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How To Start A Nonprofit In Nevada

To start a nonprofit corporation in Nevada, begin by filing nonprofit articles of incorporation with the Nevada Secretary of State. You can file your nonprofit's articles in person, by fax, by mail, or online. Filing the Nevada nonprofit articles will cost at least $100 in combined fees (a $50 state filing fee plus $50 to submit the Nevada Initial List of Officers). Once filed with the state, the articles of incorporation officially create your nonprofit corporation, but truly preparing a nonprofit to pursue its mission involves several additional steps.


Nevada Nonprofit Filing Options

Free PDF Download

Download the Nevada Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. Fill out the form and submit to the state.

Do It Yourself Online

Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining a Nevada nonprofit. All for free.

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Hire us to form your Nevada nonprofit. Includes registered agent service, adaptable nonprofit templates & more.

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NV Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation Requirements

To incorporate a Nevada nonprofit, you must complete and file the nonprofit articles of incorporation with the Nevada Secretary of State. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.

1. Name of Corporation

Your nonprofit’s name must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities on file with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, and it can’t include the name of a natural person unless a corporate ending appears as well (“Incorporated,” “Inc.,” etc.). You can run a preliminary name search at the Nevada Secretary of State’s website.

2. Registered Agent

Include the name and Nevada street address of your Nevada registered agent. This is the individual or business authorized to receive a service of process on behalf of your nonprofit. When you hire Northwest, our name and Nevada street address go here.

3. Directors/Trustees

Include the names and addresses of each member of your nonprofit’s initial board of directors or board of trustees.

4. Purpose

Nevada requires a description of your nonprofit’s purpose. If your organization intends to seek 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status, be sure your statement of purpose includes the specific language required by the IRS.

5. Incorporator(s)

Appoint an incorporator to sign and submit your nonprofit’s articles of incorporation. Your incorporator doesn’t need to be part of your organization. When you hire Northwest to form your nonprofit, we’ll be your incorporator.

6. Certificate of Acceptance

Your nonprofit’s registered agent must either sign and date your articles to accept the appointment or submit a Registered Agent Acceptance form.

How Much Does It Cost to Incorporate a Nevada Nonprofit?

Nevada charges $50 to file nonprofit articles of incorporation, but you’ll also pay $50 to submit your initial list of officers at the same time that you submit your articles. In a practical sense, then, it costs at least $100 to incorporate.

How Long Does It Take to Start a Nevada Nonprofit?

Standard processing in Nevada takes around 7 business days. You can get 1-day processing for an expedite fee of $125. 2-hour processing is also available for a fee of $500 and 1-hour processing for $1,000.

Is A Nevada Nonprofit Registered Agent Required?

Yes, Nevada requires nonprofit corporations to appoint a Nevada registered agent to receive services of process (legal notices) on their behalf. The state simply wants a reliable channel open to communicate with your nonprofit if it ever gets sued, and registered agents provide that channel. You can appoint yourself or a willing associate, or you can hire a registered agent service like Northwest.

We don’t recommend doing the job yourself. A registered agent must list a Nevada street address on your nonprofit’s articles of incorporation, which is a document available to the public, and the agent actually has to BE at that address during normal business hours. If you list your own residential or office address, you can expect a mailbox full of junk mail and unwanted salespeople showing up at your door, and you’ll find yourself stuck at your desk all day waiting for a service of process that may never come.

Hire Northwest, and these problems dissolve entirely. Instead of listing your address on your nonprofit’s articles of incorporation, you can list our Nevada street address instead. Instead of waiting all day for a service or process that may never come, you can leave the endless, tedious waiting to us. And if we ever do get any legal mail that needs to head your way, we’ll scan it and send it to you on the day we received it.


File Your NV Initial List of Officers

What Is The Nevada Initial List Of Officers?

When you form your Nevada nonprofit, you’ll pay $50 to submit an initial list of officers to the Nevada Secretary of State. The form asks for basic information about your nonprofit’s officers, but it also seeks to determine if your nonprofit needs to register as a charity or if it needs to purchase a Nevada business license for an additional $200 fee. You should submit your initial list alongside your Nevada nonprofit’s articles of incorporation. You can find both forms in the downloadable PDF file above.


Get a Federal EIN from the IRS

Your nonprofit will need a federal employer identification number (EIN) to open a bank account (at least at most banks), to apply for federal tax-exempt status, to register for Nevada state tax accounts, and to establish itself as a legitimate organization in the eyes of many donors and vendors. Think of your nonprofit’s EIN as the equivalent of an individual’s social security number.

