization that solicits contributions in Colorado must complete the charity registration process before engaging in any solicitation activities. This includes registering your out-of-state (foreign) nonprofit with the Colorado Secretary of State by filing a “Statement of Foreign Entity Authority“.

You will need to have a Registered Agent for filing the Statement of Foreign Entity Authority and the charity registration application both can be provided by a service or an individual residing in Colorado. If your organization is registering nationwide you are going to need registered agents for several states so we recommend using a national agency so that you only have one point of contact for that service. Here is the link to the blog we posted earlier in the year on the role of Registered Agents in state charity registration process.

All of Colorado’s forms must be filed online including the Charity Registration. More information about the process can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

State Charity Registration Made Easy – Webinar

Simple Charity Registration is an affordable form fill software designed to reduce the amount of time and resources it takes your organization to fulfill your state charity compliance requirements.

How can help you accomplish your mission?

4 Simple Steps:

  1. Identifying up front which states your organization will need to register in and in which states you may be exempt from registration requirements
  2. Collecting all information necessary to file up-to-date state specific forms (registration, renewal, exemption, or extension), with instructions and resources all in one place
  3. Sending email reminders of renewal and annual financial due dates, saving you from missed deadlines and penalties
  4. Storing your data from one year to the next, available to you at any time to add a new state or renew a previous one, keeping you compliant


4 Simple Steps to Compliance Video

Simple Charity Registration is designed to allow you to do your registration in parts as you have the information available, making now the perfect time to get started on your registrations and renewals while waiting for your financials to be complete.

Simple Charity Registration looks forward to helping you spend more of your valuable resources on your mission while staying compliant.

Join Us for a free, 30-minute webinar on Thursday, July 20th at 2:00 pm ET.

Register Now


Here are some other resources that will be helpful throughout the registration process: GuideStar’s blog on State Registration Requirements for Fundraising, our blogs on what to prepare for registration and how Simple Charity Registration can help.

Please take a minute to visit our website and create a free account or contact us to learn more at 800.780.6027 or email us at with any questions.

Thank you
Your Simple Charity Registration Support Team


Charity Resources – Who Should I Call? FAQ’s?

Looking for some help with your nonprofit? Almost all states have an association devoted to nonprofit assistance no matter where your organization is in its lifecycle. Whether you just need a form or something more complex they will most likely have the answer. Most state associations offer online training, research and local events that you can attend to get more familiar with your fellow non-profiteer!

State Association Link
Alabama Alabama Association of Nonprofits
Alaska The Foraker Group
Arizona * Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
Arkansas Arkansas Nonprofit Alliance
California California Association of Nonprofits
Colorado Colorado Association of Nonprofits
Connecticut CT Community Nonprofit Alliance
Delaware * Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement
District of Columbia Center for Nonprofit Advancement
Florida Florida Nonprofit Alliance
Hawaii Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations
Idaho * Idaho Nonprofit Center
Illinois Forefront
Indiana * Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network
Iowa* Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center
Kentucky Kentucky Nonprofit Network
Louisiana Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Maine Maine Association of Nonprofit
Maryland Maryland Nonprofits
Massachusetts Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
Providers’ Council
Michigan Michigan Nonprofit Association
Minnesota Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Mississippi Mississippi Center for Nonprofits
Missouri Nonprofit Connect
Nonprofit Missouri
Montana  * Montana Nonprofit Association
Nebraska  * Nonprofit Association of the Midlands
Nevada Alliance for Nevada Nonprofits
New Hampshire NH Center for Nonprofits
New Jersey Center for Nonprofits
New Mexico
New York New York Council of Nonprofits
Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York
North Carolina North Carolina Center for Nonprofits
North Dakota North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Ohio Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies
Oklahoma Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Oregon The Nonprofit Association of Oregon
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Rhode Island
South Carolina Together SC
South Dakota *
Texas * Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Utah Utah Nonprofit Association
Vermont  * Common Good Vermont
Washington Washington Nonprofits
West Virginia West Virginia Nonprofit Association
Wisconsin Wisconsin Nonprofits
Wyoming * Wyoming Nonprofit Network
* States that do not have charitable registration requirements as of 9/1/2016.

Most states encourage out of state nonprofits to join their membership or offer free resources so if your state nonprofit association can not answer your question another may have whole libraries full of information for you!!

If you have a great resource and want to share it with us or other nonprofits please send us the information or link and we will post it in a future blog.

