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Connecticut Nonprofit Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Nonprofit in Connecticut

To incorporate a nonprofit in Connecticut, you will file the nonstock Certificate of Incorporation with the Connecticut Secretary of State. This filing will officially create your corporation, but it is really just one step toward pursuing your nonprofit’s goals. The main steps to starting a Connecticut nonprofit are as follows:

  1. File the nonstock Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Get a federal EIN tax ID from the IRS
  3. Get a state tax ID from the Connecticut Department of Revenue
  4. Hold your organizational meeting and adopt bylaws
  5. Apply for federal and/or state tax exemptions
  6. Register as a charity
  7. File your Organization and First Report form within 30 days of incorporating
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Connecticut nonprofit Certificate of Incorporation free download. When you’re done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Documents & Forms

How to File the Connecticut Nonstock Corporation Certificate of Formation

To form a Connecticut nonprofit, file the nonstock Certificate of Formation using the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new nonprofit
Step 2 Decide if your nonprofit will have members
Step 3 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 4 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 5 Describe your nonprofit’s purpose
Step 6 Decide what email address you’d like to list publicly
Step 7 File online and pay $50 with a credit card or mail to the Connecticut Secretary of State, PO Box 150470, Hartford, CT 06115-0470 with a check or money order for $50

How Long Does it Take to Start a Connecticut Nonprofit?


Fastest: 10 business days

Connecticut will take about 10 days to process your filing if you pay an extra $50 expedite fee (for a total filing fee of $100).


Slower: 14 business days

Connecticut takes around 14 business days to process filings that haven’t been expedited.


How Much Does It Cost To Incorporate A Connecticut Nonprofit?

The basic filing fee is $50, but you’ll pay an extra $50 (for a total of $100) if you want expedited processing. If you choose Northwest to form your nonprofit, you’ll pay $275 for a 14-day filing and $325 for expedited 10-day filing.

Additionally, you’ll need to file your Organization and First Report Form within 30 days of incorporating. This report goes to the Connecticut Secretary of State, and it comes with its own $50 filing fee.

How Much Does A Connecticut Nonprofit Cost Each Year?

Your Connecticut nonprofit will pay $50 each year to file a required annual report with the Connecticut Secretary of State. If your nonprofit is registered as a charity, you’ll also pay $50 each year to renew your charitable registration with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

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What Is An Organization And First Report Form?

You’ll file the Connecticut organization and first report within 30 days of forming your nonprofit. It’s basically an initial report that confirms your nonprofit’s contact and organizational information (directors, officers, the date of your organizational meeting, and so on). The filing fee for nonprofit corporations is $50.

What Is The Connecticut Annual Report?

Your nonprofit’s annual report confirms or updates your nonprofit’s contact and membership information for the State of Connecticut. It comes with a $50 fee for nonprofits, and the deadline is always the last day of your nonprofit’s anniversary month. If, for example, you incorporated in November, the deadline for your annual report would be November 30.

When you hire Northwest, you can add our convenient Annual Report Service, for an additional fee, and we can prepare and file your annual report for you.

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Will My Connecticut Nonprofit Be Tax-Exempt?

Nonprofits corporations are not automatically tax-exempt, but you can apply for federal tax-exempt status by submitting an Application for Recognition of Exemption to the IRS. Just make sure you’re willing to endure a lengthy, expensive application process. The IRS recognizes over two dozen types of tax-exempt organizations, but most nonprofit corporations apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. This is the IRS code for public charities and private foundations.

If your nonprofit manages to obtain 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, you will be eligible to apply for some tax exemptions at the state level. Visit our Connecticut Tax Exemption page for details.

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Is A Connecticut Nonprofit Registered Agent Required?

Yes, your nonprofit must appoint a Connecticut registered agent. It’s a job you can do yourself, but it comes with a lot of downsides. You’ll lose privacy because your nonprofit’s articles are part of the public record, so whatever address you list in your articles is also public. You also have to be available at this physical address every day during normal business hours . It’s simply safer and easier to hire a registered agent service.

