10 Steps to Registering a Texas Nonprofit

June 28, 2024. 2 minute read.
By VV Sarah
Business Formation

You’ve got the mission. You’ve got the heart. You’ve got the big idea for how you can help others in Texas. Here’s how you can get started.


Registering a Nonprofit in the State of Texas


  1. Define Your Mission and Purpose:

Clearly articulate the mission and purpose of your nonprofit organization. This statement should outline the social or charitable cause you aim to address and the positive impact you intend to make.


  1. Choose a Name:

Select a unique name for your nonprofit that reflects its mission and is distinguishable from existing organizations. Ensure the name complies with the Texas Secretary of State’s naming requirements and includes the appropriate designation, such as “Association,” “Foundation,” “Institute,” or “Corporation.”


  1. Draft Articles of Incorporation:

Prepare the Articles of Incorporation, which serve as the formal legal document establishing your nonprofit entity. Include essential details such as the organization’s name, purpose, registered agent information, governance structure, and any necessary provisions to meet the requirements of the Texas Nonprofit Corporation Act.


  1. Create Bylaws:

Develop a set of bylaws that outline the internal rules and regulations for your nonprofit organization. Bylaws typically cover topics such as board composition, officer roles, decision-making processes, meetings, and financial management.

  1. Appoint Directors and Officers:

Choose individuals who will serve as directors and officers for your nonprofit. Directors are responsible for the organization’s strategic direction and governance, while officers oversee day-to-day operations. Ensure that the individuals you select align with your nonprofit’s mission and possess the necessary skills and expertise.


  1. File with the Texas Secretary of State:

Submit the completed Articles of Incorporation and filing fee to the Texas Secretary of State. You can file online, by mail, or in person. Be sure to include any additional required documents, such as a Certificate of Formation for a nonprofit corporation.


  1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN):

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN is necessary for tax purposes, including filing tax returns and opening bank accounts for your nonprofit organization.


  1. Apply for Tax-Exempt Status:

If your nonprofit intends to seek federal tax-exempt status, such as 501(c)(3), you must apply to the IRS. This involves completing and submitting Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ, along with the required documentation and application fee. The IRS will review your application to determine if your organization qualifies for tax-exempt status.


  1. Comply with State and Federal Requirements:

Familiarize yourself with ongoing compliance requirements at the state and federal levels. This includes filing annual reports, maintaining accurate financial records, adhering to fundraising regulations, and fulfilling any obligations specific to your nonprofit’s activities.


  1. Seek Legal and Professional Advice:

While this overview provides a general understanding of the process, it’s essential to seek legal and professional advice specific to your nonprofit’s circumstances. An attorney specializing in nonprofit law can provide guidance, ensure compliance, and assist with any complex issues that may arise.


Remember, registering a nonprofit organization involves legal and regulatory requirements, and the process can vary depending on the specifics of your organization. It’s crucial to consult with professionals experienced in nonprofit law to navigate the process successfully and ensure the proper establishment and compliance of your nonprofit in the state of Texas.



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