Give your good cause a great start

Learn how to start a nonprofit so you can get 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, be eligible for grants, and much more. Starts at $99 + filing fees.

Kickstart your nonprofit in minutes.

Start my nonprofit

We've helped over 100,000 nonprofits get started.

How to start a nonprofit

  1. Pick a name for your nonprofit corporation, answer a few questions, and then we’ll help make it official.
  2. Let us file your Form 1023-EZ with the IRS to see if you can be tax exempt.
  3. If your nonprofit has a charitable purpose, register it with the attorney general or another agency (if needed).

nonprofit documents

Frequently asked questions

  1. Ones that benefit the general public, such as charitable, educational, literary, religious, and scientific organizations.
  2. Civic leagues, homeowner's associations, and groups endorsing a political candidate are common types of nonprofits that don't qualify for 501(c)(3) status.
  3. After filing your nonprofit paperwork, we can help you file a 1023-EZ with the IRS to see if you qualify for tax-exempt status. (Most of our customers file this streamlined version of the longer Form 1023 application.) Just remember it needs to be filed within 27 months—starting from the last day of the month in which you formed. (So if you formed October 1, 2021, you have until January 31, 2024 to submit your application.)
  4. Both have 501(c)(3) status, but how they get funding differs. Public charities typically get funding through the general public and government. Private foundations typically get funding from a few individuals, a family, or a corporation.
  5. No, but there are many advantages. Incorporating helps protect your personal assets, build credibility with potential donors, and unlock funding reserved for nonprofits with an official corporate structure.

Why start a nonprofit?

Give Back

Make a difference in the community while also protecting your personal assets.

Access Grants

Open yourself up to public and private grants reserved just for nonprofits.

Apply for 501(c)(3) status

Get tax-exempt status and attract more donors. Contributions to 501(c)(3) nonprofits are tax deductible.

Pick the package that fits your needs


$99 + state filing fees

  • Preliminary name clearance
  • Articles of incorporation filing with your state
  • Peace of Mind Review™ for missing info, discrepancies, and more


$239 + state filing fees

Everything from Economy plus:
  • Deluxe founder’s kit with your formation documents printed on archival paper, plus a personalized binder and notebook
  • Corporate minutes forms to record formal meetings and actions


Express Gold

$359 + state filing fees

Everything from Standard plus:
  • Faster filing of your articles of incorporation with the state
  • 14-day trial of attorney advice Renews automatically at $49/mo. Cancel anytime.*

Why choose us

4 million+


Helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses over 4 million times.



Providing access to our independent network of attorneys over 650,000 times.



Helping over 100,000 nonprofits get off the ground and make a difference.

Meet our customers

I am absolutely impressed with LegalZoom's ability to complete my nonprofit business and 501(c)(3) in such a short period of time. Simply impressed.

Johnnie S.

Kidz Discovery Ranch
The process was incredibly simple and easy, and the paperwork came very fast. Very happy with this experience, and now we are on our way to building something great for the community!

Melissa L.

Tap Into Community, Inc.
I trust LegalZoom and it's easy to use. I've used LegalZoom extensively over the years, and only have positive feedback. Don't overthink it, just get started doing it.

Jason M.

The Goruck Foundation


Ask an attorney

Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side.

Get legal help

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Call an agent at (866) 738-1730 (866) 738-1730

Mon-Fri: 5 a.m.-7 p.m. PT
Weekends: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. PT

Ready to form your nonprofit?