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How to Start a Nonprofit in North Dakota

Before You Begin

Before starting new nonprofit, research existing nonprofits that may be doing similar work to see if there is the possibility of partnering with them to implement your ideas. Sustaining an organization with sufficient human and financial resources in the long term can be a challenge. Here are some ways to find out about active North Dakota nonprofits:

  • NDANO Members: Use our searchable membership directory to find members working in diverse mission areas across North Dakota.
  • Tax Exempt Organizations: The IRS provides a search tool to help individuals find information about a tax-exempt organization’s federal tax status and filings.
  • ND Nonprofit Corporations: Nonprofits incorporated in North Dakota are required to file annual reports with the Secretary of State. Search the state's business records to find nonprofit corporations.

State and Federal Regulations

The state of North Dakota regulates nonprofit corporations within the state. The IRS grants income tax exemptions to different types of nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) or charitable organizations (whose contributions from donors qualify for federal charitable income tax deductions). When granted an IRS exemption, North Dakota nonprofit corporations are also exempt from paying state income tax. North Dakota also governs sales and property tax exemptions, if applicable, for nonprofit corporations.

Secretary of State: Nonprofit corporations are established through the ND Secretary of State. Charitable nonprofits must also register to raise funds. The Secretary of State has an online guide about how to start and maintain a ND nonprofit corporation.

Internal Revenue Service: Tax exempt status is granted by the IRS. Some nonprofits utilize a fiscal sponsor as they get started, instead of immediately filing the IRS paperwork.