How to Start a Nonprofit in Nevada

To start a nonprofit in Nevada and get 501c3 status, follow these steps:

Step 1: Name Your Nevada Nonprofit
Step 2: Choose Your Registered Agent
Step 3: Select Your Board Members & Officers
Step 4: Adopt Bylaws & Conflict of Interest Policy
Step 5: File the Articles of Incorporation
Step 6: Get an EIN
Step 7: Apply for 501c3

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Starting a 501c3 Nonprofit in Nevada Is Easy

Nevada is home to an impressive number of successful nonprofit companies. This includes organizations such as Three Square, Food Bank of Northern Nevada, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and thousands of others. 

In fact, there are 14,618 different nonprofit organizations located in Nevada. Combined, these organizations generate an average of $10 billion in revenue each year, and they own assets totaling $33 billion in value. Nevada nonprofits also employ a total of 51,986 people. 

The largest category of nonprofit organizations in Nevada is foundations with 4,330 organizations. Religious organizations make up the second-largest category with 1,639 organizations, and educational institutions are the third-largest with 1,243 organizations. 

Despite being the largest by number, foundation nonprofits only generate the second-highest revenue of Nevada nonprofits. Nevada nonprofit foundations bring in a combined average of $1.3 billion per year, while nonprofit health organizations claim first place with nearly $1.7 billion in combined yearly revenue. 

Health organizations also employ the largest workforce of Nevada nonprofits. At least 15,557 employees work at nonprofit health organizations in Nevada. Educational institutions have the second-largest workforce at 7,150 employees and unions/employment organizations have the third-largest at 6,212 employees. 

These Nevada nonprofit statistics highlight the fact that Nevada is a great place to start a nonprofit organization. If you would like to form your own nonprofit company in the state of Nevada, there are just a few important steps that you will need to complete.

To start a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization in Nevada, you must first start a nonprofit in Nevada according to the rules of the state and then apply for 501c3 status with the IRS.

Learn more about 501c3 eligibility in our What is a 501c3 guide.

Want to form a nonprofit elsewhere? Check out our other How to Start a Nonprofit guides. Also, check out our best nonprofit formation services review.

Step 1: Name Your Nevada Nonprofit

The first step to forming a Nevada nonprofit is coming up with a name for your company. For further help getting started, check out our Nevada nonprofit naming guide.

1. Adhere to state naming rules. In Nevada, nonprofits cannot use names that include the following terms without special permission ahead of time: 

  • Trust
  • Engineer
  • Engineered
  • Professional Engineer
  • Licensed Engineer 
  • Accountant 
  • Accounting
  • Accountancy
  • Auditor
  • Auditing
  • Architect
  • Architecture 
  • Registered Architect
  • Licensed Architect 
  • Registered Interior Designer
  • Registered Interior Design 
  • Residential Designer 
  • Registered Residential Designer
  • Licensed Residential Designer
  • Residential Design 

For a complete list of Nevada business naming rules, check out the State of Nevada’s official guidelines.

2. Check the availability of your business name. In addition to avoiding certain words and phrases in your business name, you will also be required to choose a name that is distinguishable from the name of any other business in Nevada. To check the availability of a business name, you can conduct a name search on the State of Nevada’s Website. 

3. Confirm URL availability. Once you’ve confirmed that a name is available for use, you’ll want to use a tool such as to make sure that name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t intend to have a website for your nonprofit right away, it’s still advisable to purchase your chosen domain name before it is claimed by someone else. 

After choosing a name for your Nevada nonprofit, you will then want to work with a business formation service to file your company with the state. There are several excellent services operating in Nevada, but Northwest is the service we most highly recommend to Nevada nonprofit owners. 

Northwest ($29 + State Fees)

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Nevada

Every nonprofit organization in Nevada is required to nominate a registered agent for the company. Here is what you should know about choosing a registered agent for your Nevada nonprofit: 

A registered agent is someone who acts as a point of contact between your company and the state. They are an individual or business entity that receives legal documents from the state on behalf of your company. 

Anyone who resides in Nevada or any business entity authorized to operate in Nevada can be your company’s registered agent. This includes people who work for your company, and it even includes you, the company’s owner. Most nonprofit owners in Nevada, though, choose to work with a registered agent service to ensure that the responsibility is handled correctly. 

