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Starting a Nonprofit in Michigan

Welcome to our guide for Michigan nonprofit requirements, where we’ll detail everything you need to know to stay in compliance. Most organizations are required to register and consistently renew with the state, though some can apply for exemptions. Our team at BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions can help you navigate this process. As in all states, however, you still have to apply for tax exempt status with the IRS to obtain 501(c)(3) status in Michigan after forming your Michigan nonprofit corporation. If you need assistance starting or maintaining your organization, we have solutions. Review the following state requirements and documentation and reach out to us with any questions.

Michigan State Registration Documents



Articles of Incorporation

Business Entity Search


$20 + optional $50-1,000 expedite service

Average Processing Time

7-10 Business Days Online

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?


990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?



Annually, by October 1



Other Exemptions

State Income Tax


Sales Tax Exemption

Use Certificate

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 lose tax-exempt status.

How to Start a 501c3 in Michigan

To start your nonprofit, you’ll need articles of incorporation and at least $20 in initial fees (you can pay more to expedite service). To file your articles of incorporation, you will need:

  • At least three directors for your board.
  • A registered agent (can be an individual or corporation) that agrees to accept documents in the event your corporation is sued, with a non-P.O. box address in Michigan.
  • A name and street address for the corporation’s registered office in Michigan and its registered agent.
  • The name and mailing address of the incorporator.
  • Organize bylaws based on state law and have them approved at an organizational meeting with your board of directors. 
  • A federal employer identification number (EIN).

Michigan 501(c)(3) State Requirements

Starting Your Michigan Nonprofit

Throughout the USA, nonprofits are working to improve communities and residents’ quality of life. Being a part of Michigan’s charitable sector provides ample opportunities to make a difference, whether that’s in the industrial center of Detroit, the government seat in Lansing, or throughout the beautiful woodlands that gives the “Great Lakes State” its nickname.

How Are Michigan 501(c)(3)s Improving Communities?

Starting a nonprofit in Michigan can be ideal for entrepreneurs committed to serving a broad cross-section of the community’s needs. Both well-established and start-up Michigan nonprofits serve diverse sectors such as city, county, and state governments, health, elder, and social services, workforce training and developmentarts and culture, disability and veterans’ services, animal welfare, and many more. 

Currently, the State of Michigan lists over 39,000 nonprofit organizations that employ nearly 470,000 individuals. That data translates into more than 10 percent of the entire workforce in the state and exceeds the number of residents working in tourism or hospitality. Residents of Michigan also donate 3 percent of their income every year to charitable causes and organizations.

If you’re interested in launching a Michigan 501c3 nonprofit, our professional nonprofit consultants at BryteBridge can help! The links and information below will connect you to documents and resources to get you started.

Wondering How to Start Your 501(c)(3) in Michigan? BryteBridge Can Help!

BryteBridge can help you with all stages of starting a nonprofit in Michigan. From obtaining your tax-exempt status to helping you complete and file IRS Form 1023, we can also guide your through gathering and assembling all the following information for your articles of incorporation:

  • A statement that reads, “This Corporation shall be a nonprofit corporation.”
  • A statement that shows your corporation will not have any capital stock.
  • A statement of purpose following IRS requirements.
  • Statements that show your nonprofit corporation will not engage in activities unrelated to its exempt purposes or in prohibited political or legislative activity.
  • A dissolution clause that properly designates another 501(c)(3) for distribution of your nonprofit assets.

Nonprofit organizations with Michigan 501(c)(3) status must file an annual report with the State due on October 1 and pay a $20 fee. If you have questions about starting a nonprofit in Michigan, contact us today

Start, Maintain, and Grow Your Michigan Nonprofit with BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions

 When you collaborate with our team of experts at BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions, starting and growing your Michigan nonprofit can be easy. We’re here to help you navigate all regulatory and operational regulations and guidelines, so that you get to spend more time promoting your cause and helping your community. Learn more about our nonprofit startup solutions.