If you’ve ever registered in Michigan or even looked into it, you might have been confused by their several different forms, rules, and exemption categories. Michigan has enveloped both their Charitable Solicitations and Charitable Trusts exemptions into a multi-level registration and exemption process similar to New York’s,
The Charitable Solicitations Act (COSA) requires that:
A charity that solicits or receives contributions from Michigan sources in excess of $8,000, or a charity that compensates individuals for fund raising services, must have a charitable solicitation license, unless an exemption applies. It is important to note that a Michigan Charitable Solicitation License (MICS) is required for those organizations that receive contributions even if the contributions are not actively solicited.
This is the regular charitable solicitation registration that we think of. In addition, Michigan includes registration for any Michigan charity or a foreign (out of state) charity holding assets in Michigan under a separate law, the Charitable Trusts Act (STCPA). Both laws are for the protection of Michigan residents to ensure that donor monies go to the purposes intended.
Since each law carries its own exemptions and registration requirements, charities soliciting in Michigan as described above and/or holding assets in Michigan will need to complete the Michigan CTS-03 form to help them determine which registration(s) they need to do based on which exemptions they may fall under.
While the form may seem confusing to look at, the questions are clear and the process is easy to follow.
- An organization with no exemptions files the solicitation registration (COSA) form CTS-01 and renews with CTS-02.
- An organization with both exemptions files the CTS-03 and does not need to file that form again (renew) after they receive the determination letter from MI that they are exempt unless and until something changes in their status.
- An organization exempt from solicitation registration (COSA) files the CTS-03 and the CTS-05 No renewal on the CTS-03 (see above).
- A foreign organization exempt from charitable trust registration STCPA needs to file the CTS-01 solicitation registration (COSA) and the CTS-03 Request for Exemption. No renewal for the exemption (see above). File CTS-02 for COSA renewal.
Using Simple Charity Registration will make it even easier.
If you want to know more, go to www.michigan.gov for a smart explanation of charitable trusts and charitable solicitation in Michigan.