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Nonprofit Compliance Guide

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When running a nonprofit organization, you need to know the filings required and the best practices needed to maintain your nonprofit corporation and federal tax-exempt status and the right to solicit. That’s why we created this comprehensive nonprofit compliance guide. This information serves as a general guide on the nonprofit compliance requirements needed to maintain your 501(c) nonprofit status. Check out our Compliance Information by State to learn detailed information about the specific states you are operating in.

Nonprofits are held to a high standard of government regulation and public scrutiny. This is for good reason, as 501(c) nonprofits are exempt from federal corporate taxes and have access to public funding. These benefits are not typically available to for-profit businesses, so laws are in place to protect the public and ensure nonprofits do not abuse their financial privileges. Nonprofits must meet a host of ongoing federal, state, and local requirements.

Compliance Benefits

While a 501(c) nonprofit receives key financial benefits, the penalties for failing to meet government requirements can be very serious. Properly filing form 990 each year prevents the IRS from revoking a nonprofit’s tax exemption and protects them from fines that can accrue daily. Organizations must demonstrate good standing with state corporation and charitable solicitation authorities when applying for grant funding and corporate sponsorship. A proactive approach to compliance will provide your organization with data that proves your fiscal responsibility. This will allow you to demonstrate why you deserve public support and help ensure sustained success and the cost is small in comparison to the much larger costs of citations and penalties.

Nonprofit Compliance Checklist

The Nonprofit Compliance Checklist:

Legal Entity Compliance

Organizational Financial Requirements

  • File an annual form 990 with the IRS
  • Prepare the necessary financial statements for each year needed for operating and charitable solicitation purposes
  • Establish internal procedures for selecting a CPA and other vendors to prepare Form 990 and the proper financial statements, as well as reviewing and approving these documents at year-end
State Tax Reporting and Exemptions

  • Register for state tax accounts and file and pay state-level tax returns
  • Maintain state-level tax exemption for franchise, income, sales, and other tax types
Licensing Compliance

  • Annually review your organization’s current and planned fundraising activities
  • Maintain charitable solicitation or fundraising registration
  • Ensure paid professionals, fundraising counsel, and any commercial co-venturers are registered and compliant and contracts and financial reports are submitted
  • Confirm licenses and permits are up-to-date
Governance and Policies

  • Keep adequate and complete records
  • Conduct proper board meetings to manage affairs with thorough minutes
  • Make a Conflict of Interest Policy to prevent fraud or impropriety
  • Implement an official Whistleblower Policy
  • Create and abide by a set of bylaws

Compliance lays a strong foundation for your nonprofit’s success, letting you make plans and fulfill them with confidence. It builds trust with potential donors and safeguards your reputation. Keeping pristine financial and organizational records will provide you with the hard data you need to demonstrate your reliability to donors. Most importantly, it gives you peace of mind so you can focus on fulfilling your mission and maximizing your impact.

50-State Chart of Nonprofit Compliance Requirements

Alabama

Our Resources:

Alabama Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:

No annual report is required for a domestic or foreign Alabama nonprofit corporation with a 501 (c) exemption. However, Alabama nonprofits must file charitable registration with the Attorney General.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually within 90 days after the close or your organization's fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then the report is due March 31. 

Fee:

$25

Business License

Business License:
Due:

Annually by September 30.

Fee:

Varies by county.

Alaska

Our Resources:

Alaska Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Biennial Report:
Due:

July 2nd. If you initially filed/registered in an even numbered year the Biennial Report will be due in July of every even numbered year. If you initially filed in an odd numbered year the Biennial Report will be due in July of every odd numbered year. You can start filing 3 months prior.

Fee:

$25 for nonprofit corporations. $100 for cooperative corporations. $25 for religious corporations.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewals are due annually by September 1.

Fee:

$40

Business License

Business License:
Due:

Annually or Biennially by December 31 depending on if you paid for one year or two.

Fee:

$50 for annual or $100 for biennial.

Arizona

Our Resources:

Arizona Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by date of initial registration.

Fee:

$10

Arkansas

Our Resources:

Arkansas Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by August 1.

