What is a Wyoming Nonprofit?

A Wyoming nonprofit is a nonprofit corporation formed in Wyoming and governed by our state’s statutes. Nonprofit corporations in Wyoming, contrary to what the name suggests, do actually make a profit if they are successful. However, the nonprofit’s net profit does not go to any individual; that profit goes to fund a charity or cause.

Below, we’ll explore how nonprofits in Wyoming are formed and answer some of basic questions about taxation and nonprofit maintenance.

Wyoming Nonprofit Formation

Wyoming nonprofits are not something by which someone gets rich. Wyoming nonprofit corporations are not vehicles for those seeking to take advantages of tax cuts. Wyoming nonprofits are only for the passionate, those with deep convictions about making social change through a singular vision of a better future. Wyoming nonprofits serve as a cornerstone of our great state and help thousands of our citizens, each nonprofit helping in its own way. If you are one of those filled with the grace of the entrepreneurial spirit and are seeking to help make our state a better place to live, Best Wyoming Registered Agent would be honored to help you start your nonprofit here in Wyoming.

Wyoming Nonprofit Formation Costs and Fees

Nonprofit Service Cost
Wyoming Secretary of State Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation Filing Fee $25
Wyoming Nonprofit Annual Report $25
Best Wyoming Registered Agent Nonprofit Formation Fee $50
One year of Best Wyoming Registered Agent Service $50
We’ll form your Wyoming nonprofit for you and provide a year of registered agent service for $125 total!

Steps to Starting a Wyoming Nonprofit

  1. Complete Wyoming Nonprofit Corporation Articles of Incorporation
    The formation process is very similar to a for-profit corporation, even the name of the formation document is essentially the same.  The Wyoming Nonprofit Corporation Articles of Incorporation is the form you file with the Wyoming Secretary of State create a nonprofit in Wyoming. The form is filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State and can be filed online (recommended), in-person or through the mail. A Wyoming corporation’s Articles of Incorporation require the following information:

    • Corporation Name
      Wyoming requires corporation names to have corporate name endings like Inc or Incorporated. Also, you can’t have words like “bank” or “university” in the name unless the nonprofit is actually that type of institution.
    • Nonprofit Category
      Three choices appear here: religious, public benefit, and mutual benefit. Almost all Wyoming nonprofits are public benefit nonprofit corporations. Selecting either the religious or mutual benefit category could have major tax implications and restrictions (see Wyoming Nonprofit Categories below for more information)
    • Registered Name and Address
      A Wyoming registered agent can be an individual resident in Wyoming, or business authorized to do business in Wyoming. The registered agent must have a physical address in Wyoming. A P.O. Box or Drop Box is unacceptable. If the registered office includes a suite number, it must be included in the registered office address.
    • Mailing and Principal Addresses
      List both the address where the nonprofit receives mail, and the address where the business is physically located (if you hire us, you can use our address for both).  
    • Indicate Whether Nonprofit Will Have Members
      Most Wyoming nonprofits do not have members. Startup nonprofits typically start with directors who then elect themselves to the board of directors. Smaller nonprofit tend to shy away from the membership structure (members are not donors or volunteers) as it complicates the structure of the nonprofit and creates additional paperwork and formalities.
    • Provisions Regarding the Distribution of Assets Upon Dissolution
      This space is for nonprofits that will be seeking 501c3 tax-exempt status. There is standard language that is applied here is as follows: Upon the dissolution of the corporation, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all the legal liabilities of the corporation, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
    • The Type of Business the Nonprofit Corporation Will Be Conducting
      This is also a section that requires specific language if you’ll be seeking federal-tax exempt status. The language is as follows: Said corporation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article Third hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
    • Incorporator Names and Addresses
      List the names and addresses of the individuals who are filing the Wyoming Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. Incorporators are not the same as officers, directors, or members. An incorporator can be anyone who is authorized to file the incorporation documents. 
    • Incorporator Signature
      Signatures must be in ink or certified online.
  2. Attach Registered Agent Consent Form, if Filing In-person or by Mail
    If filing online, this is covered with a simple check box. The registered agent must sign a consent form for a corporation in Wyoming. The signature must be an original and in ink. Attach the consent form as an addendum to your articles of incorporation.
    If you’re incorporating on your own and decide to hire us as your Wyoming registered agent, we’ll send this signed form to you the day after you signup. 
  3. Submit Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation to the Wyoming Secretary of State
    You must submit your corporation’s formation documents online (recommended), by mail or in person. Online filings are processed instantly. The Wyoming Secretary of States takes 3 to 5 days to process articles and doesn’t have a expedite option.
  4. Complete Nonprofit Formalities
    After forming your nonprofit corporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State, you will need to hold your first nonprofits first meeting. The meeting doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but the overall goals should be to formally elect the board of directors (and officers, if applicable) and to adopt the nonprofit bylaws. If you’ve hired Best Wyoming Registered Agent to form your nonprofit, a set of nonprofit bylaws will be given to you for your nonprofit’s use. You can amend the bylaws, if needed, to fit with your nonprofit’s mission and goals.

Even though your nonprofit will not be engaging in for-profit business, the IRS still views nonprofits as business entities and you will need to apply for a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) before accepting any contributions.

Wyoming Nonprofit Categories

Public Benefit Nonprofit  This is the most common type of nonprofit in the US and in Wyoming. The category designates that your nonprofit’s existence will benefit the general public in some way by providing services or through charitable service.
Religious Nonprofit This does not designate the nonprofit as a church. In accordance with the IRS definition, a religious nonprofit organization is a nonprofit that is formed and operated exclusively for religious purposes and it must actively promote the advancement of its religion through its services or activities.
Mutual Benefit Nonprofit A mutual benefit nonprofit is one that benefits only a limited number of people. Though structured the same as a public benefit nonprofit, mutual benefit nonprofits focus their mission on serving well-defined beneficiaries. Chambers of commerce and unions are perfect examples of mutual benefit nonprofits.

Do Wyoming Nonprofits Register as Charities?

No, Wyoming does not require nonprofits that solicit donations to register as a charity. Any Wyoming nonprofit can solicit donations from the general public without registering with a government agency. However, for donors to write-off their tax donations, the nonprofit needs to first qualify as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

How Does a Nonprofit Get a Federal Tax-Exempt Designation?

See our Guide to Nonprofit Tax-Exempt Status to learn about the process of obtaining a 501c3 tax designation for your Wyoming nonprofit.

Hire the Best to Start Your Wyoming Nonprofit

When you hire us to start your Wyoming nonprofit, you’ll get the best Wyoming nonprofit service, which includes:

  • Wyoming Incorporation Expertise
    We work only with Wyoming filings, forming Wyoming nonprofits everyday.
  • Fast Filings
    We know the folks doing the filings at the Wyoming Secretary of State, and they know us. We also know the fastest ways to incorporate your nonprofit Wyoming company.
  • Online Accounts
    Every order comes with an online account where you can track all your Wyoming nonprofit’s documents and status. Any service of process, annual report, or any other documents we accept on your corporation’s behalf will be found online in your secure account.