How It Works and FAQ

Our Package Includes


Please read the following Limitations, Disclaimer, and FAQs in its entirety before you decide to purchase this service.

Limitations & Disclaimer:

  • Price does not include state filing fee or IRS filing fee. State filing fees vary. IRS filing fee is $275 for charities with an expected average annual revenue over the next four years of $10,000 or less. The fee for charities that expect a higher average annual revenue over the next four years is $850.
  • Price does not include second year resident agent fee, which must be paid before we submit your state incorporation filing (see below for sample total cost calculation).
  • You can incorporate in any state you choose, but we suggest you consider Delaware (see why below).
  • Limited guarantee: our service fee is generally non-refundable. However, if incorporation or IRS determination is not approved even though you accurately provided all necessary information and paid all filing fees on a timely basis, we will resubmit your application or provide you with a full refund of our fee.
  • Disclaimer: While we cannot offer legal advice and you may need to consult a lawyer in order to obtain and maintain your charity status, there are some prudent guidelines to keep in mind to make sure you qualify and that the forms are completed properly. This service is intended only for organizations that wish to receive a 501(c)3 public charity determination from the IRS and expect a first-year budget of less than $50,000. Such IRS public charity determination means that you will be eligible to receive donations from private foundations and that individual contributions to your organization may be deductible on donors' personal taxes. Your charity will be generally exempt from federal income taxes (talk to a lawyer about exceptions), and you will be able to apply for local sales and income tax exemptions. Only organizations that provide public charitable or educational services qualify for this status. No public charity may support or oppose any candidate for any public office. In addition, public charities are severely restricted in what percentage of their budget they may expend on attempting to influence specific legislation. If you do intend to influence legislation, please consult a lawyer before purchasing this service. You may wish to consider incorporating as a 501(c)4 instead or in addition.
  • The scope of this service includes state incorporation filing (generally with the Department of State), your EIN, ordering your resident agent service, and filing for IRS public charity status only. You may have other filing requirements. Depending on which state you choose to incorporate, what state you choose for your headquarters (your "home state"), and in which states you intend to solicit funds, additional filings may be required, such as with your home state's Attorney General's office, or filing as a foreign entity if your home state is different than your incorporation state. In addition, once you are incorporated, your home state, as well as the IRS, require annual filings. We can help you with these additional filings for a negotiated additional fee.

How does this process work?

Once you have signed up, we will email you a link to our Organizational Information Page where you can easily provide the details we need for all filings. The quicker you provide all necessary information, the faster the process will be. If you don’t have all the required information, our customer services representatives can help you.

After we have received all necessary organizational information from you, we will first obtain your federal Employee Identification Number for you (if you haven’t already done so). Then we will submit your two-year resident agent order. Next, we will fill out your state incorporation filing (which will include language the IRS requires for the public charity application).

When we have completed the state incorporation filing paperwork (usually within one business day of receiving all necessary information), we will send you an invoice for state incorporation and resident agent fees (a total of $174 for Delaware filers). Upon receipt of payment, we will provide you with a link so that you can electronically sign and submit the filing. For Delaware, you can expect to get your official incorporation documents within two weeks.

Once incorporated, we will complete the IRS form and provide you with a link to the account required to submit your filing, and which we will create for you. When you're ready, you can review and submit the filing and pay the filing fee. We expect a properly completed IRS application to be approved within 4-6 weeks.


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:

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.

Read more about non-profit management on our blog!


Voluntary Solutions International  |  1709 19th Street NW, Suite 33, Washington, D.C. 20009  |  202 . 308 . 8114

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