How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in North Dakota (2024 Guide)

Start a Nonprofit Corporation in North Dakota

If you would like to form a corporation in North Dakota, you should also consider starting a nonprofit corporation since it plays a crucial role in our society, addressing a wide range of community needs and positively impacting countless lives. Starting a nonprofit corporation in North Dakota can be rewarding, but it requires careful planning, dedication, and a thorough understanding of the various legal and financial requirements.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through Starting a Nonprofit Corporation in North Dakota, from initial planning to ongoing compliance, so that you can make a meaningful difference in your community.

If you want to know more about nonprofit corporations, you may read the whole article until the end, which the Webinarcare Editorial Team had thorough research. Before starting a nonprofit corporation in North Dakota, you must cross-check all the factors and be guided by the steps.

What is a Nonprofit Corporation?

A nonprofit corporation is a legal entity formed under a given state’s specific laws and regulations in the United States. It is created to serve a public or mutual benefit rather than generating profits for its owners or shareholders. Nonprofit corporations typically operate in education, healthcare, social services, arts and culture, and environmental conservation.

In a nonprofit corporation, any surplus income the organization generates is reinvested into its programs and services rather than distributed to shareholders or members. This allows nonprofits to focus on fulfilling their mission and addressing community needs without the pressure to maximize profits.

An example of a nonprofit corporation in North Dakota is Great Plains Food Bank – Works to end hunger in North Dakota and western Minnesota by providing food to those in need..

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Steps on How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in North Dakota

To start a nonprofit corporation in North Dakota, you must follow the below steps that, include research and planning, choosing a corporate name, appointing directors, filing for Articles of Incorporation, creating corporate bylaws, holding the initial board of directors, issuing stock, obtaining required licenses and permits, registering with state tax agencies, Annual reporting and ongoing compliance. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Research and Planning

Before starting your nonprofit corporation in North Dakota, you must research and plan. This stage is critical to the success of your nonprofit, as it will help you refine your mission, identify potential supporters, and avoid pitfalls. By conducting thorough research and developing a well-informed plan, you can establish a nonprofit corporation that makes a real difference in the lives of those you serve.

Step 2: Choose a Name for the Nonprofit

Once you have a clear vision for your North Dakota nonprofit corporation, it’s time to choose a name. Your organization’s name should be unique, memorable, and reflective of your mission and purpose. Follow these steps to choose and register your nonprofit’s name in North Dakota:

Consider the Mission and Purpose when Choosing the Name

Your nonprofit’s name should be closely tied to its mission and purpose, making it clear to potential supporters what your organization is about. Choose a name that is meaningful and easy to remember, as this will help with marketing and fundraising efforts.

Check for Name Availability with the North Dakota Secretary of State

Before registering your nonprofit’s name, you must ensure another organization still needs to use it in North Dakota. You can do this by checking the North Dakota Secretary of State ‘s online database or contacting their office directly.

Register the Name

Depending on your North Dakota ‘s requirements, you may need to register your nonprofit’s name with the Secretary of State. This typically involves completing a name reservation of 1 year or registration form and paying an online reservation fee of $10, and mail reservation fee of $10. Be sure to follow your state’s specific guidelines and procedures for name registration.

To check the availability of your desired corporate name, you can search the North Dakota Secretary of State’s business name database and North Dakota Business Name Search.

If your nonprofit corporation plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done by two methods, by mail and in person., which costs around $25. In addition, the DBA’s validity in North Dakota is five years, which you can file in North Dakota Secretary of State.

You can check out How to File a DBA in North Dakota for clearer understanding.

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Step 3: Hire a Registered Agent

Hiring a Registered Agent is essential in starting a nonprofit corporation. Registered Agent is a person or company responsible for receiving important legal documents, tax notices, and other correspondence for your nonprofit corporation. They ensure that your nonprofit corporation remains compliant with state regulations and requirements. There are North Dakota Registered Agent Services to check in forming North Dakota Nonprofit Corporation.

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Step 4: Establish Governance and Bylaws

With your nonprofit’s name in place, it’s time to establish your organization’s governance structure and create bylaws. These important documents will outline how your nonprofit will be run, including the roles and responsibilities of board members, the decision-making process, and the procedures for managing finances and record-keeping.