Fee:

$0

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Annually within 180 days (6 months) of the organization's fiscal year end.

Fee:

$0

California

Our Resources:

California Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Statement of Information:
Due:

Bienially by the end of the month when the Articles of Incorporation were initially filed. Can be submitted up to 5 months prior to this date.

Fee:

$20; Agricultural cooperative corporations: $25.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
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 31, then renewal is due May 15. 

Fee:

$0-$300 depending on gross annual revenue.

Colorado

Our Resources:

Colorado Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Periodic Report:
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.

Fee:

$10

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is 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.

Fee:

$10

Connecticut

Our Resources:

Connecticut Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by the registration anniversary date. 

Fee:

$50

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually eleven (11) months after the organization’s fiscal year ends. For example, organizations with December fiscal year-ends are due by November 30.

Fee:

$50

Delaware

Our Resources:

Delaware Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by March 1. The first report is due in the calendar year following initial registration.

Fee:

$25

Business License

Business License:
Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fee:

$75

District of Columbia

Our Resources:

District of Columbia Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Two-Year Report:
Due:

Your first report is due April 1 in the calendar year after registration. After the first filing, reports are due biennially by April 1.

Fee:

$80

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Biennially by the end of the month prior to your registration month. If you registered for the first time in September, your report will be due by the end of August two years later.

Fee:

$412.50

Business License

Business License:
Due:

Biennially

Fee:

$324.50 for General Business.

Florida

Our Resources:

Florida Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by May 1.

Fee:

$61.25

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Your license must be renewed annually between your intial registration date and 60 days prior.

Fee:

$10-400, depending on contributions received during the prior fiscal year

Georgia

Our Resources:

Georgia Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Registration:
Due:

Annually by April 1.

Fee:

$30 for online filing and $40 for mailed filing.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Your license must be renewed bienially by the registration date. If you registered on January 15, 2016, your registration is due by January 15, 2018.

Fee:

$20

Hawaii

Our Resources:

Hawaii Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annual reports must be filed during the quarter that contains the registration anniversary date. For example, if you registered on February 14th, then you must file your annual report between January 1 and March 31. The due dates are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.

Fee:

$5

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually by the same day as your IRS Form 990; that is, 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then your renewal is due May 15.

Fee:

$10-750, depending on annual gross revenue

Idaho

Our Resources:

Idaho Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Last day of registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due by March 31.

Fee:

$0

Illinois

Our Resources:

Illinois Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by the end of the month prior to the corporation anniversary month. Can be filed up to 60 days prior to the start of the anniversary month.

Fee:

$10 + $1 filing fee.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due June 30. 

Fee:

$15

Indiana

Our Resources:

Indiana Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Biennially by the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every two years by March 31.

Fee:

$20 for mail or $22 for online.

Iowa

Our Resources:

Iowa Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Biennial Report:
Due:

By April 1 of odd-numbered years.

Fee:

$0

Kansas

Our Resources:

Kansas Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by the 15th day of the 6th month after the close of your fiscal year, usually June 15th. May be filed as early as January 1.

Fee:

$40

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due June 30.

Fee:

$35

Kentucky

Our Resources:

Kentucky Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by June 30. Can be filed as early as January 1. 

Fee:

$15

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

If the URS is filed, then registration expires annually on December 31, otherwise it is due annually by 4 months and 15 days after the organization's fiscal year end.

Fee:

$0

Louisiana

Our Resources:

Louisiana Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by registration anniversary.

Fee:

$10 + $5 fee to pay by credit card.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Annually by the date of initial registration.

Fee:

$25

Maine

Our Resources:

Maine Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by June 1.

Fee:

$35

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Annually by November 30.

Fee:

$20

Maryland

Our Resources:

Maryland Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by April 15.

Fee:

$0

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 6 months after the close of your organization's fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due June 30.

Fee:

$0-300, depending on charitable contributions

Massachusetts

Our Resources:

Massachusetts Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by November 1.

Fee:

$15 for mail, $18.50 for online.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually by 4.5 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due May 15.

Fee:

$35-$2,000, depending on gross support and revenue.

Michigan

Our Resources:

Michigan Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by October 1 beginning the year following incorporation.

Fee:

$20

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 7 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due by July 31.

Fee:

$0

Minnesota

Our Resources:

Minnesota Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Renewal:
Due:

Annually by December 31. 

Fee:

$0 

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 6.5 months after the close of your nonprofit's fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then the renewal is due July 15.

Fee:

$25

Mississippi

Our Resources:

Mississippi Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Status Report:
Due:

90 days from date requested. The secretary may request a report every five years.

Fee:

$25

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 4 months and 15 days after the charity's fiscal year end. If your fiscal year ends on December 31, renewal is due by May 15.

Fee:

$50 + $4 online filing fee.

Missouri

Our Resources:

Missouri Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Registration Report:
Due:

Annually by August 31.

Fee:

$10 + $1.25 credit card fee online or $15 through the mail

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Registered nonprofits must file annually within 75 days of the end of their fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due March 15.

Fee:

$15

Montana

Our Resources:

Montana Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by April 15.

Fee:

$20

Nebraska

Our Resources:

Nebraska Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Biennial Report:
Due:

By April 1 of every odd numbered year.

Fee:

$20

Nevada

Our Resources:

Nevada Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual List of Officers:
Due:

File an annual report by the end of your registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 31.

Fee:

$50 (+ $200 unless you have 501(c) exemption.)

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually at the same time as your Nevada Nonprofit Annual List of Officers Report. If your organization does not file an annual list of officers report, then renewal is due by the end of the anniversary month of the initial filing.

Fee:

$0

Business License

Business License:
Due:

File annually along with the annual list of officers. 

Fee:

$500 for business corporations and $200 for all other entities.

New Hampshire

Our Resources:

New Hampshire Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Return:
Due:

By December 31 every 5 years following 2015. 

Fee:

$25

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due May 15.

Fee:

$75

New Jersey

Our Resources:

New Jersey Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

By the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 31.

Fee:

$30 + $3 credit card fee

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due June 30.

Fee:

$30-$250, depending on gross contributions.

New Mexico

Our Resources:

New Mexico Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by four months and fifteen days after the close or your fiscal year, usually May 15th. Confused? Look-up your corporate record and next report due date here.

Fee:

$10

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due June 30.

Fee:

$0

New York

Our Resources:

New York Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:

Domestic and foreign New York nonprofits are not required to file an annual/biennial corporate report with the New York Department of State.

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due May 15.

Fee:

$25 for 7A organizations ($0 if exempt). $0-$1,500 depending on net worth for EPTL organizations. Dual filers pay 7A and EPTL fees.

North Carolina

Our Resources:

North Carolina Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual report:

Not Required

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, renewal is due May 15.

Fee:

$0-200, depending on contributions

North Dakota

Our Resources:

North Dakota Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by February 1.

Fee:

$10

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually by September 1. If you file in July/August, you get a waiver until the following September.

Fee:

$10

Ohio

Our Resources:

Ohio Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Statement of Continued Existence:
Due:

Every 5 years if no other filing has been submitted. Due by the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your five-year report is due March 31.

Fee:

$25

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 4.5 months after the end of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then renewal is due May 15.

Fee:

$0-200, depending on contributions received from Ohio residents during the preceding fiscal year

Oklahoma

Our Resources:

Oklahoma Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:

Not Required

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually before the anniversary of your previous renewal filing. This means that your renewal date will change every year unless you file on the same day every year. You will NOT receive a renewal reminder.

Fee:

$15-65, depending on contributions

Oregon

Our Resources:

Oregon Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by your registration anniversary day. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15th, then your annual report is due every year by March 15th. You may start filing 45 days prior.

Fee:

$50

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 4.5 months after the close or your organization's fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then the report is due May 15.

Fee:

$10-200, depending on Oregon revenue and fund balance held in Oregon. Make check payable to "Oregon Department of Justice"

Pennsylvania

Our Resources:

Pennsylvania Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

By April 30 of each year where there has been a change in corporate officers during the preceding calendar year.

