Charitable Registered Agent

A charitable registered agent is the legally designated point of contact for your nonprofit. The registered agent receives important legal notices, such as service of process, on behalf of your organization. In most states, the registered agent must have a physical location in the state and be available during regular business hours. Be sure to choose a charitable registered agent that can forward crucial documents to you in a timely manner. (There are exceptions. Be sure to review the charitable registered agent chart below to see requirements for your state.)

You may have discovered the term registered agent while registering to fundraise in a new state. This is known as charitable solicitation registration. These registrations typically take place with the state attorney general.

You may have also learned the term while incorporating your nonprofit or expanding to a new state. This is known as legal entity registration. These registrations typically happen with the secretary of state.

Your nonprofit may need a registered agent for both purposes. Keep reading to learn about registered agent requirements when registering to fundraise. To learn about registered agents for your nonprofit legal entity, visit our nonprofit registered agent page.

Is a registered agent required for fundraising registration?

Yes. As many as 14 states currently require a registered agent when registering to fundraise. In some states, a registered agent is always required. In others, the nonprofit may designate the state charity official as its registered agent. In the rest, the nonprofit may not be required to appoint a registered agent because of its unique situation. Keep reading for our table of state-specific charitable registered agent requirements.

Harbor Compliance provides registered agent service in every state. Our local offices are staffed during all regular business hours to receive documents on behalf of your organization. We help ensure you receive your documents in any state where you register to solicit.

When is a charitable registered agent required?

Many states require nonprofits to appoint a registered agent when registering to solicit. These appointments take place with the state charity official, such as the attorney general. They are known as special agency appointments or special agency representation.

Reading through state-specific registration forms or the Unified Registration Statement (URS) can be overwhelming. The instructions for when a registered agent is required are often unclear. But the table below provides the charitable agent requirements by state, to help eliminate any confusion.

Charitable registered agent requirements by state

The following table provides the registered agent requirements for each state. Please note that every organization has a unique situation. We encourage you to review these requirements with your legal counsel.

Disclaimer: We do not mention the URS in this table. Many states no longer accept the URS. The URS form itself is longer and more complicated than the state-specific forms. In general, filing state-specific applications also results in faster state processing times.

Alabama

Our Resources:

Alabama Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Alaska

Our Resources:

Alaska Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Arizona

Our Resources:

Arizona Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Arkansas

Our Resources:

Arkansas Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

The Attorney General is designated as the agent for service of process when registering. Applicant organizations do not have the option to appoint another agent.

California

Our Resources:

California Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Many organizations are required to foreign qualify in California when soliciting funds. Organizations that are not required to foreign qualify with the California Secretary of State are not required to appoint a registered agent for charitable solicitation registration purposes. Organizations that are required to foreign qualify must appoint a registered agent as part of the legal entity registration, but not for charitable solicitation registration purposes.

Colorado

Our Resources:

Colorado Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent is no longer required.

Connecticut

Our Resources:

Connecticut Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Delaware

Our Resources:

Delaware Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

District of Columbia

Our Resources:

District of Columbia Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

All organizations that solicit in the District of Columbia (including those which are exempt from registration) must foreign qualify. As part of the foreign qualification process, a registered agent must be appointed. A registered agent is separately required for charitable solicitation registration purposes.

Florida

Our Resources:

Florida Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Georgia

Our Resources:

Georgia Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

The Secretary of State is designated as the agent for service of process when registering. Applicant organizations do not have the option to appoint another agent.

Hawaii

Our Resources:

Hawaii Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Organizations are required to appoint a registered agent, which may reside in Hawaii or out-of-state.

Idaho

Our Resources:

Idaho Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Illinois

Our Resources:

Illinois Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Many organizations are required to foreign qualify in Illinois when soliciting funds. Organizations that are not required to foreign qualify with the Illinois Secretary of State are required to appoint a registered agent for charitable solicitation registration purposes. Organizations that are required to foreign qualify must appoint a registered agent as part of the legal entity registration and also for charitable solicitation registration purposes.

Indiana

Our Resources:

Indiana Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Iowa

Our Resources:

Iowa Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Kansas

Our Resources:

Kansas Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Kentucky

Our Resources:

Kentucky Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Only organizations that do not file a 990 must submit the URS application and appoint a registered agent. For all other organizations, a registered agent is not required.

Louisiana

Our Resources:

Louisiana Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Only organizations that use a professional solicitor in Louisiana are required to register and appoint a registered agent on the URS form. For all other organizations, a registered agent is not required.

Maine

Our Resources:

Maine Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Maryland

Our Resources:

Maryland Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

The Secretary of State is designated as the agent for service of process when registering. Applicant organizations do not have the option to appoint another agent.

