How to File Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation in Nevada

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Nevada is easy — and the first task is filing your Articles of Incorporation. This guide will walk you through the 14 steps required to file the Articles of Incorporation to officially start a nonprofit in Nevada.


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Getting Started

To start a domestic nonprofit corporation in Nevada, you must file the Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. This guide covers each step you must take to fill out this document successfully and get on the right track to forming a Nevada nonprofit.

Step 1: List Your Nonprofit’s Name

The first step to filling out the Nevada Articles of Incorporation is to list your nonprofit corporation’s name. If you haven’t gone through the process of establishing a name for your organization, here are the requirements for naming a nonprofit in Nevada:

  • Your nonprofit’s name must be distinguishable from any other name on record within the state of Nevada, including any reserved names.
  • Your nonprofit’s name can’t include the following words or phrases:
    • “Trust,” “engineer,” “engineered,” “engineering,” “professional engineer,” or “licensed engineer”
    • “Accountant,” “accounting,” “accountancy,” “auditor,” or “auditing”
    • “Architect,” “architecture,” “registered architect,” “licensed architect,” “registered interior designer,” “registered interior design,” “residential designer,” “registered residential designer,” “licensed residential designer,” or “residential design”
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Recommended: For a step-by-step guide to naming your nonprofit corporation in Nevada, read our guide on How to Name a Nonprofit in Nevada.

Search the Availability of Your Name

After selecting potential names — ideally, at least four or five — it’s important to search for their availability in your state. You can do this by conducting the four recommended searches outlined below.

Nevada Business Entity Search
To operate in Nevada, a nonprofit corporation must have a unique name. You can easily check if your chosen name is available by performing a search using the Nevada business entity search tool.

Domain Name Search
We strongly recommend that you also check to see if your business name is available as a web domain (URL). Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the web address to prevent others from acquiring that domain name. It’s a free search.

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Federal Trademark Search
You can easily check if someone already trademarked your chosen nonprofit name by using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System. This is important even if you don’t plan to form your nonprofit right away.

Once you confirm that no one else already trademarked your chosen name, you can apply for a trademark for your nonprofit.

Web and Social Media Search
A strong social media presence will play a key role in expanding your reach to potential donors as well as clients that will use your services. That makes it important to search the web and popular social media platforms for your desired name before registering it to ensure it’s available on all the platforms where you plan to promote your organization.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is required to file the Articles of Incorporation in Nevada. Either a commercial registered agent or a noncommercial registered agent with a physical address in Nevada may fill this role. A registered agent’s responsibilities include accepting and forwarding service of process documents for the corporation as well as serving as a point of contact for the entity.

Check the appropriate box for your chosen type of registered agent:

  • Commercial Registered Agent – This is a business authorized to act as a registered agent in the state of Nevada.
  • Noncommercial Registered Agent – This is an individual resident of Nevada who acts as your corporation’s registered agent for service of process.

Finally, list your chosen registered agent’s name and street address in this section and include their signature to confirm they consent to their appointment.

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Recommended: Using an affordable registered agent service offers many benefits. For more information on choosing a registered agent service, read our full guide.

Step 3: Name Your Initial Board of Directors

In article three, name your initial board of directors and provide a street address for each. To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, your nonprofit must have at least three directors. If you have more than three initial directors, use an attachment to provide the additional directors’ names and addresses.

When listing your nonprofit’s initial board of directors, follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t include any prefixes, such as “Mr.” or “Ms.”
  • If applicable, use titles of lineage.
  • If applicable, use designations like “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”

For a complete guide to forming your nonprofit’s board of directors, read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Nevada article.

Step 4: Disclose Your Nonprofit’s Jurisdiction of Incorporation

In article four, disclose the jurisdiction of your nonprofit’s incorporation — or the government acts or another instrument of authority by which the corporation is created. You also must check the box in this section to confirm your organization is in good standing within the jurisdiction of its formation.

Step 5: Confirm Any Authorized Shares

Confirm whether or not your nonprofit will issue any authorized shares by checking the appropriate box in article five. If your nonprofit will issue authorized shares, list the number of common shares and/or preferred shares with a par value for each and the number of shares with no par value.