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or

New Form 8868 for 2017 – 6 Month Automatic Extension of Time to File

990 Filing Due Dates
Tax Year Fiscal Year End Date 990/990EZ/990N 6-month Extension *
2016 12/31/2016 5/16/2017 11/15/2017
2016 1/31/2017 6/15/2017 12/15/2017
2016 2/28/2017 7/17/2017 1/16/2017
2016 3/31/2017 8/15/2017 2/15/2017
2016 4/30/2017 9/15/2017 3/15/2017
2016 5/31/2017 10/16/2017 4/16/2018
2016 6/30/2017 11/15/2017 5/15/2018
2016 7/31/2017 12/15/2017 6/15/2018
2016 8/31/2017 1/16/2018 7/16/2018
2016 9/30/2017 2/15/2018 8/15/2018
2016 10/31/2017 3/15/2018 9/16/2018
2016 11/30/2017 4/16/2018 10/17/2018
* Extension can be filed on line through an IRS Authorized e-File Provider, or by fax or mail.
See the IRS e-file for Charities and Non-Profits page for more details.

Does My Nonprofit Need a Registered Agent? Part II: The Charity Registration Forms

There are several states that ask for service of process agent or registered agent be listed on their charity registration forms and some will allow the charity to designate the state as the agent for service of process.  Although it may be easier to designate the Attorney General or Secretary of State as your registered agent it may not be in your best interest.  A registered agent is paid to handle your affairs and make sure that you receive notices in a timely manner so that you do don’t miss an important deadline.  They are also proficient with the state’s regulations and the interworking of the state agencies so they can help guide you in making informed business decisions in their state. 

Registered Agent Required for Corporate Qualification


North Dakota


Registered Agent Required for Both Corporate Qualification and Charity Registration 


District of Columbia

Registered Agent Required for the Charity Registration Forms

Michigan (RA required for both Corporate and Charity registrations)

Minnesota (designee can either be RA or the person with custody of the financial records)

Mississippi (if none designated then the Secretary of State is designated for service of process)

Missouri (designee does not have to be located in MO)

New Mexico (RA can be named which does not have to reside in NM or consent to service of process can be the Attorney General)

South Carolina (foreign organizations can specify the Secretary of State by filling in the space provided with the name and address of the agency)

Utah (but does not have to reside in the state)

Virginia (if none designated, the Secretary of the Commonwealth is automatically appointed)

In some states the State will act as the default service of process agent on behalf of the organization and is acknowledged by signing the charity registration form.

State Agency Must be Designated as Representative

Arkansas (foreign organizations must file an Irrevocable Consent for Service of Process provided by the Attorney General)

Georgia (organizations must irrevocably appoint the Secretary of State as agent for service of process)

Hawaii (organizations must irrevocably appoint the Attorney General as agent for service of process)

Washington (organizations must irrevocably appoint the Secretary of State as agent for service of process)

Read our blog to learn more about Registered Agents for Nonprofit Corporate Registrations (Corporate Qualifications).

Visit URS Agents to obtain Registered Agent services

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or


Does my Nonprofit Need a Registered Agent? Part I: Corporate Qualification

There are several variations of the term Registered Agent that you may come across that usually mean the same thing.  It could be Resident Agent, Registered Agent (RA) or Statutory Agent.  They are all terms for an individual or company that your organization designates to receive official documents on your behalf located in a specific state.

This is usually a state where you do not have a physical office location and a post office box cannot be used.  A location where documents can be delivered and signed for in person on behalf of your company or nonprofit.  These documents can be any official state correspondence, tax information, or process notices.   Process notices are usually court documents advising the organization that it is party to a lawsuit or legal action.  

For corporations that transact business in several states they are often required to be “Qualified to do Business” in those states.  Which means in order for corporation to carry out business transactions in a state other than the one they are incorporated in they must go through a process called foreign qualification in each of those states and most likely will have several registered agents or use a national registered agent service.  This is not necessarily true for non-profits as they do not normally qualify as doing business per state’s laws.  This occurs because some states have different definitions of what transacting business is in their state.  

The following states require that charitable organizations file for “Corporate Qualification” and require that a resident agent be listed on the application.  Although, these organizations do not ask for the resident agent to be listed on the charity registration. When you’re done, read Part II of this blog to find out more about resident agents and charitable solicitation registration.

Registered Agent Required for Corporate Qualification


North Dakota


Registered Agent Required for Both Corporate Qualification and Charity Registration Forms


District of Columbia

States that Require Corporate Qualification for Organizations with Branch Offices in their States

Florida (foreign organization conducting business or have offices in state)

Illinois (foreign organization conducting business or have offices in state)

Michigan (foreign organization conducting business or have offices in state)

Nevada (foreign organization conducting business or have offices/programs in state)

Read Does my Nonprofit Need a Registered Agent? Part 2: The Charity Registration Forms for further information on which Charity Registration forms also require a registered agent.

Read our blog to learn more about Non-profit Corporate Registration and the Model Business Corporation Act.

Visit URS Agents to obtain Registered Agent services

Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns at (800) 780-6027 or