If your organization is doing business in Massachusetts, is Registered in Massachusetts with the Secretary of State (as a corporation) or is otherwise a Massachusetts-based entity, AND you HAVE COMPLETED the first fiscal year of operations , you must send in the following to a) facilitate the determination that your organization is a charity subject to registration and b) register your organization to legally conduct business:
- A copy of the organization's charter, articles of organization*, agreement of association, instrument of trust, or written statement of purpose, whichever is applicable;
- A list of the current officers/directors and their addresses;
- A copy of the organization's by-laws; and
- A copy of the IRS letter** designating the organization's 501(c)(3) status, if the organization has received one.
- Initial registration fee of $100, payable to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts".
- A Form PC: Since the organization's first fiscal year-end has already passed, it must report that year's financial data to account for any activity (or lack of activity) from the date of its creation*** and submit a check fee amount based on Gross Support and Revenue. Please read section below on “Form PC”
Please note: The information a charity provides to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Corporations Division (Corporation's Division) or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not come to the AGO; the three are completely separate agencies with separate purposes and filing requirements. Although you may be registered as a nonprofit corporation with the Secretary of the Commonwealth and file annual reports, your status as a public charity requires separate registration and filing with the AGO. Any documents submitted to the Corporations Division or the IRS, such as the Annual Report, Articles of Organization or IRS Form 990, will not reach the AGO.
*"Articles of organization" are not the same as by-laws; the two are separate documents entirely. Also note that a "statement of purpose" is an official document explaining in detail the organization's goals and practices.
**If the organization has applied for 501(c)(3) status but not yet received it, it is not necessary to send a copy of the IRS Form 1023. It is best to note the application in a cover letter and submit a copy of the determination letter when it is received. The IRS determination letter is not the same as the state sales tax exemption, DOR Form ST-2. We do not require a copy of the ST-2.
*** If the organization has been in existence for several years, back filings of up to four years are required.
The Form PC
Since the organization's first fiscal year-end has already passed, it must report that year's financial data on a Form PC. The Short Form PC may not be used because it is not designed to convey financial information. The Form PC is required even if the organization had limited or no financial activity in its first year. If the organization has been in existence for several years, back filings of up to four years are required. Please be sure to consult the Instructions for the Form PC before attempting to complete it. NOTE: Fiscal Year End must match the month stated in the Articles of Organization.
The filing fee for the "Form PC" is a sliding scale based on the organization's gross support and revenue for that fiscal year. Please consult the Instructions for the Form PC for details. Please note that the $100 registration fee is separate from, and in addition to, and filing fees submitted along with the Form PC
The AGO receives dozens of new registrations each week in addition to hundreds of Forms PC for groups already registered with the AGO. Consequently, it may take six to eight weeks to process your initial registration. Please be patient with us, as we register groups in the order we receive their paperwork.
If you have questions not answered here, or would like to check on the status of your organization, you can reach the AGO at (617) 727-2200, ext. 2101.
Our mailing address is:
Office of the Attorney General
Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108