How to File Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation in Nebraska

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Nebraska is easy — and the first task is filing your Articles of Incorporation. This guide will walk you through the 11 steps required to file the Articles of Incorporation to officially start a nonprofit in Nebraska.

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Getting Started

To start a domestic nonprofit corporation in Nebraska, you must file the Articles of Incorporation. Because the state doesn’t offer a fillable form, you must draft your own document based on the Nebraska nonprofit corporation statutes. This guide covers each step you must take to draft your formation document successfully and get on the right track to forming a Nebraska nonprofit.

Step 1: List Your Nonprofit’s Name

The first step in drafting your Nebraska 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 Nebraska:

  • Your nonprofit’s name must be distinguishable from any other name on record within the state of Nebraska, including any reserved names.
  • Your nonprofit’s name can’t lead the public to believe the organization exists for a purpose other than what’s listed in its Articles of Incorporation.

Recommended: For a step-by-step guide to naming your nonprofit corporation in Nebraska, read our guide on How to Name a Nonprofit in Nebraska.

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, or use our 501(c)(3) Lookup Table.

Nebraska Corporate & Business Search
To operate in Nebraska, a nonprofit corporation must have a unique name. You can easily check if your chosen name is available by performing a search using the Nebraska Corporate & Business 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.

Find a Domain Now

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: State Your Corporation Type

Include one of the following statements in article two of your formation document:

  • This corporation is a public benefit corporation.
  • This corporation is a mutual benefit corporation.
  • This corporation is a religious corporation.

Step 3: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent and registered office are required to file the Articles of Incorporation in Nebraska. Either an individual or a business with a physical address in Nebraska may fill the role of your registered agent. 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.

Requirements for this section include:

  • The name of your chosen registered agent
  • The street address of your registered office (You may provide a P.O. Box in addition to the street address.)

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

Step 4: List Your Incorporator Information

An incorporator is any person who participates in the completion and submission of the Articles of Incorporation. List the name and address of each incorporator in this section.

Step 5: Confirm Any Members

Confirm whether or not your nonprofit will have members by including one of the following statements:

  • This corporation will have members. 
  • This corporation won’t have members.

Step 6: Outline the Distribution of Assets Upon Dissolution

Describe how your nonprofit corporation’s assets will be distributed upon its dissolution.

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 7: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose

In this section, describe your nonprofit’s purpose. That purpose listed must include one or more of the following characteristics for your nonprofit 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: Name Your Initial Board of Directors

Name your initial board of directors as well as a street address for each. To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, you must have at least three directors.

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

  • 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 Nebraska article.

Step 9: Provide Any Additional Provisions

Provide any provisions consistent with the law in this section regarding:

  • The management of the corporation;
  • Details related to defining, limiting, and regulating the powers of the corporation, its board of directors, and its members (if applicable); and
  • The characteristics, qualifications, rights, limitations, and obligations that apply to each class of members (if applicable).

Step 10: Provide Incorporator and Director Signatures

Each of your nonprofit’s incorporators and initial directors must sign the Articles of Incorporation before you file this formation document.

Step 11: File Formation Documents

There are two ways to file your Nebraska Articles of Incorporation: online via PDF upload or by mail. Hard copy filings must be filed in duplicate.

File the Nebraska Articles of Incorporation

OPTION 1: Upload a PDF Online With Nebraska’s Corporate Document eDelivery Portal

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Read Instructions

Fee: $25 online or $30 by mail

Mailing Address:
Robert B. Evnen, Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509-4608

Upload Instructions: Select "forming a new entity/qualifying a foreign entity," then select "Domestic Non-Profit Corporation."

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a nonprofit organization in Nebraska?

You can form a nonprofit in Nebraska by drafting and submitting your Articles of Incorporation to the Nebraska Secretary of State.

How do I find nonprofits in Nebraska?

Use our handy Nebraska 501(c)(3) Lookup Table to find nonprofits in Nebraska. You can use this tool to see if your preferred nonprofit name is in use or not.

Nebraska Nonprofit Quick Links

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