Are you looking to start a nonprofit in Ohio? You’ve come to the right place. Known for its vibrant community and rich culture, Ohio (often referred to as The Buckeye State) is an ideal location for establishing a nonprofit organization. Unlike for-profit businesses, nonprofits focus on addressing pressing social issues and require a strong foundation, thorough research, and a clear mission targeting a specific community problem.
Embarking on the journey of creating a nonprofit entails various crucial steps, such as obtaining 501(c)(3) status. A 501(c)(3) organization is designed for charitable, religious, educational purposes, and more, qualifying it for federal and state tax exemptions.
In the spirit of Ohio’s motto, “With God, all things are possible,” thousands of nonprofits are founded within the state each year. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to starting your own nonprofit corporation in Ohio. Keep in mind that the steps discussed here are general guidelines, and modifications may be necessary depending on your specific circumstances. To gain a deep understanding of how to start a nonprofit in Ohio, we encourage you to read this article in its entirety.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is a Nonprofit in Ohio?
- Types of Nonprofits in Ohio
- How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in Ohio
- Step 1: Get a Suitable Name for Your Ohio Nonprofit Corp
- Step 2: Appoint the Initial Board of Directors
- Step 3: Appoint Your Ohio Statutory Agent
- Step 4: Write Ohio Nonprofit Bylaws
- Step 5: File the Ohio Articles of Incorporation
- Step 6: Obtain Tax ID for Your Ohio Nonprofit Corporation
- Step 7: Get Business Licenses in Ohio
- Step 8: Federal Tax Exemption
- Step 9: State Tax Exemption
- Step 10: Get Insurance for Your Ohio Nonprofit
- After Forming Your Ohio Nonprofit Corporation
What is a Nonprofit in Ohio?
Nonprofit organizations are legal entities that operate to serve public benefits and address community issues. Unlike for-profit organizations, nonprofits do not aim to generate any profit. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) generally exempts nonprofit organizations from tax. However, based on the business entity structure, you will receive tax exemptions as a nonprofit.
In Ohio, ensure you have a community issue to address before you start forming your nonprofit. It can generally be education, religion, charity, social service, or other social issues. Nonprofits do not pay taxes on the money they receive through fundraising programs, donations, or any charitable funding.
Types of Nonprofits in Ohio
The first thing one has to decide is what type of nonprofit structure one wants. There are several types of nonprofits one can start. Here is a list of nonprofit types one can choose from-
- Nonprofit LLC
- Nonprofit Corporation
- Unincorporated Nonprofit
Forming an LLC in Ohio for your nonprofit can be a smooth option. However, having a corporation is less complex than having a nonprofit LLC. Hence, it is wise to start a nonprofit corporation instead of an unincorporated nonprofit or nonprofit LLC.– LLCBuddy Editorial Team.
Technically, starting a corporation for your nonprofit protects your personal assets but also is eligible for Federal and State tax exemptions. When you form an LLC for your nonprofit, it only protects your personal assets but does not give you any tax exemptions. On the other hand, a nonprofit Corporation has both corporation and limited liability company benefits. You can also have an unincorporated structure where you don’t have to register it. Unincorporated nonprofits in Ohio might be eligible for tax exemptions (check with Ohio Department of Taxation), but this type of organization does not get to enjoy limited liability and personal asset protection.
How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in Ohio
Setting up a nonprofit corporation requires a few things to consider. Name of the nonprofit, initial directors, drafting bylaws, get a Statutory Agent, obtain tax IDs, insurance, and a bank account – these are important steps you must follow. The steps mentioned here are general business formation steps. State-wise, some steps can be different. Getting an expert consultation before you start your nonprofit corporation formation is recommended. Here are the steps explained below-
Step 1: Get a Suitable Name for Your Ohio Nonprofit Corp
The first step is to name your nonprofit corporation. You must be sure that the name is available and that no other organization is using this name. You can check the Ohio LLC name search to find the best suitable name for your organization. You must follow those rules to avoid any legal issues later. You can reserve the name for some time for any domestic entity (such as a nonprofit LLC) if you’re not forming the nonprofit immediately.
Step 2: Appoint the Initial Board of Directors
The next step is to get your nonprofit’s initial board of directors. It is very important when you are setting up a nonprofit corporation. You need at least Three unrelated directors to start the organization. If you don’t choose a minimum of Three directors, it will automatically become a member-managed corporation.
Step 3: Appoint Your Ohio Statutory Agent
The third step is to get a Ohio Statutory Agent for your nonprofit corporation. The Statutory Agent is a person who receives all the legal documents on your behalf. It is necessary to get a registered agent. He/she must be above 18 years old and have a physical address in Ohio.
