Forming a Nonprofit Corporation in Indiana

Here are the steps to form a nonprofit corporation in Indiana. You should read this page in conjunction with the general section on forming a nonprofit corporation, which has additional steps listed that are applicable to all states. You should also familiarize yourself with Title 23, Article 17 of the Indiana Code (abbreviated here as "Ind. Code"), and with the Indiana Secretary of State's Business Services Division.

1. Choose a business name and check for availability

  • Your nonprofit's name may not be the same as, or deceptively similar to, other corporate names on file with the Secretary of State (limited exceptions apply).
  • The name must contain either "corporation," "incorporated," "limited," "company," or their abbreviations

2. Recruit and/or appoint directors

  • You must have at least three directors for your nonprofit corporation.
  • Directors do not have to reside within the state of Indiana, nor do they have to be of a certain age.

3. Incorporate your Nonprofit Organization

You should read the general section on forming a nonprofit corporation in tandem with the steps outlined here.

a. Prepare and file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State
  • The filing fee is $30.
  • Click here for a sample articles of incorporation.
  • Read Ind. Code § 23-17-3-1 for more information on how to construct your articles. For example, the statute requires the following statement:
This corporation is a public benefit corporation.
  • Note that you must file an annual Business Entity Report with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $10, and the form can be filled out online at the Indiana Secretary of State's website. The information required on the report is basic business information, such as the names of all directors and officers and the business's principal location.
b. Create the bylaws
  • There are no set criteria for the content of bylaws, but they typically set forth internal rules and procedures.
  • You are not required to file bylaws with the Secretary of State, but you must keep a copy at the nonprofit corporation's principal place of business.
c. Hold an organizational meeting
d. Create a Records Book
  • You will need a records book to store important documents concerning your nonprofit corporation.

4. Get your Employer Identification Number

Whenever you hire an employee in Indiana, you must inform both the IRS and the State of Indiana.

a. Federal
  • Request an Employer Identification Number ("EIN") from the IRS. This can be done via an online application.
  • The IRS details all of the necessary steps to complete, including verifying work eligibility and withholding allowances certificates, in Hiring Employees.
b. State

5. Register with state offices

a. Office of the Attorney General
  • However, you do not need to register your nonprofit corporation with the Indiana Attorney General's Office if your nonprofit corporation solicits on its own behalf.
b. Department of Revenue

6. Apply for tax exemptions

Once you've incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, you can start applying for tax exemptions.

a. Federal
  • The IRS lists a series of questions to help you determine whether your organization is eligible for federal tax exemption.

b. State

  • Once you have received your determination letter from the IRS, file Form NP-20A with the Indiana Department of Revenue to obtain state corporate income tax exemption.
  • You must submit Form NP-20A to the Indiana Department of Revenue to apply for sales tax exemption.
c. Local


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