646 666 9601 [email protected]

The first step in forming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Delaware is to file your Certificate of Incorporation. This article will lead you through the seven procedures necessary to submit a Certificate of Incorporation in Delaware in order to formally create a charity.

Starting Over

You must submit the state’s Certificate of Incorporation for a Nonstock Corporation to form a nonprofit corporation in Delaware. This tutorial covers every step you need to take to properly complete this paperwork and get started on the path to founding a Delaware charity.

Step 1: List Your Nonprofit’s Name;

Step 2: Select a Registered Office and Registered Agent;

Step 3: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose;

Step 4: Outline the Membership Conditions.
Step 5: List Your Incorporator Details
Step 6: Provide Any Additional Attachments
Step 7: Documents for Formation

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit

The first step in completing the Delaware Certificate of Incorporation is to enter the name of your company in section one of the paperwork. If you haven’t yet decided on a name for your organisation, below are the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit in Delaware:

The words “association,” “business,” “corporation,” “club,” “foundation,” “fund,” “incorporated,” “institute,” “society,” “union,” “syndicate,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of any of these phrases must appear in the name of your charity.
The name of your charity must be distinct from any other name on record in the state of Delaware, including any reserved names.
Your nonprofit’s name cannot include any terms that suggest it is associated with a government entity.
Your nonprofit’s name cannot contain the terms “university,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “trust” as a distinct word to indicate that the organisation is involved in banking or trust.

Look for the Availability of Your Name
Following the selection of prospective names — preferably, at least four or five — it’s essential to check their availability in your state. You may do this by completing the four suggested searches listed below.

Delaware Entity Lookup
A nonprofit company must have a distinct name in order to exist in Delaware. You may quickly determine if your desired name is available by utilising the Delaware General Information Name Search tool or the Delaware Name Availability Search tool.

Domain Name Lookup
We highly advise you to additionally check to see whether your company name is accessible as a web domain (URL). Even if you don’t intend to construct a company website right away, you should purchase the domain name to prevent others from gaining it. It’s a completely free search.

Federal Trademark Lookup
Using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System, you may quickly see whether your preferred charity name has already been trademarked. Even if you do not intend to create your charity right immediately, this is essential.

You may register for a trademark for your organisation after you have confirmed that no one else has previously trademarked your selected name.

Search the Web and Social Media
A good social media presence can help you reach out to prospective funders as well as customers who will employ your services. As a result, before registering your preferred name, check the web and prominent social media platforms for it to confirm it is accessible on all platforms where you want to advertise your group.

Legal Help CTA

Step 2: Select a Registered Office and an Agent.

A registered agent is necessary in Delaware to submit a Certificate of Incorporation. This function might be filled by a person or a company. A registered agent’s duties include receiving and sending service of process paperwork for the company as well as acting as the organization’s point of contact. Your company cannot act as its own registered agent.

You must enter both a registered office address and the name of your registered agent in this area.

Step 3: Describe the Purpose of Your Nonprofit

Section three requires you to state the goal of your organisation. This mission must be consistent with Delaware General Company Law and must begin with “This Corporation shall be a nonprofit corporation.”

Your organization’s purpose must incorporate one or more of the following qualities to be qualified for 501(c)(3) status:

Public safety testing
promoting amateur sports competition on a national and worldwide scale
Preventing animal/child cruelty

Step 4: Outline the Membership Terms and Conditions

Remember to include the following information when outlining the terms of membership in your nonprofit corporation:

Whether it will have members or not
If it will have members, the maximum number of members allowed

Step 5: Include your incorporator’s contact information.

Each incorporator must sign this paper and give their postal address. These mailing addresses must include the name and number of the street, as well as the city, state, and ZIP code.

Step 6: Include Any Extra Attachments

You must include certain extra declarations with your Certificate of Incorporation in order for your organisation to qualify for 501(c)(3) status. These contain information about your original board of directors and how your nonprofit’s assets will be distributed upon dissolution.

Here’s what you need to know to effectively share this information:

Establish Your Board of Directors
In Delaware, you are not required to designate your board of directors in your formation paperwork. To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, however, a minimum of three board directors are necessary. Follow these guidelines while creating your nonprofit’s inaugural board of directors:

Prefixes such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” should be avoided.
Use lineage titles if relevant.
If appropriate, use titles such as “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”

Outline the Asset Distribution Upon Dissolution
Describe how the assets of your nonprofit company will be divided if it is dissolved. Use an attachment if you need more space.

To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, your organisation must only disperse its assets to recognised, tax-exempt causes upon dissolution. Refer to the sixth section of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) proposed wording for corporations and organisations for further information on the requirements of dissolution and 501(c)(3) status.

Step 7: Documents for Formation

In Delaware, you may submit your Certificate of Incorporation either online or by mail. Include a cover letter and two copies of your formation paperwork – one original and one copy.

Legal Help CTA