What are the total costs for obtaining incorporation and public charity status?
Other services tend to be unclear or misleading about the total costs required for non-profit incorporation and IRS filings. Below is a full cost calculation for a typical filing:
- This sample cost calculation includes all fees.
- Each state has its own filing fee.
- For filers in states other than Delaware, the two-year resident agent fee is $95. These fees must be paid before we can submit your state incorporation filing.
- The IRS filing fee is $850 for non-profits that plan on spending more than $40,000 in the first four years and will be due when you're ready to submit the paperwork we've prepared.
How does the first free year of resident agent services work?
To minimize the total cost to you, we formed an agreement with our preferred resident agent, which provides your first year of services for free. But there is a catch—you have to pay for the second year before we can submit your state incorporation filing. This fee is $75 for Delaware filers and $95 for every other state. No matter what state you choose, this is a fantastic price for two years of resident agent services.
Can I use my own resident agent?
Yes, you can use whatever resident agent you want. ("Registered" agent and "Resident" agent are used interchangeably and mean the same thing.) In most states the Administrator cannot serve as their own resident agent, but do allow any adult in the state who is generally available during business hours. So you could ask someone you know, but we highly recommend a professional resident agent service like the one we provide. If you choose your own agent, you will have to forfeit our great promotional offer, pay their fee separately and provide us with a receipt before we can submit your state incorporation filing.
Should I file in Delaware?
We will submit the initial incorporation filing in any state you choose. However, no matter where you are headquartered, we suggest you at least consider filing in Delaware, especially for national organizations. Here’s why:
Delaware will almost always approve your properly completed incorporation filing in less than two weeks; other states can take much (sometimes much, MUCH) longer. Many states require filings in addition to incorporation, such as registering with the Attorney General's office, which may impose onerous compliance requirements, such as submitting your Bylaws, a list of your Board of Directors, donation solicitation certifications, etc. Delaware only requires an annual franchise fee after incorporation.
Over 50% of corporations in the U.S. file in Delaware.
Two years of resident agent service costs only $75 for Delaware but $95 for any other state.
Delaware has created a business-friendly environment, including exceptional customer service and expedited access to courts.
However, if your non-profit intends to operate primarily in one locality or state, it might make more sense to incorporate in your "home state." It's still worth considering incorporating in Delaware, but keep in mind that some states may impose additional "foreign entity" filing requirements if a corporation is incorporated elsewhere. The following link provides a good explanation of the pros and cons of filing in Delaware: communityenterpriselaw.org
How long will this whole thing take?
The sooner we receive all necessary information from you, the quicker we’ll be able to complete the process. Missing details will delay the process, but we can help you obtain the information if necessary. Once we have received all required information, we’ll make sure the forms are filled out properly. Delaware will return your incorporation papers within two weeks, after which the IRS will approve your application in 4-6 weeks. For nearly all customers, the entire process is completed within 60 days or so.