Steps to Becoming a Legal, Non-Profit Nevada Foundation

While you can form a non-profit foundation in the state of your choice, we recommend forming it under the laws of Nevada.  We believe the laws of Nevada provide better protection. To become a fully functioning legal non-profit foundation operating under the laws of Nevada, and you are not living in Nevada, following are the steps you will need to complete:


Determine if your foundation's name is available:
If you are forming a foundation under the laws of Nevada, you will be required to file with the State of Nevada. To insure that you have a unique foundation name, use the "Nevada Business Search" form on this page:


Create Foundation Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws:


Secure a relationship with a Registered Agent.  We are currently recommending REGISTERED AGENTS INC., 401 Ryland St., Suite 200-A Reno, Nevada 89502 (775) 401-6800

Note: If you are creating your foundation as a Nevada foundation, and you live in Nevada, you will not need a Registered Agent.


Apply online for an IRS Employee Identification Number - EIN

Note: You can only apply for one EIN per day, and the online service is only available  Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time.


Receive copy of "Acceptance of Registered Agent" from Registered Agent.  (They will provide this to you upon your application and payment of Registered Agent fee. Nevada Discount Registered Agent will e-mail you a .pdf copy.)


File your Articles of Incorporation with the State of Nevada. 

These step-by-step instructions are provided as general guidelines, and not as legal advice. If you are not sure about the type of foundation you have from Nevada's perspective, or you are unsure how to complete any of the required Nevada forms, seek competent legal assistance.

Assuming your Foundation is non-profit, you would file as a "Non-profit Corporation".  This is the starting point:

Note:To assist you in properly preparing your application, print out and review this:

As a "Nonprofit Corporation" you will not be able to file online, but will be required to mail in your application and Articles.  Here is the starting point:

Unless you plan to do business in Nevada, you are not required to complete "Qualification to do Business in Nevada" form.

Generally speaking, non-profit foundations formed under the laws of Nevada but operated in another state are not considered to be doing business in Nevada, but read the above statutes  to fully understand what this means.

Assuming you are not planning on doing business in Nevada, but want to register your foundation in Nevada, you will need to complete:

Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation:

    Note 1: Page 2, the "Registered Agent Acceptance" should have been forwarded to you by your Registered Agent.

    Note 2: As Incorporator, you can also be the sole Director/Trustee and all officers-- no additional directors are required.

    Note 3: Assuming you are setting up your foundation for charity/humanitarian purposes, you need to declare your foundation as a 501(c) corporation. (Once you have submitted your foundation application paperwork to the Nevada Secretary of State, your next step will be to apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status.)

(NonProfit) Initial/Annual List of Officers and Directors:

Here is a list of what you need to send to the Nevada Secretary of State:
1. Customer Order Instructions page, listing Articles for $50 and List of Officers for $50, total amount $100.
2. Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation (documentid=808 as per above;
3. Registered Agent Acceptance (you should have received one from your Registered Agent) if residing outside of Nevada;
4.(Nonprofit) Initial/Annual List of Officers and Directors
5. Declaration of Eligibility for State Business LIcense Exemption, with EIN and Notarized (assuming the exemption applies to your foundation);
6. $100 filing fee


The foundation needs to be filed with the state of Nevada before money is released into the foundation.  Once you have filed your forms with the State of Nevada, you can now transfer currency to the foundation.


Apply for IRS 501(c)(3) status per the instructions in the IRS publications listed below. If you can afford the $850 fee, apply now; if not, wait until after the RV.

IRS Publication "Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status":
IRS Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your Organizaton":