Colorado Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

This guide covers the required filings to maintain a nonprofit corporation in Colorado. If you are looking to form nonprofit in Colorado, please visit our Start Your Colorado Nonprofit guide. The steps below apply to nonprofits that are both incorporated and foreign qualified in Colorado. Please note that this is a general list and may not be exhaustive or applicable to all nonprofits.

A smiling woman in front of her computer.
1 File IRS Form 990
Agency:Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Form:

IRS Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF or 990

Instructions:

See Form 990 Thresholds to determine which form to file.  Then see Current Form 990 Series for instructions.

Due:

By the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of the taxable year.  For most organizations, the tax year ends December 31 so the Form 990 is due May 15.

2 File Colorado Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



There is no renewal requirement for Colorado corporate income tax exemption.

More information: Colorado Department of Revenue
3 File Colorado Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Colorado does not have a renewal requirement for sales tax exemption.

More information: Colorado Department of Revenue
4 File Colorado Periodic Report
Agency:Colorado Secretary of State
Instructions:

Instruction sheet

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Due:

  • Annually by the end of the month of initial registration. If the Periodic Report is not filed on time, the entity will have an additional two months after the Periodic Report month to file a late Periodic Report.
  • Reports may be filed two months prior to the periodic report month.
Law:

C.R.S. § 7-90-501

Notes:
  • Can be filed up to 2 months early
  • Must be filed online and paid with a credit/debit card.
  • Anyone with authority may file.
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Colorado Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Colorado Secretary of State - Business & Licensing Division - Charities & Fundraisers Program
Law:

C.R.S. § 6-16-104

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Notes:

Any charitable organization that (1) solicits contributions in Colorado, (2) has contributions solicited in Colorado on its behalf, or (3) participates in a charitable sales promotion must register in Colorado.

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Persons that are exempt from filing a federal annual information return pursuant to 26 U.S.C. sec. 6033 (a)(3)(A)(i) , (a)(3)(A)(iii) , or (a)(3)(C)(i) or pursuant to 26 CFR 1.6033-2(g)(1)(i) to (g)(1)(iv) or (g)(1)(vii) - (Generally churches, religious organizations, and below college-level educational organizations affiliated with a church.)
  • Political parties, candidates for federal or state office, and political action committees required to file financial information with federal or state elections commissions
  • Charities that do not intend to solicit and receive and do not actually receive more than $25,000 in contributions during a fiscal year (excluding grants from governmental entities or from organizations exempt from federal taxation under section 501(c)(3))
  • Charities that do not receive contributions from more than 10 persons during a fiscal year
  • Persons exclusively making appeals for funds on behalf of a specific individual named in the solicitation, but only if all of the proceeds of the solicitation are given to or expended for the direct benefit of the specified individual
Law:

C.R.S. § 6-16-104(6)

Notes:

Exempt charities can file an optional exemption claim to have a public record of their exempt status created in the secretary of state's database.

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Instructions for Registering as a Charitable Organization

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Turnaround:

1 week

Original Ink:Not required
Notarization Required?:Not required
Notes:
  • Any authorized officer must sign electronically.
  • After approval, you will receive a registration number and a printable "certificate of registration".  You can view and print a Certificate of Registration from the summary screen of any registered group.
  • Some Colorado counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
  • Per 6-16-104(6), C.R.S., any organization that is soliciting contributions online must register like any other organization, unless it is exempt from the registration requirements
Before you Apply:

All Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents in Colorado.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  2. Create an efile account and submit an online application with all required attachments to the charities section of the Colorado Secretary of State.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Colorado. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  3. Create an efile account and submit an online application with all required attachments to the charities section of the Colorado Secretary of State.
Required Attachments:
  • IRS form 990
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Information for all paid solicitors, professional fundraisers, and commercial coventurers used by or contracted to the organization

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$10

Due:
  • Annually by the 15th day of the 5th month after the close of your organization's fiscal year, however, Colorado automatically grants a 3 month extension of this deadline.
  • There is no official start to the renewal period, so renewals may be submitted as soon as financials become available for the most recently completed fiscal year.
Due Date Extension:

Due dates are automatically extended for 3 months after the original due date, but charities needing more time can request an additional 3 months extension by making a request. The automatic due date extension is only valid if the IRS has granted the extension. The extension paperwork is not required to be submitted with the renewal, but the Secretary of State may request a copy after a late renewal. For more information and detailed instructions, see this page.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarization Required?:Not required
Penalties:

There is a $60 fee for failure to file a renewal.

Notes:
  • Also file your annual financial report
  • Any authorized officer must sign electronically.
  • After approval you will receive a registration number and a printable "certificate of registration"
Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
  • IRS determination letter

Change of Fiscal Year

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

Immediately online

Notes:

Fiscal years can be changed online, but can only be changed once every 10 years.

Cancelation

Form:

Withdrawal Form

Instructions:

A charitable organization must submit the final financial report for the most recent fiscal year. Once this report has been filed, the organization should submit the withdrawal form and any required attachments. 

Filing Method:

File the Final Financial Report online

Mail, fax, or email the Charitable Registration Withdrawal form to charitable@coloradosos.gov

Agency Fee:

$0

6Maintain a Colorado Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Colorado. The registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents such as service of process. Appointing a registered agent service is often preferable to listing an officer or director, as their information often changes. Consider using our registered agent service in Boulder , CO to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Contact Our Team

Complete the form and we will reach out within one business day.

Continue reading

Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

Read the guide