  • Choose the Initial Board of Directors: Your nonprofit’s board of directors will guide your organization’s activities and ensure its long-term success. Choose individuals passionate about your mission, bring diverse skills and expertise to the table, and are willing to commit the time and effort needed to fulfill their responsibilities as board members. In North Dakota, you need to have at least Three directors for you to operate a nonprofit corporation.
  • Create Bylaws: Your bylaws are the governing document for your nonprofit, outlining the roles and responsibilities of board members, the decision-making process, and the procedures for managing finances and record-keeping. Be sure to cover board meetings, voting, committees, officer positions, conflicts of interest, and amendment procedures. Your bylaws should be tailored to your organization’s needs and requirements and developed in consultation with an attorney experienced in nonprofit law.
  • Hold the First Board Meeting: Once your bylaws have been drafted, hold your first board meeting to review and approve them. This meeting should also include the election of officers, such as the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Be sure to document the meeting’s discussions and decisions in meeting minutes, as these records will be important for maintaining your nonprofit’s legal compliance.

Step 5: Incorporate the Nonprofit

The next step in starting your North Dakota nonprofit corporation is to formally incorporate your organization with the North Dakota Secretary of State. Incorporation establishes your nonprofit as a separate legal entity and provides limited liability protection for its board members and officers. To incorporate your nonprofit, follow these steps:

Prepare the Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation is the legal document formally establishing your nonprofit corporation. This document should include your organization’s name, purpose, Registered Agent, and principal office address. Be sure to follow your state’s specific requirements for the content and format of the Articles of Incorporation.

File the Articles of Incorporation

Once your Articles of Incorporation is complete, please submit them to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office, along with any required filing fees. The filing process may vary depending on your state, but it typically involves mailing or submitting the documents online. Keep a copy of the filed Articles of Incorporation for your records.

Filing Articles of Incorporation in North Dakota may be done with two methods, online and by mail. The Articles of Incorporation fee may vary from different state. However, in North Dakota, it costs $100 for online and by mail filing.

  • Online Filing: Create an account/Log in to the SOS site, get the online form, fill it, and submit online
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to Secretary of State, State of North Dakota, 600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108, Bismarck ND 58505-0500

Step 6: Apply for State and Federal Tax Exemptions

Your organization may be eligible for state and federal tax exemptions as a nonprofit corporation. Obtaining tax-exempt status can save your nonprofit money and make it more attractive to potential donors. To apply for tax exemptions, follow these steps:

Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN in North Dakota is a unique number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to your organization. You’ll need this number to apply for tax-exempt status and open a bank account for your nonprofit. You can obtain an EIN by completing the online application on the IRS website or submitting Form SS-4 by mail or fax.

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Apply for Federal Tax-Exempt Status (501(c)(3))

To apply for federal tax-exempt status, you’ll need to complete and submit Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ, depending on the size and complexity of your organization. This application requires detailed information about your nonprofit’s finances, governance, and programs. Be prepared to provide supporting documentation, including your bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, and financial projections. You’ll also need to pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the size of your organization and the form you submit.

Apply for North Dakota Tax-Exempt Status

In addition to federal tax-exempt status, your nonprofit may be eligible for state tax exemptions. The process for applying for state tax-exempt status varies by state, so research your specific state’s requirements and procedures. This may involve submitting additional forms, documentation, and fees to the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner.

Step 7: Obtain the Necessary Licenses and Permits

Depending on your nonprofit’s activities and location, you may need to obtain various licenses and permits to operate legally—research local, state, and federal requirements and apply for any necessary licenses and permits. Be sure to maintain compliance by renewing licenses and permits as needed and staying up-to-date on any regulation changes.

Step 8: Develop a Fundraising Plan and Strategy

Fundraising is critical to the success of your North Dakota nonprofit corporation, providing the financial resources needed to carry out your mission and programs. Develop a comprehensive fundraising plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and timelines for raising funds. This plan should include various funding sources, such as grants, donations, and special events. Create marketing materials and strategies to promote your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts and engage potential supporters.

