I will be a Nonprofit Corporation

To form a 501(c)(3) or other type of tax-exempt corporation, you do not form a tax-exempt corporation – you form a nonprofit corporation through the Arizona Corporation Commission and then apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax-exempt status.

Please note that the IRS requires that certain language be in the Articles of Incorporation before it will grant tax-exempt status. The form provided by the Arizona Corporation Commission complies only with the minimal requirements of Arizona law and does not include any IRS language.

If you intend to apply for tax-exempt status after the corporation is formed, you should determine what language is required by the IRS and prepare your own Articles of Incorporation to submit to the Arizona Corporation Commission. It is advisable to seek the advice of your tax and legal professionals, as well as, the IRS before you form your corporation. The Arizona Corporation Commission staff cannot give you legal or tax advice, and they cannot tell you what language to include in your Articles.

Arizona Corporation Commission, Corporations Division
1300 W. Washington Street, 1st Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2929
400 West Congress, 2nd Floor, Tucson, AZ 85701-1347
Phoenix 602.542.3026 or Arizona toll free 800.345.5819

Arizona allows the formation of a non-profit corporation through the Arizona Corporation Commission, but if the corporation intends to be tax-exempt, it must apply for that status through the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS web page Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits includes information on how to apply for IRS recognition of tax-exempt status, as well as, how to keep tax-exempt status. This web page, also, includes information on annual filing requirements and forms, educational resources and guidance, news, etc.


An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN) and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. For more information, see the Employer Identification Number (EIN) section below or click here. (23)


The Arizona Secretary of State requires Veteran’s Charitable Organizations to file with their office if a person is soliciting money or other support in the name of an organization. (23)

Contact: Arizona Secretary of State, Business Services Division: Veterans Charities Organizations, 602.542.6187 or 800.458.5842


To ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney to organize your corporation, and to ensure you are in compliance with any statutes and regulations governing your business activity.


Additional Information:

ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Non-profit Innovation: How to Start a Nonprofit

Arizona Attorney General: Charity Scams

Arizona Department of Administration, State Procurement Office: State Purchasing Cooperative

Arizona Department of Revenue, Publications: 501 Non-Profit Organizations, 500 Health Care Organization Exemptions

Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Business Center: Non-Profits

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Frequently Asked Questions - Tax-Exempt OrganizationsEducational Resources and Guidance for Exempt Organizations, Tax Information For Businesses


Organizations Supporting Non-Profits:

  • Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits: Unifying association formed to advance the common interests of more than 20,000 nonprofits in the Grand Canyon State.
    • ONE (Organization for Nonprofit Executives), a program of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, was created to bring C-suite nonprofit executives together to network as well as learn from one another and share experiences unique to their roles. (23)
  • Arizona Community Foundation: Provides flexible giving opportunities for donors, major funding for nonprofits and students, and leadership around key community issues.
  • Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) - Economic Recovery Management Team (ERMT): Helps state agencies, local governments, and non-profit organizations, find, win and manage grants. Strives to be the premier resource of training and technical assistance for the Arizona grants community. (23)
  • Arizona Society of Association Executives (AZSAE): Provides education, resources and networking opportunities to further the professional development of their members and to assist with the growth and development of the organizations which they serve.
  • ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Non-profit Innovation: Provides knowledge and tools for those who lead, manage and support non-profit organizations, including technical assistance, research, professional development and academic degrees.
  • BBB Wise Giving Alliance: Helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public. Evaluations are done without charge to the charity and are posted for free public access on give.org. (23)
  • BoardSource: Provides knowledge and resources for non-profit leaders through workshops, training, assessment tools, an extensive Web site, and a membership program.
  • Candid provides GrantSpace - a learning community for the social sector, providing easy-to-use, self-service tools, online training and a network of nonprofits and libraries that offer training and resources to help nonprofits worldwide become more viable grant applicants and build strong, sustainable organizations."

    Foundation Center
    and GuideStar joined forces to become Candid, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. 

    Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world.
  • City of Phoenix, Burton Barr Central Library, StartUpPHX Programs: Nonprofit Navigator Series (Phoenix): The Nonprofit Navigator series is a series of workshops designed for those interested in running or starting a nonprofit. Course topics vary. (23)
  • Phoenix Public Library: Nonprofit Organization: Information about starting and funding a nonprofit.
  • SCORE: Nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. They are a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and their volunteers offer small business entrepreneurs confidential business counseling services at no charge. SCORE also provides workshops and events, resources, templates and tools to assist entrepreneurs. (23)
  • Social Venture Partners (SVP) Tucson: Cultivates effective philanthropists, strengthens existing nonprofits, and invests in collaborative solutions – building powerful relationships to tackle our community’s social challenges. (23)
  • Society For Non-profit Organizations: Provides non-profit staff members, volunteers, and board members with affordable resources and information to work more effectively and efficiently towards accomplishing their mission.
  • USA.gov for Non-profits: Find information and services for nonprofits, including grants, loans, assistance, taxes, management and more.