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Delaware Nonprofit Document Requirements

Delaware Nonprofit Requirements

Building up a nonprofit to serve an unmet need in your community or for a specific cause is exciting, but it’s important to set yourself up for success by staying in compliance from day one. In Delaware, there are no specific statutes regulating nonprofits separately from for profit entities, and nonprofits are generally exempt from the requirement to obtain a state business license. As in all states, however, you still have to apply for tax exempt status with the IRS to obtain 501(c)(3) status in Delaware. If you need assistance starting and growing your Delaware nonprofit, we have solutions.

Delaware State Registration Documents



Certificate of Incorporation

Business Entity Search


 $89.00 + 24 Hour Processing Fee of $ 50. Total: $139

Average Processing Time

5-7 Business Days

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?


990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?



Annually, by March 1



Other Exemptions

State Income Tax


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.

How to Start a Nonprofit in Delaware

All you need to start a nonprofit corporation in Delaware is a certificate of incorporation and $139 in initial fees. To file your certificate of incorporation, you will need:

  • At least one director for your board.
  • A registered agent (can be an individual or corporation) that agrees to accept documents on the corporation’s behalf if it is sued, with a non-P.O. box address in Delaware.
  • A name and street address for the corporation’s registered office in Delaware and it’s registered agent.
  • The name and mailing address of the incorporator.
  • Bylaws that comply with state law, and have been approved at an organizational meeting of your board of directors.
  • A federal employer identification number.

At BryteBridge, our team can help you organize all of the above requirements and help you navigate paperwork with less hassle, freeing up your time.

Obtaining 501(c)(3) Status in Delaware

To obtain tax exempt status for your Delaware nonprofit, you must complete and file IRS Form 1023, and include the following information on your certificate of incorporation:

  • Include the statement, “This Corporation shall be a nonprofit corporation.”
  • A statement that indicates that the corporation will not have any capital stock.
  • A statement of purpose that meets IRS requirements.
  • Statements that the corporation will not engage in activities unrelated to its exempt purposes or in prohibited political or legislative activity.
  • A dissolution provision dedicating the corporation’s assets to another 501(c)(3) organization or the government upon dissolution.

All Delaware nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status must file an annual report with the State due on March 1, and pay a $25 fee. If you have questions about how to start a nonprofit in Delaware, contact us today

Successfully Grow Your Nonprofit with BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions

Developing your Delaware nonprofit organization can be easy. We’ll help you work through and understand all of those regulatory and operational hoops, so you can devote more time to your cause. Learn more about our nonprofit startup solutions and take the next step toward achieving your goals as a nonprofit organization in Delaware.