How to Form a 501c3 Maryland Nonprofit Corporation

In Maryland, in order to form a 501c3 Nonprofit, you must first register your nonprofit corporation at the state level. Once you’re a legal entity within the state, you can proceed to obtaining 501c3 status by applying with the IRS—assuming your business is formed for one of the acceptable 501c3 purposes: scientific, religious, charitable, literary, or educational purposes, among a few others.

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Register your Nonprofit Corporation in Maryland

Your Nonprofit Articles will include, at minimum, the following:

  • Name, and address of the Incorporator (the person who fills out the document)
  • Business name as you wish it to be legally recorded
  • Purpose for forming the business
  • Street address of business
  • The following statement: “The corporation has no authority to issue capital stock.”
  • Registered Agent’s name and address
  • List of directors
  • Certain language the state and/or IRS will require in order to grant tax-exempt status

Once placed on file by the Secretary of State, your organization becomes a legal entity and is authorized to do business in the state of Maryland. If you intend to form a 501c3 Nonprofit Corporation, you are now able to begin the tax-exempt status application process with the IRS.

Applying for 501c3 Tax-Exempt Status from the IRS

There is a great deal of information the IRS will need about your business in order to grant you tax-exempt status. Some of the information you can expect to provide is as follows:

  • Form 1023
  • Articles of Incorporation, including specific 501c3 language
  • Three years of donation estimates
  • Detailed description of your business activities
  • Three years of expense estimates
  • Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest form
  • Information about any organization from which you are involved in fundraising or donations
  • Depending on the amount of compensation they are to receive, a list of any independent contractors or officers
  • Copies of any leases or contracts with any of the above persons

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the information the IRS will require. Depending on your intended business activity, you may be required to provide further information or documentation.

When you use Click and Inc to file your 501c3, we make sure the required 501c3 language is present in your state Articles of Incorporation from the very beginning. Learn more about forming a 501c3 Nonprofit.

Further Responsibilities of a Maryland Nonprofit Corporation

All corporations in Maryland, whether nonprofit or for-profit, must submit a Statement of Information within 90 days of filing. Future Statements of Information must be submitted biennially.

In Maryland, nonprofit entities are taxable; until your corporation has formally obtained tax-exempt status from the Franchise Tax Board, it will be responsible for paying a minimum $800 franchise tax along with its annual return.

If any of the above information changes, you will need to file an amendment to alert the state of those changes. Failure to do so could result in the state being unable to contact you with valuable filing and renewal notices, which may cause certain late fees to be incurred.

You will be required to obtain an Employee Identification Number, also known as an EIN. The EIN is obtained through the IRS. It is best to check with the IRS or a legal advisor to determine what other IRS requirements are present for a 501c3 Corporation.

Depending on your purpose and your local jurisdictions, you may be required to open any number of Business Licenses at the state, county, or town level. Learn more about our Business License Services to streamline the process.

Maryland Startup Quicklinks

For information on other types of businesses in Maryland, please explore the links below: