Ohio Fundraising Licensing

Resources for charities, businesses, professional fundraisers, and individuals conducting charitable solicitation activities
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Below, you'll find licensing requirements for a range of fundraising activities. At a glance, you can see requirements, fees, filing instructions, and links to forms for everything from charitable gaming and cause marketing to professional fundraisers and charitable gift annuities.

Make sure your fundraising activities meet the unique requirements of each jurisdiction where you’re soliciting. Feel free to explore, bookmark, and share!

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Company Licenses

Ohio Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Ohio Bingo License

Game Type:

Bingo

Agency:Ohio Attorney General
Organization Age Requirement:

2 years of continuous existence immediately preceeding licensure.

Prize Limits:

The aggregate prize for a bingo session cannot exceed $6,000.

Law:

ORC § 2915.01 et seq.

Notes:

Charities may not need a license if they only intend to hold a raffle.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Initial Registration

Agency:Ohio Attorney General
Filing Method:

Online only.

Agency Fee:

Fees vary by type of games offered. $200 for bingo and as much as $5,000 for instant bingo, depending on revenue.

Law:

ORC § 2915.01 et seq.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Registration Renewal

Agency:Ohio Attorney General
Filing Method:

Online only.

Agency Fee:

Fees vary by type of games offered. $200 for bingo and as much as $5,000 for instant bingo, depending on revenue.

Due:

Annually by January 1.

Fact Checked:1/10/18

Ohio Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

Not required



Charitable Gift Annuity licensure is not required on the State level in Ohio.

Ohio statutes do not address charitable gift annuities, but the state generally considers charities that issue annuities exempt from insurance regulation.

Ohio Charitable Registration

Agency:Ohio Attorney General
Law:

Ohio Revised Code Ann. § 1716.01 et seq., Ohio Revised Code §§ 109.23 to 109.32

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:1/16/19

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

Charitable Trust Act Exemptions:

  • Any governmental unit. For purposes of this paragraph, "governmental unit" means a political subdivision, agency, department, county, parish, municipal corporation, instrumentality or other unit of the government of the United States, a state, or a foreign country.
  • Organizations which are organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes. These include churches, conventions and associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church.
  • Educational institutions which normally maintain a regular faculty and curriculum and normally have a regular body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on
  • Charitable trusts in which all charitable interests are contingent, revocable, or subject to an unlimited power of invasion for purposes other than charitable purposes
  • Charitable trusts which are not located in Ohio. For purposes of this paragraph, a charitable trust is located in Ohio and must register if not otherwise exempt if it is incorporated or otherwise organized in Ohio, conducts program services in Ohio or has assets in Ohio. For the purpose of this paragraph, "assets" includes cash, inventory, equipment, real estate, securities, investments, financial accounts and any other property

 

Charitable Organizations Act Exemptions:

  • Charities with less than $25,000 in gross revenue and assets during the preceding fiscal year
  • Any religious agencies and organizations, and charities, agencies, and organizations operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious organization
  • Any educational institution, when solicitation of contributions is confined to alumni, faculty, trustees, or the student membership and their families
  • Any public primary or secondary school, when solicitation of contributions is confined to alumni, faculty, or the general population of the local school district
  • Any booster club that is organized and operated in conjunction with and for the benefit of students of public primary or secondary schools
  • Every person other than an individual, when solicitation of contributions for a charitable purpose or on behalf of a charitable organization is confined to its existing membership, present or former employees, or present or former trustees
Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Law:

ORC § 1716.03 and OAC 109:1-1-02

Notes:
  • The registration requirement for charities in Ohio is established in two separate sections of law, meaning that charities may be exempt under one act but required to register under the other.
  • Charities should file an online request for exemption determination if they believe they are exempt. Exemptions do not expire as long as the organization continues to qualify under the exemption criteria.
Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0 for organizations that have not yet solicited in Ohio. Fees range from $0-$200, depending on contributions, for organizations that have previously solicited in Ohio.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
  • The CFO / treasurer must sign
  • Some Ohio counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Fact Checked:6/26/18

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

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

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.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Penalties:

There is a $200 late fee.

Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
Fact Checked:6/26/18

Change of Fiscal Year

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

Email the state to inform them of the change.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Ohio Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

Not required



Commercial Co-venturer licensure is not required on the State level in Ohio.

Ohio does not currently have a traditional registration requirement for commercial co-venturers, but they may need to follow other regulations before and after fundraising events.

Registration Not Required

Not required



Ohio Fundraising Counsel Registration

Agency:Ohio Attorney General
Notes:

The fundraising counsel registration is only required of counsels that collect or at any time have custody of charitable contributions.

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$200

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by March 31.

Fact Checked:7/5/18

Financial Reporting

Form:

Solicitation Campaign Financial Report

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and on the anniversary of commencement for campaigns lasting more than a year.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/5/19

Ohio Professional Solicitor Registration

Agency:Ohio Attorney General
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$200

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by March 31.

Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Solicitation Notice

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

File a solicitation notice prior to the start of each solicitation campaign.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/5/19

Financial Reporting

Form:

Solicitation Campaign Financial Report

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 90 days after a campaign has ended and on the anniversary of commencement for campaigns lasting more than a year.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:8/5/19

Ohio Raffle License

Not required



Charitable Gaming licensure is not required on the State level in Ohio.

There is no state-level raffle license in Ohio, but the law limits which organizations can hold a raffle event.

Local Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

City of Columbus Charitable Solicitations Permit

Agency:City of Columbus Department of Public Safety
Fact Checked:4/12/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Solicitations Application

Agency Fee:

$60

Fact Checked:4/12/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Charitable Solicitations Application (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$60

Due:

Annually by the date of issuance.

Fact Checked:4/12/19

City of Columbus Professional Fundraiser License

Agency:City of Columbus Department of Public Safety
Fact Checked:4/12/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Fundraiser Application

Agency Fee:

$20 application fee + $150 license fee.

Fact Checked:4/12/19

Registration Renewal

Form:

Professional Fundraiser Application (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$20 application fee + $150 license fee.

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fact Checked:4/12/19

Individual Licenses

Ohio Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

Ohio Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

Not required



Professional Solicitor licensure is not required on the State level in Ohio.

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 Ohio.

Registration Not Required

Not required



Learn about fundraising in other states:

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