Register a Charity
Under the Maryland Solicitations Act, a charitable organization soliciting in Maryland generally must file documents with the Office of the Secretary of State. Registration is required prior to the commencement of solicitations. The type of registration required depends upon the level of charitable contributions received by a charitable organization.
How to get your license?
Obtaining the License
Steps, requirements and documents
A copy of a signed IRS Form 990 or 990 EZ. The Office of the Secretary of State's Form COF-85 may be filed in lieu of IRS Form 990 if you are exempt from IRS filing requirements or if filing the 990 N.
If the organization's charitable contributions are at least $300,000, but are less than $750,000 a financial review performed by an independent certified public accountant.
If the organization's charitable contributions are at least $750,000 an audit performed by an independent certified public accountant.
If the organization is a private foundation (as defined in COMAR 01.02.04.01L) that is affiliated with any Maryland State agency and raised more than $750,000, you must submit an Audit and Agreed Upon Procedures Report with the application.
A current list of the board of directors for the organization.
A fully completed and signed Registration Statement.
A copy of the organization's IRS tax determination letter.
A current copy of the organization's articles of incorporation or other governing instruments (bylaws/charter).
How do I apply?
Apply or register
How do I maintain or renew my registration?
Maintaining Your Registration
Renewal after 1 year
You may need to meet or abide by all of the following requirements
in order to maintain or renew your registration
Update your contribution information.
Pay renewal fee.
Why is this registration required?
In an attempt to provide information to individuals desiring to start a non-profit organization in Maryland, the Charitable Organizations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State has gathered information set forth below on the necessary steps to form a non-profit organization. While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, please be advised that specific questions and information should be directed to the appropriate agency.
Maryland Association of Non Profit Organizations, Inc has put together a checklist for starting a nonprofit organization in Maryland. Click here for a pdf copy of their checklist. This is a very helpful resource when attempting to start a non-profit.