Step 1) Name your Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameYour Non-Profit name should be distinguishable from any existing business entity, be it a Limited Liability Company, a Corporation or another Non-Profit, registered with the Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.

Likewise, the name should not be similar to any name reserved or registered as an assumed name or trademark with the state. The Utah Revised NonProfit Corporation Act 16-6a-401 outlines additional details on name restrictions.

To check the name’s availability, use the Utah business name search database tool at the Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code website.


Step 2) Elect Officers and Directors for Your Utah Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsAt least three directors are required when forming a Utah Non-Profit. You must elect these officers and directors to comprise the initial board.

However, if you decide to skip this task during the startup process, you must submit the names of the directors you have elected not later than the due date of the first annual report.


Step 3) Hire a Utah Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentA Utah Registered Agent is a requirement for Non-Profit incorporation. With this, you must find a professional who lives in Utah or any domestic or alternatively, a foreign business entity that is registered to operate a business in Utah to fill the position.

Then, the Agent must provide a valid physical Utah street address. As well, the Registered Agent should consent to being your Non-Profit’s agent upon designation.

A Registered Agent could cost up to $160 per year. Nevertheless, if you’re starting a Non-Profit with the help of IncFile, you can get a Registered Agent service free of charge.


Step 4) File your Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCNon-Profit Articles of Incorporation needs to be filed with the Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations and Commercial Code to legally register a Utah Non-Profit with the state. The following information are required when filling out the form:

Also, the following languages need to be included in the Articles of Incorporation to receive federal tax exemption status from the IRS. These include:


Step 5) Hold an Initial Meeting with the Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe initial meeting with the incorporators, members, officers, and primary directors is a crucial decision making session, which will cover the following agenda:


Step 6) Start a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Binder should be started as soon as the Non-Profit is started. This will ensure that all important and sensitive documents pertaining to the Non-Profit will be organized and kept in a safe and secure folder.

Start your very own Non-Profit’s Corporate Records Binder now. Purchase a copy at the nearest local office supply store or purchase it at Amazon.


Step 7) Request for a Federal Employer Identification Number

Get an EIN for Your LLCA federal Employer Identification Number is necessary for your Utah Non-Profit. This is in fact an important 9-series number that serves as your Non-Profit’s distinguishing identification number much like how a Social Security Number works.

The most convenient and fastest way to obtain this number is by online application at the IRS website. As soon as the registration session ends, you will already have the number.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountPersonal and organizational finances should always be kept separate. This is to ensure when the time comes you need to audit company finances and generate reports, you can conveniently and easily do so without having to wade through so much paperwork. So work on that business bank account now.

Recommended Resource: For a complete list of some of the best business bank accounts, this resource roundup should help.


Step 9) Apply for Various Federal and Utah Tax Exemptions

  1. Small Business Taxes

    1. File Form 1023 for Federal Tax Exemptions

    To jumpstart the process of getting federal tax exemptions, file Form 1023. This form is also known as the Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and this lengthy document necessitates tons of information about your business and its owner/s. Therefore, caution should be exercised when filling it out.

    On the other hand, smaller Non-Profits have an alternative to filing Form 1023. The Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or Form 1023-EZ is a more streamlined version compared to Form 1023. It also requires less information. Smaller Non-Profits that qualify to use this document are those with total accumulated annual gross receipts of less $50,000 and total net assets of less $250,000.

  2.  Process for State Tax Exemptions

    After filing Form 1023 or 1023-EZ to the IRS and receiving federal tax exemption status, you can immediately file for state tax exemptions. For the requirements needed for sales, use, franchise tax and other tax exemptions, check with the Utah State Tax Commission.

  3. Comply with Additional Registration Requirements and Reports

    There are a few additional registration requirements as well as reports that need to be filed for any fundraising activities especially if done outside the state’s jurisdiction. The Utah Division of Consumer Protection lists down these requirements.


Step 10) Take Care of your Utah Business License Obligations

Business LicensesAs a Utah Non-Profit, it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate as a Non-Profit. There are tons of requirements for licenses and permits, and it’s important that you have every detail sorted out to complete all these obligations.

Recommended Resource: For professional help in finding all the necessary licenses and permits for your Non-Profit, check this great roundup package. Alternatively, this resource roundup from SBA should also help.


To-Do After Starting a

Utah Non-Profit

You are now an official Utah Non-Profit organization, and the following steps below should help establish a thriving business that can help further achieve humanitarian goals.

1) Draft a Solid Business Plan

Write a Business PlanFirst off, a business plan helps businesses obtain capital funding. It is a document that investors would want to see when they consider investing in a venture. Beyond this, a business plan has so many purposes within the actual organization.

Through a strong business plan, you are able to map out the organization’s immediate plan of actions and set short-term and long-term goals and how to achieve these. In addition, it is a business plan that helps create contingency measures that prevent possible business dilemmas.

Quick Link to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Professional Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteAnother key component to business success is a professional website. A business website gives the online community a clear story of what your Non-Profit is all about. WordPress is one such CMS application that allows you to create beautiful, professional-looking websites. All you need to do is use Bluehost’s one-click WordPress installation feature, and you’re ready.

Resource for Getting Started: Learn the steps on how to start a business website with this step-by-step guide.

Note that this is an informational article, intended only to be used as a general reference. It should not be taken as a legal documentation or expert advice. Consult a business lawyer for details in starting a Non-Profit or starting a business in general.

Need Help Forming Your Organization?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your organization and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom