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Wyoming Nonprofit Organization

We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in Wyoming

NAME IT

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

GET ORGANIZED

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

MAKE LAWS

Bylaws will help shape your WY 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 Wyoming nonprofit corporations. These bylaws will also be required by the IRS if you apply for federal tax exempt status.

INCORPORATE

File the Articles of Incorporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State. You can file by mail, fax, or in person. To complete the formation documents, you’ll need to include the following:

  • Nonprofit corporation name.
  • Registered agent name, address, and signature (on a separate form, which the registered agent must file).
  • 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 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

HAVE A MEETING

After filing your Articles of Incorporation, hold your WY 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

Wyoming does not require nonprofits to register as charities before soliciting donations. Once you have your team in place and your articles filed, you can start knocking on doors and making phone calls to raise money for your nonprofit corporation.

How much does it cost to form a nonprofit corporation in Wyoming?

The filing fee is $25. You can only submit your filings by mail or in person.

How long does it take for Wyoming to process my Articles of Incorporation?

Three to six days, not including mailing times. When the clerk approves your filing, your Wyoming nonprofit will instantly be in the WY state database.

Does my registered agent need to sign the Articles of Incorporation?

There is a separate form for the Wyoming registered agent to sign called the Consent to Appointment by the Registered Agent. This form needs to be completed and attached to the articles when you submit your filing.

Do all signatures need to be originals?

Yes, Wyoming requires that all the signatures on the formation documents be in black ink. That’s why you can only file by mail or in person.

How many directors are required to sign the Articles of Incorporation?

Zero.

How many incorporators are required to sign the Articles of Incorporation?

At least one incorporator needs to sign the nonprofit articles of incorporation.

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

Wyoming requires a brief explanation of purpose. But if you’ll be applying for federal tax exempt status, the IRS has outlined recommend language to use throughout the document, and since the main goal of the IRS in determining 501c3 tax exempt status is deciding whether a nonprofit organization actually has a charitable purpose, you should definitely be as specific as possible.

Once your nonprofit is approved as federally tax exempt, you should apply for Wyoming tax exemption.

Do nonprofit corporations in Wyoming need to register as charities?

No. Wyoming doesn’t require nonprofits seeking donations to register as charities.

Do WY nonprofit organizations need to file annual reports?

Yes. Wyoming domestic nonprofits and Wyoming foreign nonprofits need to file an annual report by the first day of their anniversary month each year. So if your WY nonprofit corporation was formed on March 15th, you’d need to file the report by March 1. The filing fee is $25.

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

There are a few things you should know about forming a Wyoming nonprofit. Wyoming has a separate form for registered agents to sign, and it needs to be attached to your articles of incorporation when you submit the filing. All formation documents need original signatures in black ink. And because all signatures need to be original, you can only file by mail or in person in Wyoming.

For more incorporation information:

Wyoming Secretary of State
State Capitol Building, Room 110
200 West 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
Phone: (307) 777-7311
Website: soswy.state.wy.us/Business

Wyoming state tax contact info:

Wyoming Department of Revenue
122 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor
West Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002-0110
Phone: (307) 777-5275
Website: revenue.wyo.gov

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®