How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in Idaho?

Wondering how to start a nonprofit organization in Idaho? First, you need to establish your organization and then apply for federal and state tax-exempt status.3 min read

How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in Idaho

  1. Name your nonprofit organization

    Your name establishes your image and is important for formal state incorporation. Your organization's legal name must not conflict with other organizations registered within the state. The name must be available and meet state requirements. One of these requirements is that a business corporation must include a word that designates its structure, such as “incorporated,” “corporation,” “limited,” “company,” or any appropriate abbreviation of such words.

    If using the word “company,” or its abbreviation, you may not precede the word with “and” or a symbol representing “and.” If the company is a professional entity, the name may contain words such as “professional association,” “professional corporation,” or other similar designations. To make sure your chosen name has no conflicts, perform a Business Entity Search through the Idaho Secretary of State.


  2. Appoint initial directors, officers, and incorporators

    Directors are responsible for governing your nonprofit's operations. They are key stakeholders within the organization's purpose and are committed to its success. The IRS requires at least three unrelated individuals to be directors.

    In Idaho, state regulations require a minimum of three directors for a nonprofit organization or just one for a religious corporation. A director must be an individual and a member of a cooperative corporation. There is no residency requirement. Director terms are by default one year but may be extended up to five years maximum. The quorum rules by majority. A committee must have at least two directors.

    Idaho State also requires the board to appoint officers, such as a president, secretary, and treasurer. Except for president and secretary, and except in religious corporations, two or more offices may be held by the same individual.

    In addition to the director and officer requirements, at least one incorporator is required to sign the formal Articles of Incorporation.


  3. Appoint a registered agent

    This agent will receive legal notices on behalf of the nonprofit organization. In Idaho, a registered agent can be an individual resident or a registered business entity with a physical address and regular business house.