Start a 501(c) Nonprofit

Leave registering your nonprofit to the experts.

We actually prepare your state and IRS applications and file for you.
Services from $1,395 plus filing fees.

- Rated 4.8/5 by 23 clients on Google+

Contact Us to Get Started

Please complete the form below and we will reach out to you to discuss your nonprofit. The more you can tell us about your nonprofit’s mission and goals, the better we can assist you.

Contact Information

Nonprofit Information

We respect your privacy per our privacy policy.

Become Tax-Exempt Fast with Harbor Compliance

Sign up today and your specialist will reach out to you within one business day. With our network of local state offices and expertise with IRS forms and requirements, we help you become incorporated and 501(c) tax exempt fast. We'll reduce the time you spend on complex applications by 95%, and we have a 100% rate of IRS approval. That means you can launch your charitable programs and start fundraising sooner.

Estimated Processing Times


The IRS is processing applications in as little as 2 weeks and up to 3 months on average. Why the difference? It depends on the form filed with the IRS, and on the type of nonprofit you're starting. As part of our service, we review your eligibility for faster processing. We'll prepare and file the correct form for your organization, and help you become tax exempt, guaranteed.


Each state approves your incorporation at a different rate: sometimes within a couple days, and up to a month or more. With Harbor Compliance, you can choose to expedite your incorporation using the different filing options available to you. Select your state and processing time.

Harbor Compliance

Our promise is to start working with you within one business day of signing up. You want to get your nonprofit up and running, so we don't make you wait for an initial consultation. Your role in timely providing required information to your specialist is critical to getting your application approved quickly. We work at your pace while being helpful in moving the process along.

Please understand that government processing times can vary significantly. While we provide the best estimates we can based on our extensive experience, we do not represent or guarantee the time it will take for your applications to be processed.

Proud compliance provider for:

View our BBB reviews

Harbor Business Compliance Corporation BBB Business Review

From the IRS

The IRS estimates you'll spend 100+ hours on Form 1023 alone – that's working four hours every evening for a month. We reduce the average time you spend by 95%, letting you focus on your mission.
Detailed process

The IRS does not approve ~20% of all tax-exempt applications. We guarantee approval! We work closely with you to understand your planned activities and align them within the IRS requirements. Don’t risk facing the added cost and delay of rejected documents; work with us and do it right – the first time.
About 501(c) - getting tax exempt

Choose a Start-up Package

Choose your package: Tax-Exempt or Compliance.

Our Tax-Exempt package includes everything necessary for becoming a 501(c)(3), guaranteed! For nonprofits on a budget, or planning to manage their compliance in-house, this is the right package for you.

Our Compliance package includes everything in the Tax-Exempt package (including guaranteed approval of 501(c)(3) status), and is designed to help you stay compliant through your first year. It includes managing department of state annual reports, annual fundraising registration, registered agent, and an annual compliance review. For larger organizations who are seeking a partner in compliance, the Compliance package is right for you.

Work one-on-one with a specialist who has personally set up hundreds of nonprofits. Your specialist completes each step with your review.

Tax-Exempt Package

Services to incorporate your nonprofit and become tax exempt.

Compliance Package

Formation services plus ongoing assistance to stay compliant.

Name Availability Search 
Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation 
Nonprofit Bylaws 
Federal EIN 
501(c) Exemption 
The IRS requires a one-time application fee of $275, $400, or $850. We will determine your fee and invoice you prior to filing.
Nonprofit Records Kit 
Initial Report 
As required to complete your incorporation.
As required to complete your incorporation.
Annual Review 
Nonprofit ComplianceAdviser 
Annual Fundraising Registration 
Managed Annual Report Service 
Registered Agent 
Service Fees

501c approval guaranteed

Your Harbor Compliance nonprofit package comes with guaranteed 501(c)(3) approval

Your specialist will review your mission and planned operations to determine 501(c)(3) eligibility. We will work with you to make necessary changes to ensure your IRS approval. We have a 100% approval track record, and we are committed to keeping it that way. We won’t waste your time or money if we aren't confident you will get your 501(c)(3) approval. We guarantee your 501(c)(3) approval or your money back – we’ve yet to have to make good on that promise!

How We Help

Setting up a compliant nonprofit involves preparing documents and applications for various government agencies. We eliminate the need for you to spend hours agonizing over these forms. Your specialist collects the information from you once and drafts all of the applications for you. You simply review and sign. Your specialist handles the rest.

Here is a partial list of what we deal with so you don’t have to.

  • Review your mission and operations for tax-exemption eligibility
  • Confirm nonprofit name availability in the state of incorporation
  • Prepare and file your articles of incorporation
  • Customize your nonprofit bylaws and required policies
  • Provide a company record kit, templates, and seal
  • Act as your registered agent
  • Apply for your Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Obtain your 501(c) tax exemption with GUARANTEED APPROVAL!
  • Register in your state of incorporation for fundraising
  • File IRS Form 990-N
  • Prepare and file your initial and first year annual report
  • Publish notice of incorporation
  • Provide ongoing assistance to help you keep your nonprofit compliant!

Choose a formation package that fits your start-up budget and needs.

An EXCELLENT experience. I am self-employed and now starting a ministry. My need was to have a non-profit ministry in NC with 501C3 status. Harbor Compliance accomplished this in lightening speed. A previous attorney had suggested that I skip the 501C3 due to the time and intensive paperwork involved. Yet, Harbor Business Compliance accomplished this with only a few questions from me. Without a doubt, using Harbor Compliance was less expensive than hiring an attorney, and less stressful than doing it myself. I'm confident in saying, "You won't regret hiring Harbor Compliance."
BrendaKid's Mobile Ministry

How to Get Started


Choose a formation package  and sign-up online. Complete the initial intake information and we will assign a specialist to working with you.


