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D.C. Nonprofit Document Requirements

D.C. State Registration Documents


Creating a nonprofit in D.C. is one of the best ways to start pursuing your nonprofit goals and your mission, given it is the heart of policy in our nation. D.C. nonprofit registration requires a few extra forms to get started, but that’s a small price to pay to be in the same city as many of the country’s wealthiest and most influential people. Start up, grow, and maintain your nonprofit by working with BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions today.



Articles of Incorporation

Business Entity Search


$80.00 + Optional $50.00-$100.00 Expedite Fee

Average Processing Time

11 Business Days

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?


990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?



Your first report is due April 1 in the calendar year after registration. After the first filing, reports are due biennially by April 1.



Other Exemptions

State Income Tax

Must file – $0

Sales Tax Exemption

Must file – $0

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.

Naming Your Washington D.C. Nonprofit

There are five ways a nonprofit in D.C. can be organized: as a corporation (most popular by far), an unincorporated association, a trust, an association, or an LLC. Each one has specific laws you must know and follow about how to name your organization. Be sure to look those up, and know which ones apply to you, before you get too far down the line.

Like many other states, Washington D.C. also requires that each business have a unique and distinct name. But unlike most other states, it allows you to file for a name reservation before you’re ready to officially incorporate. It’s a good option if you’ve already done the research into a name but don’t have all your documents together yet. These reservations last 120 days and can be renewed online.

Certificate Of Occupancy For A Nonprofit In D.C.

As a Washington D.C. nonprofit, you will have to apply for a Certificate of Occupancy. It describes what a piece of land, building, or structure can be used for in the city. It will require an official inspection to determine that the location can support the daily activities of your business.

Even if you operate out of your home, you’ll still need an inspection, but the certificate you apply for is a Home Occupation Permit instead.

D.C. Nonprofit Registration As A Charity

If your Washington D.C. nonprofit operates as a charity by soliciting donations, grants, or similar forms of fundraising, you’ll need to have a Charitable Solicitation License from the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs.

Don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to get started. At BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions, we’ve helped over 30k+ people start their nonprofits and keep them compliant. We’re experts on the business side of nonprofits, helping you focus on helping others. Schedule a consultation to see what we can do for you now.