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

Step 1: Give Your Virginia Nonprofit a Name
Step 2: Select a Virginia Registered Agent.
Step 3: Choose your Directors and Officers
Step 4 Adopt Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest Policy
Step 5: Submit the Virginia Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State.
Step 6: Obtain an EIN
Step 7: Obtain 501(c)(3) status.

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

Legal Help CTA

Step 1: Give Your Virginia Nonprofit a Name

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

1. Follow the naming conventions:

The name you choose for your company must not contain:
Words or phrases that might lead the general public to believe your organisation was formed to do anything other than what they’ve been permitted to do.
Any words or phrases that might be seen as very insulting
Unless it conforms with Chapter 190 of the 1946 Acts of Assembly, the term “redevelopment”
An organisational identifier, such as “Inc.”, “Ltd.”, “Incorporated,” or “Company,” is not required in the name.

2. Does the name exist in Virginia? Do a name availability search on the State of Virginia Website to ensure that the name you choose isn’t already taken.

3. Is the URL accessible? 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 a Virginia Registered Agent.

A Virginia registered agent must be designated by your nonprofit.

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 a Virginia citizen or a company, such as a registered agent service, that is permitted to do business in Virginia. 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.

In Virginia, your nonprofit’s organisational structure MUST comprise at least three directors who are not connected to one another.

 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 Virginia Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State.

You must submit the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Virginia to register your nonprofit.

To guarantee that your organisation is qualified to file for 501(c)(3) status, you must specifically declare the following in the articles of incorporation:

1. Function:

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

Charitable, religious, scientific, educational, literary, and other organisations promoting national/international amateur sports competition, preventing animal/child maltreatment, and testing for public safety
2. Decomposition:

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).

Section 5 of this sample IRS filing offers an illustration of these 501(c)(3) eligibility conditions.

Step 6: Obtain an EIN

What exactly is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is used to identify a commercial organisation, such as your nonprofit company. It is basically your 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: Apply for 501(c)(3) Status Prior to applying for 501(c)(3) status, a charity must,

Elect at least three independent directors. File the Articles of Incorporation with the necessary conditions (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