Step 9: Open a Bank Account for the Nonprofit

With your legal and financial foundations in place, it’s time to open a bank account for your nonprofit corporation. Choose a bank that offers services tailored to nonprofits and provides the features and support your organization needs. To open an account, you’ll typically need to provide your EIN, Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and a resolution authorizing the account opening. Establish proper financial controls and procedures to ensure responsible management of the organization’s funds.

You can check out the North Dakota Best Banks to know which bank will suit your nonprofit corporation.

Step 10: Establish Record-Keeping Systems

Effective record-keeping and reporting are essential for maintaining your nonprofit’s legal and financial compliance and demonstrating transparency and accountability to your supporters. Set up systems for tracking financial transactions, maintaining records of your organization’s activities, and reporting to the IRS, state, and other relevant agencies. Stay up-to-date on reporting requirements and deadlines to ensure your nonprofit remains in good standing. Hiring a CPA in North Dakota for this reporting system is best.

Step 11: Launch and Promote the Nonprofit

With your North Dakota nonprofit corporation officially established and your financial and legal foundations in place, it’s time to launch your organization and begin making a difference in your community. Develop a marketing plan to promote your nonprofit’s mission and services, including creating a website, social media presence, and other marketing materials. Network with other nonprofits, community organizations, and stakeholders to build partnerships and collaborations to strengthen your organization’s impact.

Step 12: Ongoing Compliance and Management

Starting a nonprofit corporation is just the beginning – maintaining your organization’s legal and financial compliance is an ongoing responsibility. Stay informed about changes in nonprofit laws and regulations, file required Annual Reports and financial statements, and regularly review and update your bylaws, policies, and procedures as needed. Foster positive relationships with board members, volunteers, and supporters to ensure your nonprofit’s continued success.

Cost of Forming a Nonprofit Corporation in North Dakota

In forming a nonprofit corporation in North Dakota, the filing and Annual fees must be paid. Without it, your nonprofit corporation won’t operate. In North Dakota, the nonprofit costs $100 for online and by mail filing, and should file an Annual Report. You should ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your North Dakota nonprofit corporation will run successfully and smoothly.

Is Forming a Nonprofit Corporation in North Dakota Worth It?

Forming a nonprofit corporation in North Dakota can be worth it if you are dedicated to a specific cause and prepared to meet the challenges and responsibilities of running a nonprofit organization. It is essential to carefully consider your goals and resources and consult with a Business Attorney in North Dakota or other professionals experienced in nonprofit formation and management to ensure that you are making the best decision for your situation.

