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Alabama Charitable Registration Requirements

Alabama State Registration Documents

Get Expert Assistance with Your Alabama Charitable Registration

From the northern reaches of Huntsville and Scottsboro to the southern tip of Mobile, Alabama is an excellent place to form a nonprofit organization. If you’re interested in starting your own nonprofit in Alabama, we can assist with your nonprofit startup, incorporation, 501(c)(3) tax exemption, and related services. 

The Facts About Alabama Charitable Registration & Nonprofits

Alabama’s 12,000+ nonprofit organizations account for over $13.5 billion in annual revenue, and they employ nearly 80,000 people and support over 100 million hours of volunteer service each year. 

Birmingham is home to the most nonprofit organizations, followed by Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa. Alabama nonprofits enjoy federal income tax exemption, federal unemployment tax exemption, tax exempt financing, reduced postal rates, and tax-deductible benefits for donors. 

Alabama is an excellent place to start a nonprofit because it’s one of the most generous states in the nation. Alabamians donate over $3 billion to charities each year, and Alabama foundations grant nearly $200 million annually. Nonprofits are also a cornerstone of the Alabama economy, employing about 5% of the state’s workforce.



Certificate of Formation

Business Entity Search



Average Processing Time

3 Weeks

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?

Yes. Annual within 90 days of fiscal year end.

990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?






Other Exemptions

State Income Tax


Sales Tax Exemption

No state sales tax exemption

Tax Returns

All organizations (except those classified as churches) are required to file an annual 990 form (990N, 990EZ, 990, or 990PF) to be exempt from Income Tax.

The 990 return is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year.

Failure to file for 3 consecutive years could cause your organization to lose tax-exempt status.

To form a nonprofit organization in Alabama, you’ll first need to file a Certificate of Formation. This form is available on the Secretary of State’s website, and there’s a $200 filing fee. Once you’ve formed your corporate entity, the next step is to file for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. For this step, you’ll need to fill out a 1023 form and submit the $600 filing fee ($275 if you use Form 1023-EZ).

Finally, every charitable organization in Alabama is required to register with the Alabama Attorney General’s office prior to conducting business or operating within the state. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. Charitable organizations must also file an annual report to the Attorney General’s office within 90 days of the end of each fiscal year. 

The following types of organizations are exempt from filing with the Attorney General: 

  • Educational institutions 
  • Religious organizations 
  • Political organizations 
  • Fraternal, patriotic, or civil rights organizations 
  • Civic leagues/organizations 
  • Individuals requesting contributions of no more than $10,000 
  • Organizations receiving less than $25,000 in contributions every year 
  • Certain charitable organizations receiving funds from a community chest or united fund 

When starting a nonprofit in Alabama, it’s important to speak with an expert to determine if your organization meets the exemption criteria.

If the nonprofit organization was dissolved less than two years ago, the state may be able to reinstate it. You’ll need to contact the Alabama Secretary of State to complete this process. For more information, refer to our guide to 501(c)(3) reinstatement


There’s an annual renewal fee of $25 that must be submitted to the Alabama Attorney General (unless your organization is exempt from filing with the Attorney General).