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Establishing a nonprofit organization in Illinois

On Behalf of | May 23, 2023 | Non-Profit Organizations

If you are in the process of establishing a nonprofit organization in Illinois, there are many rules and regulations that you must follow strictly. Some of the major issues involved include contribution limits, disclosure by donors and the redefinition of issue advocacy.

Some states require charitable organizations to register with the state. If they don’t register, they are not legally permitted to solicit contributions for that organization. That applies whether the organization is based in Illinois or is based in another state. However, there are a number of organizations in Illinois that are exempt from registering. Interestingly, religious groups can gain exempt status but they must apply for the exemption.

How does a nonprofit organization register in Illinois?

There are two ways in which a nonprofit organization can register in the state of Illinois. The business owner can either use the Unified Registration Statement, or URS, or they can use the state registration form. In addition to the URS or the state registration form, the nonprofit business owner is also required to submit the following documents:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form 990, which must be accompanied by the Illinois Charitable Organization Annual Report (Form AG990-IL) for the last three years. If the nonprofit organization is younger than three years, the owner must submit a Form CO-2 (Charitable Organization Financial Information form)
  • IRS determination letter or IRS Form 1024 or 1024 if the determination is pending
  • All existing contracts with professional fundraisers
  • A certificate of authority to do business issued by the Illinois Secretary of State

What else needs to be submitted?

There are other rules that nonprofit owners must also follow, such as financial reporting. They must file a financial report annually. The report is due within six months after the end of the nonprofit’s fiscal year. If they file late, they will have to pay $100 for the late fee.

Getting legal advice from an Illinois attorney

If you are establishing a nonprofit organization, you may find it valuable to consult a lawyer from whose expertise you can benefit. The attorney can educate you on all of the rules and regulations that apply to your nonprofit organization so that you can ensure that you do everything by the book and can move forward with your organization on the road to success.