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Starting A Nonprofit Organization in Illinois

Welcome to the registration and compliance page for Illinois nonprofit organizations. Below you will find information on initial filings required when starting a nonprofit organization in Illinois, annual filing requirements for existing organizations, and employment filings for nonprofits with employees. This page also contains a link to the relevant nonprofit statute for the State of Illinois.


Starting a Nonprofit Organization in Illinois: Initial Filings

1. To Incorporate in Illinois

a. Submit 2 sets of Articles of Incorporation (original plus a copy) to:

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
501 S. Second Street, Room 350
Springfield, IL 62756

Information: (217) 782-6961
Web Site: cyberdriveillinois.com
Filing Fee: $50

b. After receiving the Certificate of Incorporation and a stamped copy of the Articles of Incorporation from the Secretary of State, the organization must file them with the office of the Recorder of Deeds of the county in which the registered office of the corporation is located. This must be done within 15 days of receipt.

Note: Refer to the Secretary of State's publication, A Guide for Organizing Not-For-Profit Corporations for more information.

3. To Obtain Illinois Income Tax Exemption

501(c) tax-exempt organizations are automatically exempt from Illinois income taxes and need not apply for exemption.

4. To Obtain Illinois Sales and Use Tax Exemption

Submit Form STAX-1 Application for Sales Tax Exemption with a copy of the Articles of Incorporation; Bylaws; IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter; most recent financial statement; brief narrative describing the organization's purposes, functions, and activities; and, brochures or other printed material that explain the organization's purposes, functions, and activities to:

Illinois Department of Revenue
Sales Tax Exemption Section 3-520
101 West Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62702-5145

Information: (217) 782-8881
Web Site: www.revenue.state.il.us
Filing Fee: $0

Note: See Illinois Revenue's web page for nonprofit organizations for more information.

5. To Register with the Illinois Attorney General

Submit Form CO-1 (Charitable Organization Registration Statement) along with required attachments to:

Office of the Attorney General
Charitable Trust Bureau
100 West Randolph Street
11th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-3175

Information: (312) 814-2595
Web Site: www.ag.state.il.us
Filing Fee: $15

Note: For more information, refer to the Attorney General's Building Better Charities website.


Annual Filings for Illinois Nonprofit Organizations

1. Internal Revenue Service

Form: Annual Return Form 990
Due Date: 4 ½ months after end of fiscal year

Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0027

Information: (800) 829-1040
Forms: (800) 829-3676
Web Site: www.irs.gov/charities
Filing Fee: $0

Public Charities: Refer to the IRS website to determine which form to file (Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N).

Private Foundations: Submit Form 990PF, regardless of revenues.

Note: Effective for tax years that end July 31, 2020 and later, exempt organizations must now file their annual returns electronically, using an approved IRS 990 e-File provider. Note that some transitional relief is available to 990-EZ filers. In addition, some exceptions apply including when the organization is changing its name, filing a shortened period return due to a change in fiscal year, or has an exemption application pending. Refer to the Form 990 instructions for information on these and other exceptions. To learn more about this electronic filing requirement, read the IRS announcement. For a list of approved IRS 990 e-File providers, refer to the IRS' Modernized e-file Providers list.

2. Illinois Attorney General

Form: Attorney General Form AG990-IL
Due Date: 6 months after end of fiscal year

Office of the Attorney General
Charitable Trusts Bureau
Attn: Annual Report Section
100 West Randolph Street
11th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601-3175

Information: (312) 814-2595
Web Site: www.ag.state.il.us/charities/index.html
Filing Fee: $15

Note: A copy of the IRS Form 990 must be submitted with the AG990-IL.

Effective January 1, 2024, audited financial statements are required if gross contributions exceed $500,000 or if the organization used a paid fundraiser and raised more than $25,000 in contributions. If gross contributions are between $300,000 and $500,000, a financial review is required.

There is a $100 late fee.

3. Illinois Secretary of State

Form: Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporations
Due Date: Annually before the first day of the month of incorporation

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Corporations Division
501 S. Second Street, Rm. 350
Springfield, IL 62756

Information: (217) 524-8008
Web Site: www.cyberdriveillinois.com
Filing Fee: $10

Notes: Late fee is $3.00

This report may be filed online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/annual_reports/nfp_instructions.html


Illinois Employment Filings

If the organization will have employees, the following filing is also required:

To Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue and Department of Employment Security

Complete the online Business Registration Application.

Illinois Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 19447
Springfield, IL 62794-9447

Information: (217) 782-3336
Web Site: www.tax.illinois.gov

Illinois Department of Employment Security
Revenue Division
33 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Information: (800) 247-4984
Web Site: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Pages/Unemployment_Taxes_and_Reporting.aspx

Note: Nonprofit organizations employing four or fewer persons in a given calendar year may be exempt from this requirement. For more information, refer to the Department of Employment Security's "Frequently Asked Questions for Employers".


Click here for Illinois state statute information.