Step 6: Indicate If Your Nonprofit Is a Benefit Corporation

If you want to organize your nonprofit as a benefit corporation (pursuant to NRS Chapter 78B), check the “yes” box in article six.

Step 7: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose

Next, describe your nonprofit’s purpose. Benefit corporations as well as nonprofit corporations seeking to qualify for 501(c)(3) status must complete this section.

Your nonprofit’s purpose must include one or more of the following characteristics for it to be eligible for 501(c)(3) status:

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

Step 8: Declare Members’ Property Rights

In articles eight and nine, indicate if the property rights, interest, and voting power of each member of your nonprofit corporation are “equal” or “unequal.”

If you select “unequal,” your Articles of Incorporation must set forth general rules applicable to all members by which the property rights, interests, and voting power of each member may be determined, but the corporation may admit new members who may vote and share in the property of the corporation with the old members in accordance with the general rules.

Step 9: Disclose Your Nonprofit’s Duration

Most incorporators form their nonprofit corporations without an end date in mind. If this applies to your organization, then leave this section blank. Otherwise, disclose your nonprofit’s specific end date in the space provided.

Step 10: List Your Nonprofit’s Membership Fee

The membership fee is the amount each member of your nonprofit corporation must pay upon admission. Disclose that amount in this section.

Note: Each member who signs your Articles of Incorporation must have already paid their membership fee.

Step 11: Provide Your Incorporator Information

Your Nevada Articles of Incorporation must include the name, address, and signature of at least one incorporator. If you have more than three incorporators, use an attachment to provide those additional names, addresses, and signatures.

Step 12: Provide Any Additional Attachments

In order to complete your formation documents and file for 501(c)(3) status, you may need to provide some additional statements in your Articles of Incorporation regarding your registered agent’s consent and the distribution of assets upon dissolution.

Confirm Your Registered Agent’s Consent

Your chosen registered agent must consent to their appointment. They can do this either by signing your Articles of Incorporation (in article two) or completing the Registered Agent Acceptance form included in the registration packet, which you must then submit along with your formation documents.

Outline the Distribution of Assets Upon Dissolution

To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, your nonprofit must describe how it will distribute its assets upon dissolution. Use an attachment to provide this information.

Distribution of assets upon dissolution must be for approved, tax-exempt purposes only. For more information about the requirements of dissolution and 501(c)(3) status, refer to the sixth section of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) suggested language for corporations and associations.

Step 13: Complete the Initial List and State Business License Application

Before submitting your Articles of Incorporation, you also must complete and attach an Initial List and State Business License Application. This form must include the following information:

  • Your nonprofit corporation’s name
  • Your corporation type (check the box for “nonprofit corporation”)
  • Details about your nonprofit to confirm if it’s exempt from the state business license fee:
    • If your nonprofit is formed under NRS Chapter 76 and exempt from the business license fee, check the corresponding box in the first section and, if applicable, include the entity’s license or certificate authority number.
    • If your nonprofit is formed under NRS Chapter 76 with a 501(c) nonprofit designation, check the box in the second section to indicate its exemption from the business license fee.
    • If your nonprofit is formed under NRS Chapter 81, check the appropriate box to indicate if your nonprofit is a “unit-owners association” or a “religious, charitable, fraternal, or other tax-exempt organization.”
    • If your nonprofit is formed under NRS Chapters 80 or 82, check the appropriate box to indicate if the organization intends to solicit charitable or tax-deductible contributions.
  • The name and address of your nonprofit corporation’s initial officers, including its president, secretary, treasurer, and director (or the equivalent of any of these roles)
  • The signature of an officer, manager, managing member, general partner, managing partner, trustee, member, owner of the business, partner, or other authorized signer for your nonprofit corporation along with that person’s title and the date

Step 14: File Formation Documents

There are three ways to file your Nevada Articles of Incorporation: online, by mail, or in person. Note that you must submit your Initial List and State Business License Application at the time of filing.

File the Nevada 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

Email: newfilings@sos.nv.gov

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a nonprofit organization in Nevada?

You can form a nonprofit in Nevada by filing the Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation with the Nevada Secretary of State online, by mail, or in person.

How much does it cost to start a nonprofit in Nevada?

Starting a nonprofit in Nevada costs $100, which includes the $50 fee to file your Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation plus the $50 fee to file your Initial List of Officers and Directors form.

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