Setting Up A Nonprofit Organization In Arizona

Establishing a nonprofit organization in Arizona requires a few steps. State and federal laws regulate nonprofit organizations. It’s critical to adhere to your state’s particular regulations. Here’s a general guide to help you get started with setting up a nonprofit organization in Arizona:

Mission and Purpose

Identify your nonprofit organization’s mission and purpose. Which need or issue will the organization try to solve? Who will be the recipient of the services you intend to provide?

Legal Structure

Most organizations choose to be nonprofit corporations, which offer limited liability and legal protection for their members. Here are the different legal structures:

  • A nonprofit corporation
  • An unincorporated nonprofit association
  • A charitable trust

Nonprofit Name

Choose a name that resonates with your organization’s mission and purpose. Check first the availability of your preferred name with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).

Board of Directors

Elect a board of directors to¬†monitor the organization’s activities and guarantee compliance with laws and regulations. Appoint people who are dedicated to your cause and have helpful skills and expertise.

Articles of Incorporation

Prepare and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission. You may file electronically, via mail, or in person. Include information like the organization’s name, purpose, address, and the names and addresses of the founding board of directors.


Create bylaws that detail the internal rules and processes that govern the organization. Bylaws often cover board meetings, officer positions, voting practices, and conflict of interest guidelines.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The EIN is a unique nine-digit number required for tax and banking purposes. Apply online through the IRS website.

State and Local Taxes

Find out if Arizona requires your organization to register for local and state taxes. Sales tax and use tax may be included, based on your organization’s activities and income streams.

Tax-exempt Status

You may file for federal tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Accomplish Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ and file it with the IRS. Approval would result in federal tax exemption. This allows donors to claim tax deductions for their contributions.

Annual Reporting

Nonprofits must file an annual report with the Arizona Corporation Commission to prevent the dissolution of your organization.

Fundraising Registration

If your organization intends to collect public donations, you may need to register with the Arizona Attorney General’s office and follow their reporting guidelines.


Specific requirements and procedures may vary. It’s best to consult with the appropriate state and federal agencies. Seek the advice of legal and financial experts who specialize in nonprofit law and taxation to guarantee compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.