Step 4: Write Ohio Nonprofit Bylaws
The next important step is to write the company bylaws. The directors and board members must decide how the meetings, elections, voting, and other corporate activities will be held. These bylaws must comply with the Ohio state law. It is similar to an LLC operating agreement in Ohio for the LLC owners.
Step 5: File the Ohio Articles of Incorporation
This is the most important step. File your Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can do it through three methods that are online, by mail and drop box. All the formation forms, such as the Ohio LLC Articles of Organization form, the Ohio Articles of Incorporation form for corporations, forms for LLPs, and all others can be found on the Ohio SOS official website. Submit the details of your nonprofit corporation, like the name of the nonprofit, address, name and address of the registered agent, operation dates, directors’ details, and more information related to your company. You can send the form (for offline filing) and the filing fee of $99 for online and by mail filing to the Ohio Secretary of State, P.O. Box 670, Columbus, OH 43216 or upload it online (if available).
Step 6: Obtain Tax ID for Your Ohio Nonprofit Corporation
The subsequent step involves obtaining a Tax ID for your nonprofit corporation. You will need to acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the official IRS website. To obtain the EIN, submit your application to the IRS office either by mail or through their online platform. There is no associated cost for this process.
Step 7: Get Business Licenses in Ohio
The next step is to get the business licenses you need to run your nonprofit organization in Ohio. Check with the local government office if any special licenses you need to run your nonprofit. You can file your nonprofit as a charity if you want.
Step 8: Federal Tax Exemption
You must submit Form 1023 to the IRS to file for federal tax exemption. This form, titled “Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” is required for all nonprofit corporations. Smaller nonprofits have the option to file Form 1023-EZ instead. You will be prompted to provide details about your organization upon obtaining the relevant form. Complete the form with the necessary information and submit it. The filing fees are $600 for Form 1023 and $275 for Form 1023-EZ.
Step 9: State Tax Exemption
Once you get the Federal Tax Exempt, it is time for State Tax Exempt. In Ohio, you must apply for the tax exemption to Ohio Department of Taxation. Get the form, fill it up with the correct details, and send it to the office. You may need to pay a fee along with the form and supportive documents to apply for the State Tax Exemption. You need Tax Unit Exemption Certificate to apply for the state tax exemption. Read Ohio classification of taxes to learn more about the Ohio tax structure.
Step 10: Get Insurance for Your Ohio Nonprofit
Once you start your nonprofit, you must get insurance to protect your organization. You must get workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance if you have employees. Based on your nonprofit structure, you might need general liability insurance, property, vehicle, auto insurance, etc. You can contact the insurance providers to learn more about which are required for your organization. Also, you can contact Ohio Department of Insurance for more information.
After Forming Your Ohio Nonprofit Corporation
Once your nonprofit is formed, there are additional steps to complete:
- Get a Business Bank Account: You must get a business account for all types of business-related transactions in Ohio. You may need different documents based on the bank and place of business. Check with the bank for it.
- File Nonprofit as Charity: This is optional. Your nonprofit is either for charity purposes or any purpose that meets your community’s needs. If your organization is for charity purposes, then you can file your nonprofit as a charity to enjoy tax exemptions.
- Other Business Compliances: You may need additional compliances based on your nonprofit type. Check with your attorney or local authority for more information.
Names of Nonprofit Corporations in Ohio
Following are some of the Nonprofit Organizations in Ohio. The contact information of these organizations can be found on Ohio SOS official websites.
- Crayons to Classrooms
- Heartbeat International
- First Glance Student Center
- 4 Paws For Ability Inc.
