Use the guide below to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Idaho. Keep in mind that the process requires forming a nonprofit corporation and getting tax-exempt status with the IRS.
Since the overall process is extremely complex, we highly recommend consulting with an attorney or using a service like Harbor Compliance for personalized top-to-bottom nonprofit formation and obtaining IRS 501(c)(3) status.
Naming your nonprofit should be fun! That said, there are some rules, for example these three as per ID Code § 30-21-302 (2015):
Be sure to conduct a Business Entity Search. through the state to confirm no naming conflicts. When it’s available, you can also file an Application for Reservation of Legal Entity Name to reserve the name for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $20-$60
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
An Idaho Registered Agent (also referred to as a legal appointee or statutory agent) can be an individual resident/citizen of the state or a legally registered domestic/foreign business entity with a physical street address and regular M-F business hours. On behalf of your nonprofit they receive and help process critical paperwork like tax or legal notices and so on.
That said, you can hire a 3rd party professional and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get a qualified agent free of charge when you start a nonprofit through Harbor Compliance (see details). They handle this along with much more depending on your startup package.
Incorporators are simply individuals who are tasked with “executing” the Articles of Incorporation (signing/filing them) with the state of Idaho. Directors on the other hand have much more responsibility if you intend on running your nonprofit by board vs. through members or through volunteers alone.
You’ll need a minimum of 3 initial directors (1 for religious) to oversee the nonprofit until the initial board meeting has been held in Step 7 and official directors are voted on/in. Also, remember that in Idaho your initial directors will be listed in your Articles when you file. If you need help with this part, please work with a qualified lawyer or incorporation service and bookmark the Idaho Board of Directors guide PDF.
Bylaws are the rules/stipulations/regulations you write for how your nonprofit will be governed and managed along with the many other formalities that come along with having a board of directors vs a nonprofit that’s run expressly by members or volunteers. Common bylaws cover topics like:
If this is all new to you, use a savvy Corporate Bylaws Template which you can customize for your nonprofit and get an idea of the paperwork-side of bylaws. Be sure to bookmark the statutes 30-3-21 concerning bylaws so you know the legal requirements as well.
Once you and your team decide it’s time to form and fully incorporate in the eyes of the law/public record, file your nonprofit Articles of Incorporation with the Sec. of State either through mail or online. Information you’ll need includes:
Filing Fee: $30 + optional $20 expedite fee
What we’re referring to here is a physical, often very nice looking “book” or binder where copies of all the most critical pieces of paperwork are kept and managed. And yes, that’s along with the many modern ways of tracking and compiling information on your nonprofit. They’re somewhat of a corporate formality, but extremely common and highly-advised.
You can pick one up at pretty much any office supply store or online through Amazon of course, but we’re huge fans of savvy-sleek Corporate Kits which include gorgeous records books, binders, blank certificates and more which you can brand for as little as $99.
Also called the Organizational Meeting, the first meeting of the board of directors marks the beginning of your Idaho nonprofit. In this meeting, you must decide on important matters including:
Make sure that you prepare the minutes of the meeting; your attending board of directors will need to sign the document. If needed, check out this great Corporate Minutes Template which you can customize.
You have a social security number, right? An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is exactly like it except for business entities and nonprofit organizations. The state/federal government uses it to track your financial activity, but beyond that you’ll be able to use your EIN to set up a business bank account in Step 10, hire paid-employees if applicable to your initiative, and more.
While there are a number of ways to get yours, it’s quick, easy and free of charge when you do it through the IRS Website.
First, bookmark the Starting a Nonprofit page through Idaho Nonprofits that lists the many parts/resources in this step. It’s essential your nonprofit be 100% compliant in terms of not only licenses/permits, but state and federal taxes.
Hopefully during your initial board meeting you and your directors set aside time to really understand how important this decision is, namely where your nonprofit will bank. How familiar are you with nonprofit banking on the corporate level? Are you already aware of the many business services, varying fee structures, and incentives?
Don’t take this lightly. There are plenty of large and small local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions to choose from. Don’t just assume the mainstream banks are the best because they’re the biggest. There’s a lot of variables to consider here, so to get your research going check out this brief breakdown of Nonprofit Accounts to gain a better understanding.
If you’d like help forming a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit In Idaho, we highly recommend looking into Harbor Compliance for personalized top-to-bottom nonprofit formation and obtaining IRS 501(c)(3) status.