Starting a Nonprofit in Connecticut is governed by the Connecticut Revised Nonstock Corporation Act.
The Secretary of the State has prescribed an application form for incorporating a nonprofit organization in Connecticut. (Download it here)
Relevant features of the Act
1) The organization may or may not have members (other than the directors) or may have one or more classes of members (voting members/nonvoting members etc.) purely at its discretion.
2. The organization must appoint a registered agent or a Business entity agent with a valid postal address of Connecticut (P.O Box addresses are not allowed). This Individual or Business entity signs in the form to accept the responsibilities of receiving all notices and demands that would be placed upon the nonprofit corporation from time to time.
3. The registered address or the address of primary place of business may or may not be situated in the State of Connecticut.
4. Minimum of 1 incorporator required for filing the organization’s incorporation documents with the Secretary of State.
The steps involved in starting a nonprofit organization are as follows –
1)Choosing a name – The name of the proposed nonprofit organization must contain any one of the following corporate designators -corporation,incorporated,company or the abbreviations corp, inc. or co. The name must also be leave no scope of confusion with any other organization registered with the secretary of states. There are several other factors to be kept in mind when choosing a name for the nonprofit organization. (See: Naming a nonprofit organization.)
2)Filling up the Application Form – The application form presecribed by the Secretary of state for starting a nonprofit organization in Connecticut can be downloaded here.
2) Documents required for Incorporation –
a) Articles of Incorporation –The articles of Incorporation lays down the basic framework for managing the activities of the nonprofit organization after its incorporation.
The mandatory clauses to be included in the Articles of Incorporation include –
a) The name of the proposed organization (as per naming guidelines provided above)
b) A statement that the corporation will work as a nonprofit and it will not issue share/stocks.
c) Membership provision releated clause.
d) the street address of the proposed registered office of the organization.
e) Name and address of incorporators (minimum 1 incorporator required)
f) The Initial purpose and the activities proposed to be carried on by the organization.
Additonally the articles should have the following clauses (though not mandatory as per law)
g) Provision limiting personal liability of the directors/members/officers of the organization.
h) Provisions for meeting the IRS requirements for Tax exemption
i) Provisions if the organization wants to claim any state tax exemption.
Organizational bylaws – You will also need to prepare the organizational bylaws with policies for managing and regulating the day to day to management of the nonprofit organization.
Click here to download a sample nonprofit organization bylaw.
Filing Fees – The filng fee applicable for incorporating a nonprofit organization in Connecticut is $50.
Additionally a corporation has to pay $30 to the Secretary of the State towards State Franchise Tax for filing of Incorporation.
The fee is payable through two separate checks payable to the ‘Secretary of the State’
Where to file: The completed application form along with the Articles of incorporation bylaws, annexures and the requisite filing fee cheque should be mailed at:
Secretary of The State of Connecticut
Commercial Recording Division
Connecticut Secretary of the State
P.O Box 150470, Hartford, CT 06115-0470
The birth of the organization
Upon completion of this incorporation exercise the nonprofit comes into formal legal existance. The secretary of state of Connecticut issues an incorporation certificate or returns a copy of the above documents with their acknowledging the incorporation.
Time required _ The entire process can be comepleted in less than 1 day , though a lot depends on your level of preparation.
A large number of people file these documents on their own. However if you wish to outsource this part, there are several same-day incorporation service providers that can do this in your behalf. (You can search for them on the net).
However, even if you decide to use the services of the incorporator, you should ideally draft your own articles and bylaws and have them ratified if needed by the service providers.
You should not let a third party draft them because this will eventually govern how your nonprofit functions on a day to day basis.
The bare Nonstock corporation Act of Connecticut can be assessed here.