Step 1) Name your Oregon Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameWhen choosing a name for your Oregon Non-Profit, its name must be distinguishable from the business entities registered on record with the Secretary of State. As well, please observe that words such as ‘limited partnership’, ‘cooperative’, etc. are not allowed on the Non-Profit name.

Finally, you must name your Oregon Non-Profit in conformance with the name restrictions imposed by the state. You can look into these restrictions in ORS 65.094. To check if your proposed name is available, check for its availability in the Oregon business name tool.


Step 2) Elect Initial Officers and Directors for your Oregon Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsFor public benefit Non-Profit, you must elect at least three persons to act as the director. On the other hand, only one director is allowed for mutual benefit and religious Non-Profits.


Step 3) Hire an Oregon Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentFor compliance purposes upon incorporation, an Oregon Registered Agent must be hired. This is an individual or another business entity duly registered with the Secretary of State that will take care of your Non-Profit’s service of process and legal notifications.

The Oregon Registered Agent must provide a physical street address in Oregon upon designation. A P.O. Box or private mailbox cannot be used in lieu of the physical address.

With all these requirements, the services of a Registered Agent usually averages $160.00/year. But, you can get a free Registered Agent should you incorporate a Non-Profit using IncFile.


Step 4) File your Oregon Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCTo become a legal entity, you must file an Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State Corporation Division. The form requires you to provide the following information:

For added provisions that need to be included in the Articles of Incorporation, check ORS.65.047. Also, you need to include specific languages along with your Articles of Incorporation as required by the IRS for the 501(c)(3) tax exemption status. For specifics on this special requirement, check IRS Publication 557.


Step 5) Schedule an Initial Meeting with the Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe initial board meeting is considered as the organizational meeting for it establishes several key actions necessary to begin business operations. These include:

The minutes should be created at the end of the meeting, outlining the discussed agenda and should be signed by the attendees.


Step 6) Maintain a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Binder is an organizer where all Non-Profit paperwork are placed. From files, forms, and legal notices to copies of tax reports, licenses and permits, and business registrations, all should be kept in this single organizer.

You can easily obtain a Corporate Records Binder at your local office supply store or you can order via Amazon.


Step 7) Request for a Non-Profit Employer Identification Number

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number is still required for an Oregon Non-Profit. This nine-series number is the unique entity identifier of your Non-Profit and is a requirement in almost all kinds of business transactions you enter into.

Having said this, you must request for an EIN for your Oregon Non-Profit. The most convenient way to go about getting an EIN for free is through an online application at the IRS website.


Step 8) Open a Bank Account for your Oregon Non-Profit

Best Business Bank AccountPersonal and business transactions should always be separated especially when it comes to transactions involving finances. This is why every Non-Profit startup should open a separate bank account for the business.

Recommended Resource: To give you an idea on which business bank accounts are suitable for your Non-Profit, check this resource roundup.


Step 9) Process Requirements for Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesAs soon as the Oregon Non-Profit is created, you can then apply for federal and state tax exemptions. Below are the steps to obtain tax exemption status:

  1.  File Form 1023 for Federal Tax Exemptions

Form 1023, or the Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code should be filed to acquire tax exemptions from the IRS. This form is lengthy and numerous information are required to complete it. Instructions and additional to the form and its entries can be found at the actual form so take time to peruse over this before you fill it out.

An alternative to Form 1023 is Form 1023-EZ or the Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Compared to the former form, this form is much simpler and only requires minimal information. However, only smaller Non-Profits with estimated annual total receipts less than $50,000 and total accumulated assets of less than $250,000 are qualified to use this form.

2. File for Oregon Tax Exemptions

As soon as your Non-Profit receives the IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption status, you are also automatically exempted from paying the Oregon income tax. For other state tax exemptions and its corresponding requirements, you can head on to the Oregon Department of Revenue website.

3. Other Additional State Requirements and Reports

There are additional state requirements and reports that you may need to complete based on the nature of your activities and the size of your Non-Profit. You can check the office of the Attorney General for further details on this matter.


Step 10) Take Care of your Oregon Business Licenses and Regulations

Business LicensesOregon business licenses vary according to the nature of your operations and its size. There are numerous business licenses you must obtain at the state and local levels to operate as a legal entity. Failure to do so will result to fines, penalties, or both.

Recommended Resource: For professional help in finding all the state and local business licenses for your Oregon Non-Profit, this is a cost-effective package. Otherwise, you can use this SBA resource roundup.


To-Do After Starting an

Oregon Non-Profit

As soon as you have finished the steps outlined above, you are now a legal Oregon Non-Profit. To further ensure that you are starting on the right footing, below are two highly recommended steps that help for a more successful organization.

1) Create an Effective Business Plan

Write a Business PlanJust as you need a blueprint when you build a home, so you should also create a business plan when you start a business. The business plan works much in the same way as a blueprint does to a home construction.

A business plan helps create a solid plan of action to accomplish goals, helps forecast business growth, and curtails challenges and issues that may arise. You can create your business plan now with the help of the guides below.

How to Write a Business Plan


2) Create a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteA business website is a must no matter what type of business you operate, no matter its size. People nowadays look to the Internet first before going to a brick-and-mortar store, and you shouldn’t miss this opportunity. Good thing it is now easy to create a professional website with the help of Bluehost’s one-click WordPress installation.

Recommended Resource: To walk you through the detailed process of starting a business website, this step-by-step guide is a good starter.

This forming an Oregon Non-Profit guide is intended for informational purposes only. This should not be considered a legal document or advice. For more information on the details of starting a Non-Profit, please consult a business lawyer.

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