Once your nonprofit’s articles of incorporation get approved by the State of Nevada, you can apply for an EIN online at the IRS website. Or you can add our EIN service for an additional fee when you hire Northwest.


Hold Your Organizational Meeting & Adopt Bylaws

Nevada requires a nonprofit corporation’s board of directors to adopt bylaws at its first official meeting (usually held shortly after incorporating). This is important for a variety of reasons, including that the IRS will want to see your bylaws when you apply for federal tax-exempt status, but the most important reason is that bylaws are your nonprofit’s internal rules—the agreement it makes with itself. Without clear bylaws that anticipate the problems and conflicts your nonprofit will likely encounter down the road, your nonprofit’s directors can’t steer the organization along a consistent, cohesive path.

It isn’t easy to write effective bylaws, but Northwest has the knowledge and experience to help get you started. When you hire Northwest, you can use our adaptable template for writing nonprofit bylaws, as well as numerous other free nonprofit forms, to make sure your nonprofit starts off successfully and stays successful. Check out our free attorney-drafted nonprofit bylaws template and get started today!


Obtain Federal and/or State Tax Exemptions

Will My Nevada Nonprofit Be Tax-Exempt?

Not automatically. Starting a nonprofit corporation isn’t the same thing as starting a tax-exempt organization because “nonprofit” status gets determined by the states while “tax-exempt” status gets determined by the IRS. To make your dream of organizing a tax-exempt nonprofit a reality, you’ll need to submit an Application for Recognition of Exemption to the IRS, pay either a $275 or $600 fee (depending on the size and nature of your nonprofit), and wait out the 3-6 month application process while the IRS examines your application, formation documents, and whatever else it can get its hands on.

Of the more than two dozen tax-exempt entities recognized by the IRS, most nonprofits seek 501(c)(3) status for public charities and private foundations. If your nonprofit decides to go this route, your articles of incorporation must include a statement of purpose and dissolution of assets provision using the specific language required by the IRS.

What About Nevada State Tax Exemptions?

If your nonprofit manages to obtain federal tax-exempt status, it will also be exempt from the Nevada corporate income tax, but you’ll need to apply for an exemption from the state’s sales and use tax. Learn more at Northwest’s guide to Nevada state tax exemptions.


Apply For Nevada Accounts & Licenses

Does a Nevada Nonprofit Need a Business License?

If you’re forming a standard nonprofit corporation under the Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 82, your nonprofit will be exempt from the state business license requirement. However, if you have a different type of nonprofit under NRS Chapter 81 (such as a such as a nonprofit cooperative or an unincorporated nonprofit association) you’ll have to either get a business license ($200 a year) or file for an exemption. Exemption requires 501(c) status with the IRS. The Declaration of Eligibility for State Business License Exemption form must be notarized and filed alongside your Initial List of Officersand each year when you file your Annual List of Officers.

How Can My Nonprofit Register For State Tax Accounts?

You can register your nonprofit with the Department of Taxation by filing a Nevada Common Business Registration form and a Supplemental Application, but you can only do so after getting an EIN from the IRS. There is no filing fee.

Do I Have to Register My Nonprofit as a Charity in Nevada?

If your nonprofit solicits charitable or tax-exempt contributions, you’ll likely need to register as a Nevada charity with the NV Secretary of State. To register, submit a Charitable Registration Statement alongside your nonprofit’s Initial List Form, and do the same each year, submitting the registration statement with your Annual List Form, to renew your registration with the state. There is no registration fee.

Certain types of Nevada charities are exempt from registering with the state, including churches recognized as 501(c)(3) organizations by the IRS, but qualifying charities must submit the Exemption from Charitable Solicitation Registration Statement to the Nevada Secretary of State and renew each year.


Open a Bank Account For Your NV Nonprofit

To open a bank account for your Nevada nonprofit, you will need to bring the following items with you to the bank:

  • A copy of your Nevada nonprofit articles of incorporation
  • A copy of your nonprofit’s bylaws
  • Your Nevada nonprofit’s EIN

We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. If your nonprofit has several directors and/or officers, you may also want to bring a resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by management open the account in the name of your nonprofit.


Submit the NV Annual List of Officers

Nevada requires nonprofits to submit an Annual List of Officers each year. This is the same form as your Initial List of Officers (described in Section 3 above), and it is due each year by the last day of the anniversary month of your nonprofit’s incorporation. The report’s purpose is to update or confirm your nonprofit’s information as it appears on the state’s records.

If you’d rather avoid keeping up with the details, fees, and deadlines for this annual report, you can hire Northwest Registered Agent to form your Nevada nonprofit and receive our convenient Nevada Annual Report Compliance service. We’ll take care of filing your initial and annual lists for you.