For more information on what registered agents do and how to choose the right agent for your company, check out our guide on Nevada nonprofit registered agents.

Step 3: Select your Directors & Officers

The directors of an organization come together to form a board of directors. This board of directors is responsible for overseeing the operations of the nonprofit. 

The president, secretary, and other members of the nonprofit who have individual responsibilities and authorities are known as officers

While Nevada only requires nonprofit corporations to have at least one board member, the IRS requires nonprofits to have at least three directors to be eligible for 501c3 status. The majority of directors should not be related to each other.

Nevada also requires that the nonprofit’s officers include:

  • A president
  • A secretary
  • A treasurer

With the exception of the president and any vice presidents, officers can hold multiple titles if the bylaws allow for it.

To learn more about electing a Nevada nonprofit board of directors, read our full guide.

Step 4: Adopt Bylaws & Conflict of Interest Policy

Before you are able to apply for 501c3 status as a nonprofit organization in Nevada, your company is first required to adopt bylaws and a conflict of interest policy.

What are bylaws? Bylaws are a list of rules outlining the operating procedures of your organization. They cover considerations such as officers’ titles and responsibilities, how offices are assigned, how meetings are conducted, and how often meetings are held. 

What is a conflict of interest policy? A conflict of interest policy is a document containing rules that are designed to prevent officers and board of directors members from abusing their positions for their own personal gain. 

Your company’s bylaws and its conflict of interest policy should be adopted during the company’s first organizational meeting when you officially appoint directors and officers.

Step 5: File the Nevada Articles of Incorporation

To register your nonprofit, you will need to file the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Nevada.

To ensure that your nonprofit is eligible to apply for 501c3, in the Articles of Incorporation you must explicitly state the following:

1. Purpose:

In order to qualify for 501c3 status, the organization’s purpose must explicitly be limited to one or more of the following:

Charitable, Religious, Scientific, Educational, Literary, Fostering national/international amateur sports competition, Preventing cruelty to animals/children, Testing for public safety

2. Dissolution:

You must explicitly state what the assets of the organization will be used for, and what will happen to the assets if the organization is dissolved. 

To be eligible for 501c3 status, the assets of your organization must only ever be used for purposes approved under section 501c3. 

Section 5 of this sample IRS document provides an example of these provisions required for 501c3 eligibility. 

File the Articles of Incorporation

OPTION 1: File Online With Nevada SilverFlume

File Online

– OR –

OPTION 2: File by Mail, by Fax, by Email, or In Person

Download Form

Fee: $100 ($50 Articles of Incorporation + $50 Initial List of Officers and Directors)

Filing Address:
Secretary of State
Commercial Recordings Division
202 N. Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701-4201

Fax: (775) 684-5725


To learn more, read our Nevada Articles of Incorporation guide.

Step 6: Get an EIN

Your Nevada nonprofit will be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number, sometimes referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is used to identify your business and can be thought of as a Social Security number for your organization. 

Without an EIN, your Nevada nonprofit will be unable to file federal and state taxes, hire employees, or open a business bank account. 

How to Request an EIN — Nonprofit organizations in Nevada can obtain an EIN from the IRS for free. This can be done online or by mail. To learn more about how to request an EIN, check out our EIN Lookup guide.

Step 7: Apply for 501c3 Status

Before a nonprofit can apply for 501c3 status it must, 

  1. Elect at least 3 directors not related to each other
  2. File the Articles of Incorporation with the required provisions (As covered in Step 5)
  3. Adopt the bylaws and conflict of interest policy
  4. Have an EIN number

Once these four conditions have been met your nonprofit can apply for 501c3 tax-exempt status by filing Form-1023 online. 

If your application is approved, the IRS will send you a determination letter stating that your organization is exempt from federal taxes under section 501c3. 

See if your nonprofit has 501c3 status in Nevada. Use our Nevada 501c3 lookup table to find all Nevada nonprofits.

FAQ: Starting Your Nonprofit

When should an organization apply for federal tax exemption?

Form 1023 must be filed within 27 months from the end of the first month your organization was created.

How long will it take for the IRS to process Form 1023/1023-EZ?

Soon after sending your application you should receive an acknowledgment of receipt of your application. 

If your application is simple and complete, IRS will send your determination letter within 180 days for Form 1023

If you have not heard from them by that time you can call (877) 829-5500 to inquire about your application. 

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