- Truth For Life with Alistair Begg
- Sanctuary for Senior Dogs
- Cozy Cat Cottage. Powell
- Start a Nonprofit in Alabama
- Start a Nonprofit in Alaska
- Start a Nonprofit in Arizona
- Start a Nonprofit in Arkansas
- Start a Nonprofit in California
- Start a Nonprofit in Colorado
- Start a Nonprofit in Connecticut
- Start a Nonprofit in DC
- Start a Nonprofit in Delaware
- Start a Nonprofit in Florida
- Start a Nonprofit in Georgia
- Start a Nonprofit in Hawaii
- Start a Nonprofit in Idaho
- Start a Nonprofit in Illinois
- Start a Nonprofit in Indiana
- Start a Nonprofit in Iowa
- Start a Nonprofit in Kansas
- Start a Nonprofit in Kentucky
- Start a Nonprofit in Louisiana
- Start a Nonprofit in Maine
- Start a Nonprofit in Maryland
- Start a Nonprofit in Massachusetts
- Start a Nonprofit in Michigan
- Start a Nonprofit in Minnesota
- Start a Nonprofit in Mississippi
- Start a Nonprofit in Missouri
- Start a Nonprofit in Montana
- Start a Nonprofit in Nebraska
- Start a Nonprofit in Nevada
- Start a Nonprofit in New Hampshire
- Start a Nonprofit in New Jersey
- Start a Nonprofit in New Mexico
- Start a Nonprofit in New York
- Start a Nonprofit in North Carolina
- Start a Nonprofit in North Dakota
- Start a Nonprofit in Ohio
- Start a Nonprofit in Oklahoma
- Start a Nonprofit in Oregon
- Start a Nonprofit in Pennsylvania
- Start a Nonprofit in Rhode Island
- Start a Nonprofit in South Carolina
- Start a Nonprofit in South Dakota
- Start a Nonprofit in Tennessee
- Start a Nonprofit in Texas
- Start a Nonprofit in Utah
- Start a Nonprofit in Vermont
- Start a Nonprofit in Virginia
- Start a Nonprofit in Washington
- Start a Nonprofit in West Virginia
- Start a Nonprofit in Wisconsin
- Start a Nonprofit in Wyoming
Why Ohio Nonprofit Corporation is So Important
One of the primary reasons why Ohio Nonprofit Corporations are so important is their focus on public welfare. These organizations actively work towards improving the well-being and quality of life for citizens across the state. Whether it’s tackling homelessness, advocating for education reform, promoting healthcare access, protecting the environment, or supporting the arts, Nonprofit Corporations in Ohio are continually striving to create a better tomorrow for everyone. With their distinct missions and goals, they play an irreplaceable role in helping needy communities and individuals, often efficiently utilizing resources and leveraging volunteers.
The innovative spirit of Ohio Nonprofit Corporations is another noteworthy aspect that highlights their importance. Nonprofits have been historically known for their ability to foster and promote social innovation. These organizations constantly experiment with new ideas and approaches, seeking sustainable solutions to address root causes rather than just treating symptoms. Their agility and adaptability allow them to respond swiftly and effectively to emerging challenges, acting as laboratories for social change and inspiring innovation in broader society.
Moreover, Ohio Nonprofit Corporations are instrumental in fostering a sense of engagement and social transformation among individuals. By volunteering or working with such organizations, people can not only make a tangible impact on society but also personally grow and develop as responsible citizens. These nonprofits serve as essential platforms for civic participation, empowering individuals to take an active role in making their community a better place to live. They provide spaces for mutual collaboration and unite people from diverse backgrounds towards a shared vision, bridging divides and encouraging social solidarity.
Nonprofit Corporations in Ohio work closely with stakeholders at all levels, promoting collaboration and partnerships to maximize their impact. They often foster multidisciplinary alliances, bringing together individuals, businesses, governments, and academic institutions to address complex social challenges holistically. These collaborations ensure that multiple perspectives are considered, and a comprehensive approach is taken towards social change. By actively engaging diverse stakeholders, Ohio Nonprofit Corporations facilitate dialogue, break down barriers, and build bridges towards building a society that is stronger and more resilient.
Finally, Ohio Nonprofit Corporations act as an essential pillar of democracy itself. They play a vital role in advocating for the rights and needs of communities, empowering marginalized voices, and fighting for justice and equality. Through their advocacy and campaigns, they raise awareness and influence public policy. In this way, they help maintain a democratic fabric by holding institutions accountable and ensuring the involvement of citizens in shaping the decisions that affect their lives.
In sum, Ohio Nonprofit Corporations are indispensable actors dedicated to making a tangible and positive impact in our society. With a focus on public welfare, innovative thinking, civic engagement, collaboration, and advocacy, these organizations shape a sustainable and inclusive future. Their work needs to be supported and recognized, and their importance understood by all who value the well-being and progress of communities across Ohio.
Starting a nonprofit corporation in Ohio is an incredible way to give back to your community and positively impact the causes that matter most to you. By forming a nonprofit, you can provide essential services, promote awareness, and make a lasting difference in the lives of those who need it most. In Ohio, a lot of nonprofit organizations are there to cater to people in need. Starting a nonprofit corporation is better than an LLC, as it provides limited liability and tax benefits. It helps you save taxes. If you want to start a nonprofit in Ohio, you must follow the steps mentioned above in the article.