If you hire Northwest, you’ll use the address of our registered office on your Certificate of Incorporation, and we’ll always be available during business hours to accept legal notices on behalf of your nonprofit. We’ll scan them and send them to you on the day we receive them, freeing you up to hold meetings, travel, and otherwise manage your organization on your own terms.

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Do I Have To Register My Nonprofit As A Charity In Connecticut?

If your nonprofit will solicit and collect donations, or otherwise raise funds by holding charitable events, you’ll likely need to register as a charity with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (there are some exceptions, like nonprofit hospitals and religious corporations). You can register online at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s website. There is a $50 initial registration fee and a $50 renewal fee each year.

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Do I Need A Tax ID Number (EIN) For A Connecticut nonprofit?

If you want to effectively manage your nonprofit’s finances and apply for federal and state tax exemptions, getting an employer identification number (EIN) is pretty much a must. You can apply at the IRS website or by phone, or you can pay an additional fee for our convenient EIN service when you hire Northwest.

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Does A Connecticut Nonprofit Need A Business License?

Connecticut doesn’t issue a statewide business license, but your nonprofit may need to purchase local licenses to conduct its business. Visit the Connecticut Department of Revenue Service’s website to learn more.



Can I Register An Out Of State Nonprofit In Connecticut?

Yes, you can register an out of state nonprofit (also called a foreign nonprofit) by filing the appropriate paperwork with the Connecticut Secretary of State. See our Connecticut foreign nonprofit page for details.

Does A Connecticut Nonprofit Need Bylaws?

Connecticut requires your nonprofit to write and approve bylaws, but you would need bylaws even if they weren’t required. Bylaws are, after all, the place where your nonprofit spells out its internal rules, and it would be tough to make critical collective decisions without them. Who are your board members? How long will their positions last? How will directors get replaced? What are the different officers’ duties? What procedures will meetings follow? (And so on!) Questions like these require that your nonprofit’s essential practices get defined in advance.

Your nonprofit should adopt its bylaws at its first official meeting, either before or shortly after filing the Certificate of Incorporation with the State of Connecticut. If your nonprofit intends to seek 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS, hold your organizational meeting and ratify your bylaws before applying.

It isn’t easy to write bylaws, but Northwest is here to help. When you hire us to form your Connecticut nonprofit, we provide a free adaptable template for writing nonprofit bylaws and numerous other free forms to help get you started.

What Is The Connecticut Nonprofit Statute?

General Statutes of Connecticut - Title 33 Nonstock Corporations

Connecticut Nonprofit Certificate Of Incorporation Requirements

Name of Corporation

Your nonprofit’s name needs to be distinguishable from other businesses on record with the Connecticut Secretary of State. The name must also contain either “corporation,” “incorporated,” or “company” (or their corresponding abbreviations), and the name can’t suggest that your nonprofit’s purpose differs from that described in your Certificate of Incorporation. You can run a name availability search on the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website.


Determine if your nonprofit will have members, whether or not those members are entitled to vote, and if your nonprofit will have more than one class of members. If your nonprofit will have more than one class of members, include an attachment designating each class.

Registered Agent and Address

You can list an individual Connecticut resident or a business authorized to provide registered agent service (like Northwest). The registered agent must be available at the listed street address during normal business hours (an address that becomes part of your nonprofit’s public record). Hire Northwest and the address of our Connecticut registered office goes here.


The Connecticut Certificate of Incorporation only requires a short, general description of your nonprofit’s purpose, but that won’t satisfy the IRS. If you intend to apply for federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or Connecticut state tax exemption, make sure your statement of purpose includes the special tax-exempt language required by the IRS.

Corporate Email

Connecticut requires you to list an email address, which is where the Secretary of State will send your annual report reminders each year. That sounds convenient, but keep in mind that your Certificate of Incorporation is a public document, which means the email address you list is also public. When you hire Northwest, you can use our email address in place of yours, and we’ll send your annual report reminders instead.


Your incorporator is the individual or business that signs and submits your Certificate of Incorporation. It doesn’t have to be a director, officer, or member of your nonprofit, but the incorporator has to be willing to include a name, address, and signature on the form. When you hire Northwest, we’ll serve as your incorporator.

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by Local Corporate Guides®