646 666 9601 [email protected]

Follow these procedures to establish a charity in Iowa and get 501(c)(3) status:

Step 1: Give Your Iowa Nonprofit a Name

Step 2: Select a Registered Agent
Step 3: Appoint Board Members and Officers
Step 4 Adopt Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest Policy
Step 5: Submit your Articles of Incorporation.
Step 6: Obtain an EIN
Step 7: Apply for 501(c)(3) status.

It is simple to establish a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation in Iowa.
To establish a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organisation in Iowa, you must first establish a nonprofit under Iowa law and then apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status.

Legal Help CTA

Step 1: Give Your Iowa Nonprofit a Name

The first and most crucial step in establishing your nonprofit company is deciding on a name. Make sure your name meets Iowa naming regulations and is readily searchable by prospective members and contributors.

1. Follow the naming conventions:

The name of your nonprofit cannot indicate that it was founded for a reason other than that stated in your Articles of Incorporation.

The exact regulations for naming an Iowa-based organisation may be found in the Revised Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act.

2. Is the name legal in Iowa? Do a name search on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website to ensure that the name you choose isn’t already used.

3. Is the URL still available? We propose that you investigate if your company’s name is accessible as a web domain. Even if you don’t intend to create a company website right away, you may wish to purchase the URL to prevent others from doing so.

Step 2: Select an Iowa Registered Agent.

Your nonprofit must choose an Iowa registered agent for your organisation.

What exactly is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or corporate organisation that accepts vital legal papers on your behalf. Consider your registered agent to be your company’s point of contact with the state.

Who is eligible to be a Registered Agent? A registered agent must be an Iowa citizen or a company, such as a registered agent service, that is permitted to do business in Iowa. You may choose someone from your organisation, even yourself.

Step 3: Choose your Directors and Officers

A board of directors is made up of an organization’s directors. This board of directors is in charge of managing the nonprofit’s activities.

Officers are the president, secretary, and other members of a nonprofit who have specific roles and authority.

Your nonprofit in Iowa MUST have the following organisational structure:

At least three directors who are not connected to one another
The president
A secretarial assistant
A treasury official

Step 4 Adopt Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest Policy

Your organisation must have the following two papers in order to apply for 501(c)(3) status:


Policy regarding conflicts of interest
What exactly are bylaws? Bylaws are the guidelines that outline the nonprofit’s operational processes.

What is the definition of a Conflict of Interest Policy? A Conflict of Interest Policy is a set of guidelines put in place to guarantee that any decisions made by the board of directors or officials benefit the organisation rather than individual members.

Step 5: Submit the Articles of Incorporation to the State of Iowa.

You must submit the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Iowa to register your nonprofit. The state of Iowa does not give applicants with a form to fill out. You must write and submit your own Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State.

To guarantee that your organisation is qualified to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, you must expressly declare the following in the Articles of Incorporation:

1. Purpose:

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, the organization’s purpose must be expressly confined to one or more of the following:

2. Dissolution:

You must indicate exactly what the organization’s assets will be used for and what will happen to the assets if the organisation is disbanded.

To be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, your organization’s assets must only be utilised for purposes authorised by Section 501(c) (3).

Step 6: Obtain an EIN

What exactly is an EIN? The federal government uses an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN) to identify a company organisation. It is effectively the company’s social security number.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is necessary for the following activities:

To establish a commercial bank account for the firm
In terms of federal and state taxation
To recruit workers for the firm
How can I get an EIN? After founding the firm, the business owner obtains an EIN from the IRS (free of charge). This may be done online or in the mail. For additional information, see our EIN Lookup guide.

Step 7: Obtain 501(c)(3) status.

Before applying for 501(c)(3) status, a charity must,

Choose at least three directors who are not linked to one another.
File the Articles of Incorporation with the necessary requirements (As covered in Step 5)
Adopt the bylaws as well as the conflict of interest policy.
Do you have an EIN?
Once these four qualifications have been completed, your organisation may file Form-1023 online to petition for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

If your application is granted, the IRS will issue you a letter confirming that your organisation is tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3).

Legal Help CTA