Your specialist will reach out within one business day to discuss the details of your organization and prepare a draft of your incorporation documents.


You review and sign your articles of incorporation. Sit back as your specialist files with the state and starts working on your IRS application!

Start My Guaranteed 501(c)(3) Nonprofit

The following organizations have linked to our trusted resources on starting a nonprofit:

Common Questions

Unlike many online companies, we actually prepare your documents for you. With us, you won’t need to bother with time-consuming online questionnaires or drafting the documents yourself. 

We pair you with a specialist. A real person! Your specialist discusses your mission with you and collects the basic information needed to get started. From there, your specialist actually prepares your documents and sends them to you for you to review. Take advantage of their wealth of experience setting up all types of nonprofits!

When you choose your formation package and sign up online, you can expect to hear from your specialist within one business day to schedule your initial discussion.

We offer two packages, Tax Exempt and Compliance. You can get the exact costs and compare packages here.

As little as two weeks! From the moment you sign up, you can receive your 501©(3) determination letter in as little as two weeks. The IRS processing time on the high end is currently up to 3 months on average. This is a huge improvement from 6 to 12 month processing last year. Processing times can change at any time so take advantage while it lasts!

Many of our competitors make you wait weeks for an initial consultation. We think that's terrible service. We get to work right away. Your specialist will reach out within one business day.

Yes we do! We ask for a little bit of information from you online, such as your nonprofit's name, your state of incorporation, and your contact information. Your nonprofit specialist reviews that information and discusses with you the details. Your specialist prepares all your forms for you and sends you drafts to review before filing.
Terrific! Many of our clients have existing entities. As part of the same package price you see online, we review your existing paperwork, and amend as necessary so that it will meet IRS approval.
No, it is possible to file with the IRS without an SSN or ITIN, but it is much easier if you do have one. If you or one of your board members has an SSN, it makes obtaining an EIN much faster. If you do not have an SSN, please expect longer state and IRS processing times.
Absolutely. As document filing specialists, our service complements, not substitutes, the counsel of your attorney or accountant. We do not provide legal or tax advice and will let you know if we come across an area requiring legal or tax counsel.
We work with clients who are in a variety of stages of planning. To get started, we need you to complete the initial information in our brief online questionnaire. This includes your nonprofit's name, your contact information, and your state. Your specialist carefully reviews this information and reaches out to you to discuss in further detail. None of the information you put in is final, so don’t worry if you’re not 100% sure of an answer.
If you have questions about our service, please call 1-888-995-5895 to speak with a sales representative.


A nonprofit corporation is a legal entity created under state law. Incorporating is a key step in formalizing your cause.
  • Incorporating limits the liability of directors, officers, and members (provided you properly maintain the corporation).
  • Incorporating builds credibility with donors and grantmakers.
  • As you form your board of directors and elect officers, you can gain support and involvement from others committed to your mission.
The IRS recognizes organizations that qualify for federal income tax exemption under IRC 501(c). The most common exemption is 501(c)(3).
  • 501(c)(3) organizations are further classified into public charities and private foundations.
  • We help all types of nonprofits file Form 1023 or Form 1024 for exemption.
  • Your IRS Determination Letter of exempt status also states whether donors will be able to contribute tax-deductible donations.
Nonprofits are managed by a board of directors (also called a board of trustees) who set strategic direction for carrying out the nonprofit's mission. Generally, a board is comprised of at least 3 individuals not related by family or marriage. IRS requirements depend on the specifics of the organization. Each state has their own requirements. Learn more by reading about Nonprofit Governance.

The hard costs to set up and run a nonprofit are defined by the state fees in your state of incorporation. All states charge some filing fee to process your Articles of Incorporation to set up the nonprofit. Some states will require an initial report, publication, and other set up to your nonprofit which incur further costs. Beyond the hard costs of the state fees, setting up a nonprofit also requires registering for tax IDs, establishing records, and otherwise setting up. We simplify your start-up expenditures by offering nonprofit formation packages .

After your nonprofit is set up, you are responsible for running it in compliance with your statutory corporations code and 501(c) guidance. This often requires filing an annual report, filing annual tax returns (or tax exempt returns), and, in some states, remitting an annual franchise tax or license for the privilege of operating. Operating an organization in compliance with 501(c) is a lengthy topic, but an important one to keep tax exemption. Finally, many states require annual charitable solicitation registration. The costs to accomplish these tasks vary by state. In some states there is minimal cost and in others you may have to spend hundreds every year. Please contact us if you would like more information about the business compliance aspects of running your nonprofit.

Most new organizations want to set up their nonprofit intelligently and in the most economical way possible. For this reason, it is common to form your nonprofit in the state in which your organization has an office and carries out its mission. Registering in a different state such as Delaware or Nevada adds another set of state filings and ongoing reporting requirements. While popular states such as Delaware do have certain advantages in terms of case law and court systems, these benefits are most often realized by large businesses such as Fortune 500 companies.

Some start ups naturally have presence in multiple states from Day 1. If this is the case, we can help you file a domestic registration for your nonprofit in your preferred state as well as foreign registrations in each other state where the nonprofit will operate. Please contact us for a custom quote.

For more information and state-specific requirements, please review our Nonprofit Startup Guide.