FAQs

What is a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
A non-profit corporation is an organized, typically tax-exempt entity that exists for some social or community benefit.
Can anyone start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
In North Dakota, anyone who is legally responsible can form a non-profit organization.
What are the basic requirements for starting a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
The basic requirements for starting a non-profit corporation in North Dakota includes filing the incorporation paperwork, statements of authority, and organizational meeting minutes.
What type of non-profit is best in North Dakota?
It’s best to choose a non-profit type that suits your organization’s goals.
How long does it take to get approval to start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
It usually takes at least a few weeks to get approval for a non-profit corporation in North Dakota.
What is the difference between a non-profit corporation and for-profit corporation?
The major difference between a non-profit and for-profit Corporation is their objectives; for-profit, objectives involve financial gain while non-profits are focused on community benefits.
How do I create a Board of Directors for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
You can create a board of directors for your non-profit corporation by inviting interested people committed to your vision.
What are the annual filing requirements for non-profit corporations like in North Dakota?
Nonprofit corporations are required to submit annual reports and to meet other regulations imposed by North Dakota law.
What advantages are there for establishing a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Advantages of forming a non-profit corporation in North Dakota may include the ability to attract grants and receive tax-deductible donations.
Who do I contact in North Dakota for assistance with establishing a non-profit organization?
North Dakota Secretary of State offers guidance on how to establish a non-profit corporation in North Dakota.
Is it compulsory for a non-profit corporation in North Dakota to file for 501(c) tax-exempt status?
No, it is not necessary to get 501(c) tax-exempt status, but it provides the benefits of exemption from federal income taxes and others.
Can a nonprofit change their legal status into a for-profit once established?
Converting from non-profit to for-profit is possible and even encouraged in some cases.
What kinds of businesses can be started as non-profits in North Dakota?
Any enterprise can be started as a non-profit corporation, as long as it does not operate in a profit-focused way.
Can creators of a non-profit corporation earn money from it?
Founders cannot benefit financially from the non-profit organization although they may get salaries, reimbursed expenses, survival payments, and other benefits.
Is it possible to run a non-profit organization without the help of other people?
Volunteers play a critical role in running a non-profit organization, and it’s essential to have a solid team to make the non-profit corporation successful.
Can non-profit corporation pay any of its employees?
Non-profit corporations are allowed to pay their employees, but the earned income must align with the objective of the organization.
Is it best to hire a lawyer for creating a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Though not necessary, it is advisable to have a lawyer for establishing a non-profit corporation in North Dakota.
What kinds of meetings are required of a non-profit corporation to process its work?
An Annual meeting, Extraordinary meeting, regular board meetings are a few examples of required gatherings for a non-profit corporation in North Dakota.
What are periodic reports paperwork for the non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Periodic reports are documents or paperwork filed annually to update state authorities of the status of the non-profit corporation’s operations.
Can religious organizations qualify for tax-exempt status in North Dakota?
Yes, religious organizations can waive their requirement of filing an application for 501c3 tax-exempt status, but different organizations have different requirements.
Can my non-profit take part in political campaigns in North Dakota?
Non-profit organizations can take part in political campaigns, but its involvement can range from excessive influence, endorsement, creation of PACs, and bundling individual donations.
How important is fundraising for non-profit organizations?
Fundraising is critical for non-profit organizations to receive tax-deductible contributions from donors as well as support its programs financially.
Will obtaining 501(c)(3) result in the most significant funding DRA$G we experience?
It is unlikely that getting a recognition from the Internal Revenue Service will significantly improve or increase the funds given to the Corporation.
Who will be responsible for filing the initial touch fee for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
A Business authorized to represent the non-profit corporation may file anything regarding North Dakota with the office of secretary’s state.
How long will it take for North Dakota’s secretary of state office to process my filings?
Since Secretary of State’s North Dakota exercises the investigation process for dependability and then holds no obligatory length of time indeed to issue a response despite that this can typically take 60 to 90 business days.
What are some of the requirements for getting financial assistance as a non-profit organization in North Dakota?
Applying to grants writing proposals and partnering with donors, sponsors and enthusiastic supporters to bring in money to support the Organization’s initiative.
What considerations comes with publishing the corporation’s threshold size for transparency and accountability in North Dakota?
Publishing up-to-date impact reports and metrics strategy to outline the investment and accomplishments of the organization is prudent for transparency and accountability when meeting licensing requirements.
Can non-profit organizations receive financial assistance from the government separately from grants?
Yes, the government set aside funds that specifically avail to provide non-profits issue credit and grants, including entities that directly deal with political controversies.
Will the funding difference really matter if I keep record-report in North Dakota?
Yes, it is critically important for maintaining your nonprofit’s regulatory compliance; correct filing records become your only defense and proof of against various risk claims thereby majorly affecting receipt and issuance of funds seriously affecting the organization.
What is a non-profit corporation?
A non-profit corporation is an organization formed for a purpose other than making a profit and is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code.
How do I start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
To start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota, you must file articles of incorporation with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
What forms do I need to start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
You’ll need to file the articles of incorporation and bylaws.
What information is required in the articles of incorporation?
The articles of incorporation must include the name of your organization, the purpose of your organization, and the names and addresses of the incorporators.
How many directors do I need for my non-profit corporation?
In North Dakota, you need at least three directors for your non-profit corporation.
What is the role of the board of directors in a non-profit corporation?
The board of directors is responsible for governing the non-profit corporation.
Do I need to have a registered agent for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, you need a registered agent in North Dakota.
Can I be my own registered agent for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent.
What is the benefit of having a separate registered agent for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Having a separate registered agent ensures that someone is always available to receive legal documents on behalf of the corporation.
Do I need to file for state tax exemption in North Dakota?
No, North Dakota automatically grants state tax exemption to 501(c)(3) organizations.
Do I need to file for federal tax exemption in North Dakota?
Yes, you need to file Form 1023 with the IRS to apply for federal tax exemption.
How long does it take to receive federal tax exemption for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
It can take several months to receive federal tax exemption.
Can I start fundraising before I receive federal tax exemption?
Yes, you can start fundraising before you receive federal tax exemption.
Do I need to file annual reports for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, you need to file annual reports with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
What is included in the annual report for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
The annual report includes the names and addresses of directors and officers and any changes to the articles of incorporation or bylaws.
Is there a fee for the annual report for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, there is a fee to file the annual report.
Can I pay the annual report fee online?
Yes, you can pay the annual report fee online.
Can I make changes to the articles of incorporation or bylaws for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, you can make changes to the articles of incorporation or bylaws by filing an amendment.
How do I dissolve my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
You can dissolve your non-profit corporation by filing articles of dissolution with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
Do I need a lawyer to start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
No, you do not need a lawyer, but it is strongly recommended.
Can I request expedited processing for my non-profit corporation filing in North Dakota?
Yes, you can request expedited processing for an additional fee.
Can I receive a refund for my non-profit corporation filing fee in North Dakota?
No, filing fees are non-refundable.
Who can I contact for help with starting my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
You can contact the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office or consult with a non-profit lawyer.
How long does it take to start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
It can take several weeks to a few months to start a non-profit corporation in North Dakota.
How much does it cost to file for a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
The filing fee for a non-profit corporation in North Dakota is $70.
Can I apply for grants as a non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, you can apply for grants as a non-profit corporation in North Dakota.
Can I operate outside of North Dakota as a non-profit corporation registered in North Dakota?
Yes, you can operate outside of North Dakota as a non-profit corporation registered in North Dakota.
Can I have volunteers for my non-profit corporation in North Dakota?
Yes, you can have volunteers for your non-profit corporation in North Dakota.

