Virginia charitable registration is a process carried out by non-exempt charity organizations to get the state's permission to solicit or gather monetary contributions from its residents. Charities must renew this registration each year four and a half months before the end of their fiscal year. For example, if the charity's financial calendar closes Dec. 31, the renewal deadline is May. 15 of the following year.

Steps Required for Filing

Charity organizations that register for the first time must submit:

  • The organization's Articles of Incorporation.
  • The organization's bylaws.
  • The organization's contracts with professional fundraisers.
  • The latest financial statement or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) return.
  • The IRS tax-exemption details.

Initial Filing Fees

Charity organizations that are registering for the first time must pay a filing fee of $100. Tax-exempted charity organizations file their exemption with a fee of $10.

The organization pays these filing fees when submitting its OCRP-102 Registration Statement form. This form is available on the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) website.

Exempted Charity Organizations

Most charity tax exemptions occur when:

  • The organization raises less than $5,000 per year during its first three years of existence, including its current year, with unpaid volunteers carrying out all its activities.
  • It's a religious organization.
  • It's a political organization.
  • It's an educational institution.
  • It's a civic organization.
  • It's a tax-exempt charity soliciting via grant proposals.
  • The organization is soliciting from fewer than five counties in Virginia.
  • The organization appeals for named individuals.
  • It's a membership organization.
  • It's a nonresident organization.

The Importance of Registration

Virginia requires all nonprofit organizations wishing to solicit donations from its residents to register with VDACS. Without registration, charities can't do any fundraising.

Thirty-nine states, including Virginia, require charitable organizations to register before fundraising in the state. Therefore, any organization wanting to increase its donation potential should consider registration.

To learn more about the registration of fundraising organizations in Virginia, see section 57-48 through section 57-61.1 and section 5-610-10 through 5-610-40 of the Virginia Administrative Code, title two.

Things to Remember During Initial Filing

  • Some municipalities and counties in Virginia might require nonprofit organizations that perform face-to-face fundraising to first register before they can solicit any money.
  • Organizations registering for the first time must attach their list to the application they are submitting.
  • Submit original copies, not photocopies.
  • The president and the CFO must sign the document, but it doesn't have to be notarized.

Does the Process Require a Registered Agent?

While charities don't have to have registered agents, the state expects them to do so when registering. If a charity doesn't appoint an agent, then the state's commonwealth secretary will automatically become its agent.

The same applies to nonresident registrant charities. However, if they plan to have an office or paid employees in the state, they will need a registered agent.

Registration Mailing Address

Submit registration documents by mail to:

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Office of Consumer Affairs

P.O. Box 526

Richmond, VA 23218

Submit registration documents by express delivery to:

102 Governor St, Lower Level

Richmond, VA 23218

Registration Renewals

Registered charitable organizations must renew their registration every year to remain compliant. Such renewals require a few attachments and a fee that depends on the gross contributions the organization raised in the previous year. That fee usually ranges from $30 to $325.

Charitable organizations that are renewing their permissions must submit the same OCRP-102 form to VDACS, which is also the responsible body for charity registration renewals.

Things to Remember When Renewing

  • The organization's president and CFO must sign the document.
  • Submit original copies, not photocopies.
  • Include a professional solicitor's or fundraiser's contract.
  • List current trustees, directors, officers, and principal salaried employees, along with their titles, names, and addresses.
  • List Virginia affiliates, offices, and branches, along with their addresses and contact information.
  • Attach the organization's annual financial report.
  • List the states in which the organization raises funds.

Nonprofits should follow Virginia charitable registration steps to accept contributions from Virginia residents. This is a measure the state takes to protect its residents and help charities function legally.

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