California Fundraising Licensing

Charitable Solication Registration, Charitable Gaming, Charitable Gift Annuities, Commercial Co-Venturer Registration, & Professional Fundraisers

This page provides an overview of fundraising licensing in California for charities, for-profits, and individuals. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

California Bingo License

About this License

Not required



Bingo licenses are issued at the county and city level in California.

California Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

About this License

Agency:California Department of Insurance
Law:

CA Ins Code § 11520 et seq.

Organization Age Requirement:

10 years of continuous existence immediately preceeding licensure.

Disclosure Details:

The following disclosure is required in 12-point or larger font near the signature line: "Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under this agreement, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association.".

Audit Requirements:

An audited financial statement is required with the application.

Legal Notes:

CA Ins Code § 11520 et seq.

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for Certificate of Authority as a Grants and Annuities Society

Filing method:

Mail or online.

Agency fee:

$4,233

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Required
Notes:

Charities must authorize the creation of the annuity fund by board resolution. In addition, charities need a segregated reserve fund and must follow reserve fund regulations to qualify for issuance of charitable gift annuities.

Registration Renewal

Form:

G&A Annual Statement

Agency fee:

$136

Due:

Annually within 120 days of the organization's fiscal year end.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:

In addition to annual statements, charities must submit quarterly statements with information on each annuity agreement.

California Charitable Solicitation Registration

About this License

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Law:

California Government Code § 12585; California Code of Regulations, Title 11 § 300

Legal Notes:

California Government Code § 12585; California Code of Regulations, Title 11 § 300

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Religious organizations
  • Most educational institutions
  • Nonprofit hospitals
Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:

If you believe you are exempt, make a request in writing to the California Attorney General's Office prior to soliciting. You will receive an exemption letter in return.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CT-1: Initial Registration Form

Instructions:

Initial Registration Guide

Filing method:

Mail

Agency fee:

$25

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Your organization must register within 30 days of receiving assets (property, funds, etc) that are held in a trust.
  • Note the list of attachments required.
  • Any authorized or director may sign. Signature need not be notarized.
  • Some California counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form RRF-1: Annual Registration Renewal Report

Filing method:

Mail

Agency fee:

$0-$300 depending on gross annual revenue.

Due:

Renewal is due annually 4 months and 15 days after the close of your organization's fiscal year. If your fiscal year closes December 31st, then renewal is due May 15th. 

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Penalties:

Failure to submit renewal on time can result in loss of tax exemption and assessment of minimum tax of $800, plus interest, and/or fines or filing penalties. The Attorney General will notify the California Franchise Tax Board to disallow your state tax exemption. Directors, trustees, officers, and return preparers are personally liable for these fees and penalties - you cannot use charitable assets to pay them, they must be paid out of of pocket!

Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
  • Any authorized or director may sign. Signature need not be notarized.

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form RRF-1: Annual Registration Renewal Report

Agency fee:

Varies

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:

File the renewal application for the new fiscal year along with a letter stating that the organization has changed their fiscal reporting period.

California Commercial Co-Venturer Annual Registration

About this License

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Notes:

Registration is optional.

Financial Report Requirements:

Due Annually by January 30th.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CT-5CF: Commercial Coventurer Annual Registration

Agency fee:

$350

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form CT-5CF: Commercial Coventurer Annual Registration (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$350

Due:

Annually by January 15th.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

California Fundraising Counsel Registration

About this License

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Contract Filing Requirements:

File Form CT-11CF: Notice of Intent To Solicit For Charitable Purposes - Fundraising Counsel at least 10 days prior to the start of the performance of a contract.

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CT-3CF: Annual Registration Form - Fundraising Counsel

Agency fee:

$350

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form CT-3CF: Annual Registration Form - Fundraising Counsel (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$350

Due:

Annually by January 15th.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

California Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

About this License

Not required



Solicitors who are not employed by a professional fundraising firm but operate independently may be required to register. Employees of professional fundraising firms are generally not required to register as an individual solicitor in California.

Initial Registration

Not required



Registration is not required for individual solicitors in California, but other requirements may apply.

Registration Renewal

Not required



California Professional Fundraiser Registration

About this License

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Financial Report Requirements:

Due Annually by January 30th.

Contract Filing Requirements:

File a notice of entry into contract at least 10 days prior to the start of the performance of the contract.

Initial Registration

Form:

https://oag.ca.gov/charities/forms#fundraisers

Agency fee:

$350

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Form:

https://oag.ca.gov/charities/forms#fundraisers

Agency fee:

$350

Due:

Annually by January 15th.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

California Raffle Registration

About this License

Game Type:

Raffles

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Organization Age Requirement:

1 year of continuous existence in California.

Initial Registration

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Form:

Form CT-NRP-1: Nonprofit Raffle Registration

Agency fee:

$20

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Agency:California Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts
Form:

Form CT-NRP-1: Nonprofit Raffle Registration (Renewal)

Agency fee:

$20

Due:

Annually by September 1st.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

California Registration Certificate

About this License

Game Type:

Poker, Baccarat, and other games of chance.

Agency:California Office of the Attorney General - Bureau of Gambling Control
Organization Age Requirement:

3 years of continuous existence in California.

Age Restrictions:

Participants must be at least 21 years old.

Notes:

Registration allows charities to host one game night over the course of a year.

Initial Registration

Agency:California Office of the Attorney General - Bureau of Gambling Control
Filing method:

Online only.

Agency fee:

$100

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Registration Renewal

Agency:California Office of the Attorney General - Bureau of Gambling Control
Filing method:

Online only.

Agency fee:

$100

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Learn about fundraising in other states:

Fundraising Compliance Guide
Charitable Gaming Compliance
Licensing by state
Charitable Gift Annuity Compliance
Licensing by state
Fundraising Compliance Info by State
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