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Virginia Nonprofit Organization

We’re Just Not Annoying®

HOW TO START A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION IN VIRGINIA

NAME IT

Run a name search on the Virginia Secretary of State’s website to make sure the name you’ve chosen for your VA nonprofit corporation is available. The official name of your VA nonprofit need not include a corporate ending, such as “incorporated” or “Inc.”

GET ORGANIZED

Assemble a dedicated, organized and committed team of initial directors before filing your formation documents, as teamwork will be vital to the success of your VA nonprofit corporation.

MAKE LAWS

Bylaws will help shape your VA nonprofit corporation’s overall goals and direct the organization’s daily actions. Drafting the bylaws may require the help of an attorney who knows the in’s and out’s out Virginia nonprofit corporations. These bylaws will also be required by the IRS if you apply for federal tax exempt status.

INCORPORATE

File the completed Virginia Nonstock Corporation Articles of Incorporation, along with the filing fee to the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission by mail or in person. To complete the formation documents, you’ll need to include the following:

  • Nonprofit corporation name.
  • Registered agent name and address.
  • Purpose of nonprofit corporation.
  • Name and address of at least one incorporator.
  • If you’ll be applying to the IRS for tax exempt status, you’ll also want to include a clause concerning what will happen to the corporation’s assets upon dissolution. You’ll also want the document to be completed in IRS tax exempt language.

HOLD A MEETING

After filing your Articles of Incorporation, hold your VA nonprofit corporation’s first official meeting, of which the goal should be to elect officers and directors and to adopt the corporation’s bylaws.

TALK TO THE MAN

Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This can be done on the IRS’ website and should only take a few minutes. Then, if applicable, apply to the IRS for federal tax exempt status.

RAISE FUNDS

If you’re planning on collecting donations of any kind, you’ll need to register your nonprofit corporation as a charity with the Virginia Secretary of State.

How much does it cost to form a nonstock organization in Virginia?

It costs $75 to form a VA nonprofit corporation. You can pay with a credit card if you file in person or online. Send a check or money order if you’re filing by mail.

How long does it take Virginia to process the Articles of Incorporation?

At least seven business days for your nonprofit articles of incorporation to be processed, not including mailing times, if you submit by mail. You can pay an expedite fee of $200 for same day processing, or a $100 fee for next day processing.

How many directors are required on the Articles of Incorporation?

Zero.

How many incorporators are required on the Articles of Incorporation?

The name and address of at least one incorporator is required.

Should I be specific about the purpose of my WY nonprofit corporation?

If you’ll be applying for federal tax exempt status, the IRS has outlined recommend language to use throughout the articles of incorporation, and since the main goal of the IRS in determining tax exempt status is decide whether a nonprofit organization actually has a charitable purpose, you should definitely be as specific as possible.

Once you have your federal tax exempt status, make sure you look into any Virginia tax exemptions.

Do VA nonprofit corporations need to register as charities?

Yes, if your nonprofit corporation will be soliciting any donations you must register as a Virginia charity. Either file a Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization, or a Virginia Exemption Application for a Charitable Organization, with the Virginia Division of Consumer Protection.

Do nonprofit corporations in Virginia need to file annual reports?

Yes. Virginia domestic and Virginia foreign nonprofit corporations need to file an annual report by the last day of their anniversary month each year. The fee to file the report is $25.

Sign up for Virginia registered agent service with northwest and we send annual report filing reminders.

Is there anything weird about forming a nonprofit corporation in Virginia?

You submit your filings to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, not the Secretary of the Commonwealth. No directors are required on the form, but if you do list one, you have to list every director and officer on an addendum. Aside from that, it is not too complicated to form a Virginia nonprofit corporation.

More nonprofit organization resources:

Clerk of the State Corporation Commission
P. O. Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
Phone: (866) 722-2551
www.scc.virginia.gov

Virginia Department of Agriculture and consumer Services
Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs
P.O. Box 526
Richmond, VA 23218-0526
Phone: (804)786-1343
www.vdacs.virginia.gov

Virginia Department of Taxation
Nonprofit Exemption Unit
Post Office Box 27125
Richmond, Virginia 23261-7125
Phone: (804) 371-4023
www.tax.virginia.gov

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®