Ohio Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

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

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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.

Fact Checked:8/28/19
2 File Ohio Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Nonprofits are generally not subject to corporate franchise tax or commercial activity tax.

More information: Ohio Department of Taxation
3 File Ohio Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



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

4 File Ohio Statement of Continued Existence
Agency:Ohio Secretary of State
Form:

Statement of Continued Existence

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$25

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.

Law:

Ohio Revised Code §§1702.59 and 1703.27 

Notes:
  • Two officers or three members must file.
  • Original signatures are not required.
Fact Checked:9/10/18
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

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:4/10/20

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.

Turnaround:

1 week

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Notes:
  • The CFO / treasurer must sign
  • Some Ohio counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
  • If you will foreign qualify in Ohio, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 90 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Ohio Secretary of State.
  2. Create a filing account online and complete a charitable registration through the Ohio Attorney General's office.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Ohio. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Ohio Secretary of State.
  3. Create a filing account online and complete a charitable registration through the Ohio Attorney General's office.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
Fact Checked:4/14/20

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.

Due Date Extension:

Due dates are automatically extended for 180 days beyond the original due date.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Penalties:

There is a $200 late fee.

Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
Fact Checked:2/4/20

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

Cancellation

Notes:

An organization that no longer solicits in Ohio should fill out and return a Solicitation Withdrawal form, which the state provides upon request. Fees and/or final annual reports may be required, depending on when the organization ceased soliciting.

Fact Checked:7/14/20
6Maintain a Ohio Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Ohio. 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 North Canton , OH to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Continue reading

Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

Read the guide
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