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New York Nonprofit Document Requirements

New York State Registration Documents

Get Help Starting, Running & Growing Your New York Nonprofit 

Throughout the U.S., the nonprofit sector is responsible for improving communities and supporting the economy. New York nonprofit organizations offer a vibrant and diverse landscape that reaches from the hustle and bustle of New York City to the mountain wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains, to the agricultural and industrial heartland of western New York.

Facts and Figures for New York Nonprofits

New York nonprofits exist in all sectors and sizes, providing a wide variety of essential services throughout the state. New York nonprofit organizations work in government, health and wellness, social services, education, the arts, disability and veterans’ services, and much more. The New York State Nonprofit Board lists over 92,000 registered nonprofit organizations, giving it the #2 spot for states with the most nonprofits in the nation.

Additionally, the State of New York is one of the country’s top states for the number of people employed by charitable organizations, responsible for generating over 1.4 million jobs.

New York State can be a great place to launch and grow your 501c3 nonprofit start-up. The following documents will help you get started:



Certificate of Incorporation

Business Entity Search



Average Processing Time

3-4 Business Days

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?


990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?






Other Exemptions

State Income Tax

Must file – $0

Sales Tax Exemption

Must file – $0

Tax Returns

All organizations (except those classified as churches) in this state are required to file a 990EZ (or more complex) regardless of their minimum annual income. (No 990N is accepted).

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is possible to start a nonprofit organization in New York without incorporating; this is known as an unincorporated nonprofit association. However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. 

Most legal experts advise against starting an unincorporated nonprofit because there’s no liability protection for the officers, directors, and members. It’s very important to separate your personal and professional assets. 

In order to qualify for registration as a New York nonprofit organization, your organization must satisfy one or more of the following guidelines: 

  • Charitable
  • Literary
  • Prevention of cruelty to animals
  • Prevention of cruelty to children 
  • Promotion national/international amateur sports competition 
  • Religious
  • Scientific
  • Testing for public safety

You can access the required form on the Department of State website. Your Certificate of Incorporation can be filed in person, by mail, or by fax. The certificate is submitted to the Department of State: 

Department of State

Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code

One Commerce Plaza

99 Washington Ave., Suite 6000

Albany, NY 12231

Fax: (518) 474-1418

The required filing fee can be paid via check, money order, or credit/debit card. Make checks out to the Department of State. Cash will only be accepted with in-person filings. 

After you incorporate your nonprofit, the Department of State will issue an official filing receipt, which serves as your proof of filing. The Department does not issue duplicate receipts, so it’s very important to keep this document in a safe place for your records. 

For other questions on running your New York nonprofit, please contact our team today!

Filing Requirements for New York Nonprofits

It’s important to remember that a New York nonprofit will be required to file annual reports as part of their tax exemption through the New York State Nonprofit Board. Requirements may vary, but most states require nonprofits to verify contact information, Board membership, and the information of the person to whom the organization is registered. Employee information may also need to be filed with the state’s Department of Labor. State compliance may also require your nonprofit to file an annual corporate report with the agency responsible for maintaining records for registered nonprofits.

The economic importance of New York nonprofit organizations cannot be denied. If you’re passionate about creating lasting social change, then launching your social entrepreneurship business in New York may be a path worth considering. Visit our Nonprofit Education Center to learn more about getting started, and our testimonials page to read what other nonprofit entrepreneurs had to say about making their dreams a reality. Contact us if you have questions. We’re here to help you at every step of the journey.