Step 1) Choose a Name for Your Arizona Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameNote that when it comes to forming a Non-Profit in Arizona, there are some restrictions set by the state you need to follow.

First off, when it comes to choosing your Arizona Non-Profit name, it should be a distinguishable name that is unique from all the other names registered in the Arizona Corporation Commission. You can check for the availability of the name using this business name database tool. Once verified that the name is still available, you can reserve it for 120 days.


Step 2) Choose the Initial Directors for Your Arizona Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsOnce you have named your Arizona Non-Profit, the next step is to elect a minimum of one initial director.

You can opt to choose more, but you can incorporate as a Non-Profit with just one. This individual will serve on the board for the time being, until the first shareholder’s meeting when an election will be conducted and a new set of directors can be elected.


Step 3) Create Bylaws for Your Non-Profit Organization

How to Choose a Business StructureBefore you incorporate in Arizona by filing the Articles of Incorporation, you need to create bylaws that meet the requirements of state laws.

Although this not legally needed to be filed, it is your company’s internal operating guide in terms of the protocol and procedure as you begin operations.


Step 4) File the Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCThe next step to forming a Non-Profit in Arizona is to file the Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation. When registering an Arizona Non-Profit organization, the following information is required:

The Articles of Incorporation for a Non-Profit Organization can be downloaded and filled out. Note to always read the instructions in the form before proceeding. The instructions for forming a Non-Profit in Arizona is also outlined in this guide.

Aside from the form, a Certificate of Disclosure and a Statutory Agent Acceptance form M002 should also be included upon submission.

To gain a tax exemption 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, your Articles of Incorporation should include the following languages:

Instructions C011i provided by the Arizona Corporation Commission is an excellent resource for forming a Non-Profit.


Step 5) Hold a First Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe first meeting of which is also called an organizational meeting is a crucial one for this is when you and your initial directors decide on several aspects of your business. This includes:

Once the meeting concludes, create the minutes of the meeting to be signed by the board of directors.


Step 6) Start a Corporate Records Binder for Important Information

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Binder is not a state-mandated requirement but it is a proof of your Non-Profit Corporation’s legitimacy.

This is where your organization keeps documents from your Arizona Non-Profit registration to the minutes of your meetings. A Corporate Records Binder can be purchased at the local supply store or you can order one via Amazon.


Step 7) Get an EIN for Your Non-Profit Organization

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number (EIN) is an integral part of your Non-Profit’s activities throughout its entire lifecycle.

You can get an Arizona Non-Profit EIN directly from the IRS website for free. Even if you do not plan to hire employees, as long as you are registered as a Non-Profit organization, you still have to get one.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountTo avoid any tax, asset, or financial confusion as the owner of an Arizona Non-Profit, open a separate bank account. This will keep all personal and business assets separate for when it is time to pay your taxes.

You can use the bank you keep your personal account with, just be sure to keep transactions 100% separate. For a look at the popular most popular options, read this review.


Step 9) Apply for Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesBefore you can enjoy a tax-exemption 501(c)(3) status, you have to apply for an Arizona Non-Profit tax registration exemption from both the federal and state government. Here are the steps you need to follow when filing for tax exemptions:

  1. File a Form 1023 or a Form 1023-EZ, whichever you qualify for, to avail of federal tax exemption status

There are two types of forms you can use to avail of the federal tax exemption status for your Non-Profit. For regular Non-Profits, you can download Form 1023, fill it out, and verify that all the correct information has been entered. Note that a lengthy reminder precedes the form, and this should be taken note of.

An alternative for smaller Non-Profits with yearly gross receipts of not more than $50,000 and overall net worth assets of not more than $250,000 is Form 1023-EZ. In the same way, please take note to read the instructions before you start filling out the application.

  1. Avail of Arizona tax exemptions

As soon as you receive a 501(c)(3) tax exemption status from the federal government, you automatically qualify for a state income tax exception. For more information on registering for Non-Profit taxes for your business, you can check this brochure.

  1. Other requirements for state report and registration

As a result of the revoked laws on charitable solicitation registration, there is no longer a requirement for Non-Profit organizations to register with the state when conducting fundraising and soliciting activities. On the other hand, soliciting or fundraising in states other than Arizona may require registration.


Step 10) Handle Your Arizona Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesThe next step to starting a business in Arizona is to take care of the license, permit, and regulations your business will need to adhere to. Depending on your location and type of business, requirements will vary.

To learn more, visit the SBA. To have professionals handle all the research on your behalf while you focus on starting a business, look into this reliable package.


To-Do After Starting an

Arizona Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of Arizona. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 2 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Plan Your Arizona Non-Profit for Success

Write a Business PlanA business plan sets the groundwork for a strong foundation for your organization.

Although not technically a legal requirement, anyone who has succeeded will tell you that going into a business without a business plan is foolhardy. If you are worried that you do not know how to write it, with the help of the resources below, you can get moving on that business plan today.

Quick Links on How to Write a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteIn the internet age, it is important to have an online presence for your Arizona Non-Profit. This builds credibility and allows your customers to learn more about your business – which is good!

Although building a website was extremely difficult to do in the early 2000’s, nowadays you can use a simple tool like WordPress to build a customizable website. No need to spend thousands on a custom designer and you can learn how to do it yourself through this guide.

Also, please keep in mind this informational guide should not be treated as a legal advice. For questions regarding starting a Non-Profit organization in Arizona or starting a new business in general, always speak to your lawyer first.

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.

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