Massachusetts

Our Resources:

Massachusetts Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Michigan

Our Resources:

Michigan Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

All organizations are required to appoint a registered agent which resides in the state of Michigan.

Minnesota

Our Resources:

Minnesota Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

The Attorney General is designated as the agent for service of process when registering. Applicant organizations do not have the option to appoint another agent.

Mississippi

Our Resources:

Mississippi Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Organizations may elect to use their own registered agent. If they do not appoint a registered agent, the Mississippi Secretary of State is designated as their agent for service of process.

Missouri

Our Resources:

Missouri Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

501(c)(3) organizations can request an exemption from Missouri, for which a registered agent is not required. Non-exempt organizations have the option to designate a registered agent, which is not required to reside in Missouri.

Montana

Our Resources:

Montana Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Nebraska

Our Resources:

Nebraska Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Nevada

Our Resources:

Nevada Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Organizations that are not required to foreign qualify with the Nevada Secretary of State are not required to appoint a registered agent for charitable solicitation registration purposes. Organizations that are required to foreign qualify must appoint a registered agent as part of the legal entity registration, but not for charitable solicitation registration purposes.

New Hampshire

Our Resources:

New Hampshire Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Out-of-state organizations may but are not required to appoint a registered agent which resides in the state of New Hampshire.

New Jersey

Our Resources:

New Jersey Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

New Mexico

Our Resources:

New Mexico Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Organizations are required to appoint a registered agent, which may reside in New Mexico or out-of-state.

New York

Our Resources:

New York Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

North Carolina

Our Resources:

North Carolina Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

North Dakota

Our Resources:

North Dakota Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

All organizations that solicit in North Dakota (and which are not exempt from registration) must foreign qualify. As part of the foreign qualification process, a registered agent must be appointed. A registered agent is not separately required for charitable solicitation registration purposes.

Ohio

Our Resources:

Ohio Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Oklahoma

Our Resources:

Oklahoma Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Oregon

Our Resources:

Oregon Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Pennsylvania

Our Resources:

Pennsylvania Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Rhode Island

Our Resources:

Rhode Island Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

South Carolina

Our Resources:

South Carolina Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Organizations may elect to use their own registered agent or designate the South Carolina Secretary of State as their agent for service of process.

South Dakota

Our Resources:

South Dakota Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Tennessee

Our Resources:

Tennessee Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Texas

Our Resources:

Texas Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Under Texas law, most organizations are not required to register with the State. As a result, most organizations do not need to appoint a registered agent. Organizations that are required to register also must appoint a registered agent.

Utah

Our Resources:

Utah Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: Yes
Notes:

Organizations are required to appoint a registered agent, which may reside in Utah or out-of-state.

Vermont

Our Resources:

Vermont Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

Virginia

Our Resources:

Virginia Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: Yes
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Organizations may elect to use a Virginia registered agent or designate the Commonwealth of Virginia as their agent for service of process.

Washington

Our Resources:

Washington Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: Yes
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

The Secretary of State is designated as the agent for service of process when registering. Applicant organizations do not have the option to appoint another agent.

West Virginia

Our Resources:

West Virginia Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Wisconsin

Our Resources:

Wisconsin Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

Registered agent not required.

Wyoming

Our Resources:

Wyoming Fundraising Licensing

Requirements

Registered Agent Appointment Required: No
Agency Appointment Allowed: No
Out-of-State Appointment Allowed: No
Notes:

No charitable registration requirement.

How to choose a reliable charitable registered agent

Harbor Compliance is a national nonprofit registered agent provider. With our service, you benefit from a reliable, local presence in every state. Our nationwide offices receive and scan documents electronically and notify you the same day. We eliminate the need to file change paperwork with state charity officials each time you move. Registered agent service includes complimentary access to our award-winning Entity Manager Software.

  • Nationwide Presence: We provide local registered offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These offices are open during all regular business hours to receive legal and government notices.
  • Same-Day Document Delivery: We scan your documents locally and deliver them to you electronically. With customizable notifications, you will never miss a delivery when you are on the go.
  • Secure Client Portal: Manage your registered agent service in a secure, cloud-based Client Portal. Easily configure notifications to alert colleagues and legal counsel of service of process.
  • Annual, Flat-Rate Service: We offer flat-rate registered agent service with no hidden fees. Invoices are accurate and easy to understand. Includes free document scanning.

The right charitable registered agent helps your organization comply with state solicitation requirements. As you engage with donors and fundraise online, our comprehensive fundraising compliance service allows you to grow seamlessly into any state.

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