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To maintain your 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Public Charity in good standing in Delaware, follow this advice.


9 Steps to Keeping Your Nonprofit Legal

To keep a 501(c)(3) nonprofit company in Delaware, follow these steps:

Apply for a state tax exemption.
Tax-exempt organisations must file annual federal returns.
Keep a Registered Agent on file.
Submit periodic reports
You must pay the Delaware Franchise Tax.
Request permissions and licences
Registration of Charities
Become a member of the Delaware Division of Revenue.
Follow the Public Inspection Rules.

1. Apply for a state tax exemption.

Exemption from state income taxes
Once you obtain your 501(c) decision letter from the IRS, your organisation will be immediately exempt from state income taxes.

2. Tax-exempt Organizations’ Annual Federal Returns

A. Federal Income Tax Returns

The IRS requires most tax-exempt charitable organisations to submit an annual return (Click here for a list of exceptions).

An organization’s yearly gross receipts dictate which form should be utilised to submit the annual federal return.

The IRS defines ‘gross receipt’ as “the total sums the organisation received from all sources throughout its yearly accounting period, before deducting any expenditures or expenses.”

For gross earnings of $50,000 or more —- 990-N
$200,000 in gross income and $500,000 in total assets —- File 990-EZ
If your gross revenues exceed $200,000 or your total assets exceed $500,000, you must file a 990 form.

If you have any concerns, please contact the IRS at

(800) 829-3676 (Form related questions)
(800) 829-1040 (general information)

B. Unrelated Business Profits

If an organisation earns more than $1,000 from a trade or company that is unrelated to the organization’s declared purpose, it must submit Form 990-T to pay taxes on that revenue.

If your organisation anticipates to pay $500 or more in unrelated business income taxes for the year, you must pay a quarterly estimated tax on the unrelated business income using Form 990-W.

3. Keep a Registered Agent on file.

Any charity that has incorporated must have a registered agent with a Delaware office location. If your registered agent’s office location or registered agent’s name changes, you must submit a Certificate of Change of Agent form with the Delaware Division of Corporations so that your Certificate of Incorporation may be revised.

Your corporation may be terminated if you fail to inform the Delaware Division of Corporations of this change.

4. Submit Periodic Reports

Nonprofit organisations must submit annual reports with the Delaware Division of Corporations each year. Annual reports may be conveniently done online via the website of the Division of Corporations.

Failure to submit the required reports may result in the termination of your company.

5. You must pay the Delaware Franchise Tax.

Every Delaware-based exempt organisation is likewise exempt from paying state Franchise Taxes.

6. Request Permits and Licenses

When you fill out the combined business and tax registration form as a Delaware nonprofit, you will also be registered for any appropriate business licences.

However, if you want to host/run charity gaming of any type, including raffles or bingo, you must get a licence for each event separately. These licences are issued by the Delaware Board of Charitable Gaming. To discover more, visit their website.

7. Registration of Charities

Charitable charities in Delaware are not needed to register in order to seek charitable donations.

8. Register with the Delaware Department of Revenue.

If your organisation intends to hire people, you must register with the Delaware Division of Revenue if you haven’t previously.

Registration is simple and may be done online. Contact information is also available on the Division of Revenue’s Contact Us page.

9. Follow the Public Inspection Rules.

To comply with federal requirements governing 501(c)(3) organisations, you must make the following papers available to any member of the public who wants them:

Annual returns for your organisation may be filed up to three years after the due date (including the following Forms: 990-PF, 990-EZ, 990-T, and 990)
Any supporting documentation and attachments for the 990 forms listed above. For Schedule B, however, you simply need to indicate the kind of the gift and the amount given.
Official IRS documentation demonstrating that your group is tax-exempt.
Your organization’s exemption application and any supporting documentation filed with it (including Form 1023).

Your company is NOT required to share the following papers or information with the general public:

Any part of Schedule B of Form 990/990-EZ that names donors.
Anything deemed an adverse judgement, including past rejections of tax-exempt status.
Any extra information that the IRS is entitled to withhold, such as trade secrets, patents, and so forth.