Updated November 23, 2020:

Completing Connecticut nonprofit filing requirements must occur in order to hold a 501(c) (3) status. Operating a nonprofit in Connecticut requires registering with both the state and the IRS and, in some cases, the Connecticut attorney general's office.

How to Form a Connecticut Nonprofit Corporation

Most nonprofit corporations are 501(c) (3) organizations. A company that is a 501(c) (3) is often formed for the purpose of charitable, scientific, or educational purposes. A company registered as a 501(c) (3) is eligible for tax exceptions. Filing for a 501(c) (3) company in the state of Connecticut requires the following steps:

  • File for a Connecticut corporation: Once you have filed as a Connecticut corporation, you can then apply for the 501(c) (3) status.
  • Specify the founding board of directors. The state of Connecticut requires that you have a minimum of three directors.
  • Choose a business name: Have a unique business name for your 501(c) (3) corporation from other nonprofit businesses in the state of Connecticut. The name must also include "incorporated," "company," or "corporation." You can search for available names on the Secretary of State website.
  • Draft and file a nonprofit certificate of incorporation: The nonprofit certificate of corporation should include the following:
    • Business name
    • Statement of purpose
    • Provisions required in the state of Connecticut
    • Name and address of a registered agent
  • Draft nonprofit bylaws: The bylaws should abide by Connecticut law and meet the specific regulations regarding meetings, electing officers and directors, and other required corporate needs.
  • Schedule a meeting with the board of directors: The first meeting is the organizational meeting. It should include the following tasks:
    • Each member should approve the drafted bylaws.
    • Appoint officers.
    • Set an accounting period and tax year.
    • Approve any initial business practices. This includes opening a new bank account or getting a credit card in the name of the nonprofit business.
    • A corporate records binder should also be set up that includes all necessary documents and minutes of the board of directors meetings.
  • File the certificate of corporation with the Commercial Recording Division at the Connecticut Secretary of State. There is a $50 filing fee. The certificate of incorporation can also be completed online.

Obtaining Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Once the nonprofit corporation creation is complete, you can then file for tax exemptions with the following steps:

  • File Form 1023 with the IRS: This complex document requires information about the nonprofit organization. Smaller nonprofits can fill out Form 1023-EZ which is a shortened version of Form 1023.
  • File for your Connecticut state tax exemption: After you have filed for a federal tax exemption, you can then file for a Connecticut tax exemption. You can find this form through the Connecticut tax agency.
  • Register with the Connecticut attorney general: Some nonprofits are also required to register with the Connecticut attorney general, especially if they plan on holding fundraisers or soliciting for funds.

Registering with the Connecticut Attorney General

You can register your nonprofit corporation with the Connecticut attorney general by submitting a charitable organization registration application. You will also have to include a copy of the IRS 990 form attached to the application. Filing with the Connecticut attorney general is necessary before soliciting for any fundraising activities. Make this filing online. There are exemptions regarding this rule. Before filing, check the Attorney General's website under the topic of charitable solicitation registration.

Annual Filing Requirements to Maintain a Connecticut Non-Profit

A Connecticut nonprofit will also have to maintain their 501(c) (3) status by submitting the appropriate documents each year:

  • Submit an annual report form online to the Connecticut secretary of state: This form fee is $50 and requires completion each year, based on the incorporation or registration date.
  • Submit an annual report to the IRS: Nonprofits must submit Form 990 each year to the IRS. The filing is free and is due within four and a half months after the end of the fiscal year.
  • Submit an annual report to the Connecticut state attorneys general: Submit a charitable organization form with the Connecticut state attorneys general each year within five months of the end of the fiscal year. There is a $50 filing fee and you must include a financial audit for statements that are over $500,000.

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