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The first step in forming a 501(c)(3) charity in Maryland is to file your Articles of Incorporation. This article will help you through the eight procedures necessary to submit the Articles of Incorporation in Maryland and formally create a nonprofit.

Starting Over

You must submit the Articles of Incorporation for a Tax-Exempt Nonstock Corporation in Maryland to form a domestic nonprofit corporation. This tutorial covers every step you need to take to properly complete this paperwork and get started on the path to founding a Maryland charity.

Step 1: Make a list of your incorporators.
Step 2: Provide Your Nonprofit’s Name

Step 3: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose

Step 4: Provide Your Nonprofit’s Principal Office Address

Step 5: Select a Resident Agent.
Step 6: Form Your First Board of Directors
Step 7: Provide Any Additional Attachments
Step 8: Sign and save the formation documents.

Step 1: Make a list of your incorporators.

The first step in completing the Maryland Articles of Incorporation is to include each of your incorporators’ names and addresses. An incorporator is any individual above the age of 18 who takes part in the completion and filing of the Articles of Incorporation.

Step 2: List the Name of Your Nonprofit

Then, enter the name of your nonprofit company. If you haven’t yet decided on a name for your organisation, these are the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit in Maryland:

Your nonprofit’s name must be distinct from any other name on file in Maryland, including any reserved names.
The following words or abbreviations must appear in your nonprofit’s name: “Company” (if not preceded by the word/symbol “and”), “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” or “Limited.”

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.

Search for a Maryland Business Entity
A nonprofit company must have a distinct name in order to function in Maryland. You may simply verify whether your desired name is available by utilising the Maryland business entity 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.

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Step 3: Describe the Purpose of Your Nonprofit

Describe the goal of founding your nonprofit company in article three. For your organisation to be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, it must have one or more of the following characteristics:

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

Step 4: Provide Your Nonprofit’s Principal Office Address

Provide the Maryland street address of your nonprofit corporation’s main office. The street, city, and ZIP code must all be included in the address. It can’t be a post office box.

Step 5: Select a Resident Agent.

In Maryland, the Articles of Incorporation must be filed with a resident agent, also known as a registered agent in most states. This position may be filled by either an adult Maryland resident or another current Maryland company. A resident agent’s duties include receiving and sending service of process paperwork for the company as well as acting as the entity’s point of contact. Your company cannot act as its own resident agent.

This section’s requirements include:

Your selected resident agent’s name
Your selected resident agent’s street address (this cannot be a P.O. Box)

Step 6: Form Your First Board of Directors

In this area, confirm the number of directors who will serve on your nonprofit’s board of directors and then provide the names of your first directors. To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, your organisation must have at least three directors listed in its Articles of Incorporation.

Follow these rules when listing 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.”

Step 7: Include Any Extra Attachments

You must incorporate certain extra declarations in your Articles of Incorporation to qualify for 501(c)(3) status. Because the Maryland formation agreement lacks a section on asset distribution upon dissolution, add an attachment to indicate how the assets of your nonprofit company will be allocated following dissolution.

Dissolution assets must only be distributed for authorised, tax-exempt uses. 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 8: Sign and save the formation documents.

In this part, include the signatures of your incorporator(s) and the registered agent of your organisation, as well as a return address for this file.

In Maryland, you may submit your Articles of Incorporation online, via mail, or in person.

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