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Nonprofit Services -


Steps to starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Missouri (Domestic):

  1. Review Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization (Publication 557 – IRS)

  2. If your organization will be a Private Foundation under 501(c)(3) then review Tax Information for Private Foundations and Foundation Managers (Publication 578 – IRS) in addition to Publication 557

  3. File Articles of Incorporation (Missouri Form – Secretary of State)

  4. File an Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN): Online application

  5. File Application for Recognition of Exemption (Form 1023 – IRS or Form 1023-EZ).  Form 1040-EZ Instructions includes a worksheet that is designed to assist groups in determining if they eligible to file Form 1023-EZ.  If your organization qualifies for exempt status, filing these forms will produce a Letter of Determination.

  6. File Missouri Sales/Use Tax Exemption Application (Missouri Form 1746 – Department of Revenue) to receive Missouri State Tax I.D. number.

  7. To use Tax Exempt status submit Sales/Use Tax Exemption Certificate with Missouri State Tax I.D. Number at the time of purchase

  8. For Basic Tax information review as necessary Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990-N, Form 990-EZ or Form 990, and Schedule A - IRS) or Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF - IRS) annual return filing requirements

  9. Register as a Charitable Organization with the Missouri Attorney General's Office

  10. Check with your local municipality to secure a Business License and Occupancy Permit if applicable

Forms and publications can be obtained online from the following sites:


For information concerning nonprofit legal filings contact the following offices:

Corporation Division of the Secretary of State: (314)340-7490 (Regional Office)
Tax Exempt/Government Entities Customer Service: 1-877-829-5500 (Federal Office)
Nonprofit resources at the Missouri Department of Revenue: (573)751-2836
Missouri Attorney General's Office: (573) 751-3321 (State Office)

Recommended Reading:

Mancuso, Anthony (2013). How to form a nonprofit corporation (11th Ed.). Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press.

web resources:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)Charities & Other Non-Profits (See - Exempt Organizations Application Process)



University of Missouri Outreach & Extensions

Creating a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation in Missouri