If your organization is based in another state and you have passed your initial fiscal year end date of doing business in Massachusetts, you must send in the following to register your organization to legally conduct business:
1) A copy of the organization's charter, articles of organization*, agreement of association, instrument of trust, or written statement of purpose, whichever is applicable;
2) A list of the current officers/directors and their addresses;
3)A copy of the organization's by-laws;
4) A copy of the IRS letter** designating the organization's 501(c)(3) status, if the organization has received one;
5) Initial registration fee of $100, payable to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts"; and
6) 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 fee based on Gross Support and Revenue. Please read section below on “Form PC”.
*"Articles of organization" are the document used to create an organization. They are not the same as by-laws; the two are separate documents.
**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 not yet finished its first fiscal year, and it does not intend to solicit funds, it may send the five required items in without any additional filings. It will be assigned an AG number and will be expected to file its "Form PC" four and one-half months after its fiscal year end.
The information a charity provides to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Corporations Division (Corporations 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 not-for-profit 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.
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 date 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.
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