Also Read

Why You Should Start North Dakota Nonprofit

One of the main reasons why you should consider starting a nonprofit in North Dakota is that there are many unmet needs and underserved populations in the state. North Dakota is a relatively rural state with unique challenges, such as access to healthcare, education, and affordable housing. By establishing a nonprofit organization, you have the opportunity to address these pressing issues and create positive change for those in need.

Another reason to start a nonprofit in North Dakota is the sense of community and collaboration that comes with it. Nonprofits often work closely with government agencies, businesses, and other organizations to coordinate efforts and maximize impact. By starting a nonprofit, you become part of a network of like-minded individuals who are passionate about making a difference in their communities.

In addition to addressing critical social issues, starting a nonprofit can also be a personally fulfilling experience. Running a nonprofit allows you to use your skills and talents to pursue a cause that you are passionate about. Whether it’s advocating for environmental conservation, providing support for individuals with disabilities, or promoting arts and culture, starting a nonprofit allows you to channel your energy towards creating positive change in the world.

Starting a nonprofit organization in North Dakota can also provide valuable professional development opportunities. As a nonprofit founder, you will gain experience in fundraising, program development, volunteer management, and strategic planning. These skills are not only essential for running a successful nonprofit but can also be transferable to other professional endeavors.

Moreover, starting a nonprofit can be a great way to create lasting impact and leave a legacy. By establishing a nonprofit organization, you are building something that can have a lasting impact on your community and beyond. Nonprofits often outlive their founders and continue to make a difference for years to come, ensuring that your efforts are not forgotten.

Overall, starting a nonprofit in North Dakota can be a fulfilling and impactful decision for individuals who are passionate about making a difference and improving the lives of others. Whether you are driven by a desire to address pressing social issues, build a sense of community, develop new skills, or leave a lasting legacy, starting a nonprofit can be a meaningful way to contribute to the greater good. So, if you have been considering starting a nonprofit in North Dakota, now is the time to take the first step and make a positive impact in your community.

Conclusion

Starting a nonprofit corporation is a rewarding and challenging endeavor that requires careful planning, dedication, and a thorough understanding of the various legal and financial requirements. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating a nonprofit that makes a meaningful difference in your community. As you embark on this journey, remember to stay focused on your mission and your organization’s impact on the lives of those you serve. Never underestimate the power of a passionate, committed team working together to improve the world.

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