Decennial reports are due every ten years during years ending with the numeral "1" (2021, 2031, etc.). Reports must be filed by December 31 of decennial report years.

Fee:

$0

$70

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Due annually 10.5 months after the end of the fiscal year every year.

Fee:

$15-250, depending on gross contributions

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Annually within 135 days of the organization's fiscal year end. The due date is May 15th for organizations with a fiscal year end date of December 31.

Fee:

$15

Rhode Island

Our Resources:

Rhode Island Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by June 30. You can start filing June 1.

Fee:

$22

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

By the anniversary of initial registration.

Fee:

$90 + $3 online filing fee.

South Carolina

Our Resources:

South Carolina Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual report:

Domestic and foreign South Carolina nonprofits do not have to file an annual report.

Fundraising

Annual Registration Statement:
Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends December 31, then file by May 15.

Fee:

$50 + $2 online filing fee.

Annual Financial Report:
Due:

Due annually 4.5 months after fiscal year end. So if your organization's fiscal year ends December 31, the report is due May 15.

Fee:

$0

South Dakota

Our Resources:

South Dakota Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

By the first day of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 1.

Fee:

$10

Tennessee

Our Resources:

Tennessee Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

By the 1st day of the 4th month after the close of your fiscal year. Usually your fiscal year ends on December 31 and so your annual report is due April 1.

Fee:

$20 + optional $2.25 online filing fee

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal must be filed annually within 6 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if yoru fiscal year ends December 31, then file by June 30.

Fee:

$80-240, depending on gross revenue

Texas

Our Resources:

Texas Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Periodic Report:
Due:

Once exempt from filing public information reports, the secretary may request a periodic report once every 4 years and the request will state the due date.

Annually by May 15 in the year following your first filing in Texas. For example, if your organization was incorporated in April of 2016, then your report would be due May 15, 2017.

Fee:

$5

$0

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal for telephone solicitation, public safety organizations, independent promotors, and public safety publications is due annually by the registration anniversary date.

Fee:

Utah

Our Resources:

Utah Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by the end of the month of initial registration. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 31. You can start filing 60 days prior.

Fee:

$10

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Your permit to solicit expires annually on the upcoming quarterly due date based on registration date: January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1. So if your permit was issued on April 15, it will expire on July 1.

Fee:

$75

Vermont

Our Resources:

Vermont Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Biennial Report:
Due:

By April 1 of the calendar year following incorporation or foreign qualification and biennially thereafter. Can be filed as early as January 1.

Fee:

$20

Virginia

Our Resources:

Virginia Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

By the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 31.

Fee:

$25

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 4.5 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then renewal is due by May 15.

Fee:

$30-325, depending on gross contributions

Washington

Our Resources:

Washington Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Review:
Due:

By the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 31. You may start filing 45 days prior.

Fee:

$10

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually 11 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then renewal is due by November 30.

Fee:

$40 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing

Business License

Business License:
Due:

Only after changes or updates to the business.

Fee:

$19

West Virginia

Our Resources:

West Virginia Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by July 1.

Fee:

$25

Fundraising

Charitable Solicitation Registration:
Due:

Renewal is due annually by the anniverary of your initial registration.

Fee:

$15 if the organization raised less than $1M and $50 if the organization raised more than $1M.

Wisconsin

Our Resources:

Wisconsin Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by the end of the registration anniversary quarter. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on February 15, then your annual report is due every year by the end of the first quarter on March 31. The due dates are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.

Fee:

$10

Fundraising

Charitable Registration Renewal:
Due:

Annually by July 31. An organization that files an initial registration on or after June 1 does not need to renew their registration until the following calendar year. If an initial registration is filed before June 1, renewal must be filed by July 31 of the same calendar year.

Fee:

$54

Charitable Organization Annual Financial Report:
Due:

You must file an annual financial report within 12 months after the close of your fiscal year if you received >$5,000 in contributions.

Fee:

$0

Wyoming

Our Resources:

Wyoming Nonprofit Compliance

Annual Report

Annual Report:
Due:

Annually by the first day of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 1.

Fee:

$25. An additional $2-$9 convenience fee is charged for online filing.

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