How to Form a 501c3 Nonprofit Corporation in Ohio

Registering an Ohio nonprofit is only the first step toward forming a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit; you need to register your organization in the state as a nonprofit corporation. Once you've done so, you can move on to filing for 501c3 nonprofit status at the federal level. Until you have received 501c3 status from the IRS, you are not legally allowed to operate as a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit.

Register your Ohio Nonprofit Corporation

The formation document you need to file in order to become a nonprofit corporation is called your Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. These Nonprofit Articles provide the state with information about your business and its purpose. Certain clauses are required by the state to be included in your nonprofit articles; certain other clauses, though not required by the state, will be necessary if you intend to register as a 501c3 nonprofit corporation.

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

  • Business name—This name must be available for use in the state.
  • Location—Provide the city and county of the business’s location.
  • Statement that the corporation will or will not have members.
  • Purpose—Your business purpose should be provided. Certain language must be included here if you plan to go on to form a 501c3 Nonprofit.
  • Specific language regarding dissolutions and other IRS-required information, if you intend to operate as a 501c3 Nonprofit.

In addition to the Articles of Incorporation, you must submit an additional form appointing a Statutory Agent. This Agent must have a physical address in Ohio.

After you've filed your Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation and the state has placed you in their records as an Ohio nonprofit corporation, you can begin the 501c3 nonprofit application process with the IRS.

Applying for 501c3 Tax-Exempt Status from the IRS

In addition to your state filing information, the IRS will require a great deal of information from you, including but not limited to the following:

  • 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 specific purpose, additional forms and information may be required.

Further Responsibilities of an Ohio Nonprofit Corporation

It’s important to file an Article Amendment if your information changes so that the state has current information on your organization at all times.

How Click and Inc Can Help

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.

When you use Click and Inc to file your 501c3 nonprofit, we make sure the IRS-required 501c3 language is present in your state Articles of Incorporation from the very beginning.

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Other Types of Businesses in Ohio

For information on other types of businesses in Ohio, please explore the links below.