The first step in our comprehensive guide, How to Start a Charitable in North Carolina, is to choose a name for your 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Choosing the correct name is one of the most essential choices any entrepreneur will make. We’re here to assist with our comprehensive guide on selecting, verifying, and registering a charity name in North Carolina in four simple stages.

In 4 Simple Steps, Name Your Nonprofit

It is simple to name your North Carolina nonprofit. Simply follow these four easy steps to get the greatest name for your 501(c)(3) organization (3).
Step 1: Select an Appropriate Name for Your Nonprofit
Step 2: Adhere to North Carolina’s Nonprofit Naming Regulations.
Step 3: Determine whether your company’s name is available.
Step 4: Register the Name of Your Nonprofit

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Step 1: Select an Appropriate Name for Your Nonprofit

It is critical to choose the correct name for your firm. We suggest following these recommendations when selecting a name that best symbolizes your nonprofit’s goal and purpose:
Make your point. The name of a charity should be straightforward and detailed enough to express its objective. Avoid employing ambiguous phrases or concepts that may mislead funders and potential customers about the objective of your organization.
Make it unforgettable. When choosing a name for a firm, rememberability is critical. Choosing a name that will stay in the minds of individuals who hear it can not only increase your nonprofit’s awareness among contributors and volunteers, but will also make it simpler for prospective customers to locate your services.
Maintain a professional demeanor. Nonprofits depend largely on their public image to attract funders or consumers who may need their services — and their initial impression will be based on the name of your organization. As a result, your organization need a professional name that conveys a genuine commitment to its goal and purpose.
Make it personal. Whether your organization serves animals, displaced people, or any other group, emotion and compassion are inextricably linked. Choosing a name that appeals to the emotions of both contributors and customers can aid in the development of trust and the legitimacy of your company.

Step 2: Adhere to North Carolina’s Nonprofit Naming Regulations.

The majority of charities in North Carolina are structured as corporations, but you may also form a nonprofit as an unincorporated organization, a trust, an association, or a limited liability company (LLC). You must adhere to specified naming standards for each choice.
This article will concentrate on the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit company.

Requirements for a Company Name

The most frequent technique to create a nonprofit is to incorporate. While corporate name restrictions vary by state, several criteria apply worldwide. North Carolina state requirements include:
Your corporation’s name must be distinct from any other name on file in North Carolina, including any reserved names.
The name of your company cannot include any words or phrases that indicate a purpose other than that declared in the Articles of Incorporation.
Your company’s name cannot include any words or phrases that are deemed very insulting.
North Carolina, unlike many other states, does not need the name of a nonprofit organization to contain an identifier such as “business,” “incorporated,” “corporation,” “limited partnership,” “partnership,” or any analogous abbreviation.

Requirements for Tax Exemption

Pay special attention to the terminology of your nonprofit’s name if you want to apply for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Any statements that indicate a political or lobbying connection may make it difficult for you to apply for 501(c)(3) status.

Step 3: Determine Whether Your Business Name Is Available

After you’ve decided on one or more names for your organization, check to see whether they’re still available. Every charity must have a distinct name, therefore it’s a good idea to check the availability of your preferred name before incorporating.

The top four searches you should do are as follows:

North Carolina Corporation Lookup
Domain Name Lookup
Federal Trademark Lookup
Search the Web and Social Media

North Carolina Corporation Lookup

A nonprofit company in North Carolina must have a distinct name. You may simply verify whether your preferred name is available by utilizing the North Carolina 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 incorporate a nonprofit right away, this is essential.
You may register for a trademark for your organization 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 contributors or 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.

Step 4: Register the Name of Your Nonprofit

After you’ve decided on a name for your charity and confirmed its availability, the following step is to register the name. You have many choices for registering your name:
Request a Name Reservation
Create a Corporation
Apply for a DBA. Name

Request a Name Reservation

Domestic nonprofit companies in North Carolina are not needed to register for a name reservation prior to formation. However, reserving a name might be advantageous, particularly if you aren’t ready to incorporate but want to assure the availability of your preferred name.
To reserve a company name in North Carolina, follow these steps:
Send an Application to Reserve a Business Entity Name and the $30 filing fee to the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State.
Alternatively, you may apply online by completing the same form.
Name reservations for nonprofit companies in North Carolina are valid for 120 days and cannot be extended.
Form a Corporation Incorporating is the most typical method to form a nonprofit, and it is the next step in making your organization official after you have chosen a name. In North Carolina, forming a company is as simple as the following steps:

Your Company’s Name

Select a Registered Agent
Select the Initial Directors and Share Structure for Your Corporation
Deposit the Formation Documents

Obtain an EIN Number for a DBA Name

In North Carolina, filing an assumed business name, also known as a doing business as (DBA) name, permits your organization to operate under a name other than its actual, registered company name. This is particularly useful if you wish to modify the name of an existing organization without amending its Articles of Incorporation.

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