State Charity Registration Compliance

Nonprofit organizations should be aware that many states have registration requirements if they choose to solicit donations within a given state. Since the registration requirements vary from state to state, including where to register and what documents are needed, we have organized the following summary for states that many of our clients solicit donations in.

Florida

Nonprofit charities seeking to solicit contributions in the state of Florida should head to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). Rules relating to solicitation are regulated by the Solicitation of Contributions Act. When filing with the state of Florida, an organization needs to either fill out the Small Charitable Organizations/Sponsors Application or register with the FDACS. If an organization meets the following requirements, they can file a small charitable organization/sponsor application and avoid a registration fee:

  1. Revenue less than $25,000 during the previous year

  2. Did not compensate individuals for fundraising activities nor individuals who serve on the board

  3. Does not use third-party professional to help with fundraising


During the year, if the organization meets any one of the requirements listed above then they must register with the FDACS within 30 days of failing to meet one of the requirements above. When registering with the FDACS, the initial filing must have all answers responded to. Registration fees are based on the organization’s financial data in the previous year that is submitted with the registration. If the organization is new and has no preceding financial information, a budget must be submitted with the registration. The registration must be renewed annually on the initial date of compliance. The FDACS mails out renewal statements to recipients.

New Jersey

Registration for charitable solicitation in New Jersey occurs on the Attorney General’s website under consumer affairs. It is mandatory to file online. Rules relating to solicitation are regulated by the Charitable Registration and Investigation Act. There is a $10,000 annual gross contribution threshold for filing with New Jersey and if the organization does not meet the threshold nor utilize a professional fundraiser, then they do not need to file with the state to be compliant. Organizations under the $10,000 threshold do not have to file but may choose to do so, pay a registration fee, and renew their registration annually. These organizations are not entitled to a renewal extension of time to file. Charities who do not file with the state when they are under the gross contribution threshold must file within 30 days of meeting the $10,000 gross contribution within a given year. Charities who meet the annual gross contribution threshold will:

  1. File either the short or long registration form, depending on the gross contributions received

  2. Include the required supporting information requested

  3. Pay a registration fee that is dependent on the gross contributions received


Charities must renew their registration annually and within 6 months of the charities’ year-end. Additionally, extensions can be requested for the registration renewal if an organization receives contributions exceeding $10,000.

Ohio

Registration for charitable solicitation in Ohio occurs on the state’s Attorney General website. Organizations must use the online system on the website for their initial filling and subsequent annual filings with the state. The state of Ohio requires organizations to register with the state prior to soliciting contributions. Rules relating to solicitation are regulated by the Ohio Charitable Trust Act or the Charitable Organizations Act. New organizations have up to 6 months to register with Ohio, but they still must register before soliciting contributions. After the initial registration, annual filings follow the IRS due dates for form 990. For example, an organization with a 12/31 year-end must file its form 990 and annual charity filing by May 15th. If an extension has been granted for the form 990, the state will honor the extension for the annual filing as well. Registration fees are dependent upon either the organization’s assets or the contributions received.

The state of Ohio does have some exceptions to these rules available for qualifying religious organizations, exemptions from the above rules are looked at on a case-by-case basis. If a charitable solicitation believes they are exempt they must create an online account and request the exemption, which will be reviewed by the Attorney Generals office.

Pennsylvania

Registration for charitable solicitation in Pennsylvania occurs on the Department of State website for Pennsylvania. Rules relating to solicitation are regulated by the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act. The state of Pennsylvania requires that organizations who would like to solicit from Pennsylvania residents file BCO-10, Charitable Organization Registration Statement. Organizations may file their initial filings and subsequent renewals online or by mail. Renewal registrations are automatically extended and are due no later than the 15th day of the eleventh month following the organization’s year-end. Initial registration is required if the following occurs:

  1. A person compensated by an organization wants to solicit contributions for said organization. Registration must occur before this happens.

  2. If an organization receives more than $25,000 in gross contributions. Initial registration must occur within 30 days of meeting this threshold. No person may be compensated for soliciting in this scenario.


In addition to filling out form BCO-10, supplementary information requested on the form must be submitted along with a registration fee. The registration fee is determined by the organization’s gross annual contributions.

Please reach out to the Nonprofit Solutions Group for information on additional state registration requirements, or if you would like more information on how HBK can help them comply with these requirements.

About the Author(s)

Teal is a Senior Associate in the HBK office in Sarasota, Fla. She specializes in tax preparation and assurance services for nonprofits and leads the firm’s Tax-Exempt Organizations Tax Specialists Group. Additionally, she does tax preparation for individuals, businesses, trusts, and estates, and has experience with employee benefit plans and the construction and manufacturing industries. As a part of HBK’s REVEAL team, she oversees recruiting efforts for the Sarasota office. Teal began her accounting career with HBK in 2016. For more information, contact Teal at 941-957-4242 or tstrammer@hbkcpa.com.

Hill, Barth & King LLC has prepared this material for informational purposes only. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or under any state or local tax law or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the matter.

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