State Matrix



The following guidelines provide background information on the most common types of filings and the related exemptions in Ohio.

Fundraising in this State

how to know (and what to do) if you're fundraising in this state

In this state, organizations are generally required to register prior to soliciting for donations. However, the registration requirement has a religious exemption. Religious organizations must request an exemption; the religious organization exemption is not automatic. Organization can request an exemption by contacting the Charitable Law Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s office at this link.

This state has both a Charitable Trust Act (Ohio Rev. Code §§ 109.23 – 109.33), which applies to organizations holding charitable assets in the state, and a Charitable Organizations Act (Ohio Rev. Code Ch. 1716), which applies to organizations soliciting contributions from residents in the state. In this state, organizations can file to request exemption from registration if the organization (1) receives fewer than

$25,000 dollars annually (“excluding grants or awards from the government or an organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(a) and described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code”), and (2) does not use a professional solicitor. The statute does not specify  whether the $25,000 maximum is based on total revenue in Ohio or total revenue regardless of source.

if you're Fundraising in Multiple states, make sure you Understand the URS.

Organizations that are required to register do not have the option of registering through the Unified Registration Statement, which is a standardized charitable registration accepted in many states (“URS”). Rather, organizations in Ohio must use Ohio’s online charitable registration system, available at:

evaluate whether you'll need a Registered agent

Some states require organizations to appoint a “registered agent” in the state as part of the organization’s charitable registration. Although appointing a “registered agent” is not required with respect to charitable registration, any entity registered with the Ohio Secretary of State is required to continuously maintain a “statutory agent” whose address is located in Ohio. Ohio Rev. Code §§   1701.07; 1702.06; 1703.24; see below discussion on “Business Registration” for more details regarding when an out-of-state organization might register with the Secretary of State.

follow the rules about communicating with the public

Under Ohio Rev. Code § 1716.10, this state requires organizations  to  include specific statements whenever the organization is requesting donations (also called “charitable solicitation”). Below is sample language to use with charitable solicitations in this state:

This request is made on behalf of *ORG*, located in *PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS*. *ORG* is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).

Charitable REgistration statute

Charitable registration exemption statute

After you've registered–the Annual report requirement

Conducting Activities or Programs in this State


Depending on the type and volume of activities an organization has in this state, the organization may also need to register as an out-of-state business (sometimes called a “foreign business”) with the secretary of state or another state agency. These foreign business registration requirements are separate from the charitable registration. Not every out-of-state organization needs to register. An attorney can assist the organization in determining whether its connections with this state are significant enough to trigger the foreign business registration requirement. Examples of activities that might trigger this requirement include having employees physically located in the state, conducting programs in the state, and having an office in the state. For more information, see Ohio Rev. Code Ch. 1703.

Business registration statute

Get Acquainted with State and Local Tax Exemptions

State and local taxes

Generally, nonprofit corporations are not subject to the Ohio Commercial Activity Tax. However, a nonprofit corporation may have to pay Ohio sales and use taxes on sales and purchases, except in certain circumstances, and a nonprofit corporation that makes  sales may have to obtain a vendor’s license in Ohio. An accountant or attorney can provide specific guidance on matters related to state and local taxation and exemptions.

Corporate Income Tax Statute

(not applicable)


what you need to know about sales tax

What This State Says about Nonprofits



state nonprofit corporation law

Corporate governance

For Religious Nonprofits

Understanding Religious Liberty in this State

Case Study

Religious Liberty Protections

Other Relevant State Laws and regulations

KEy employment Laws and regulations


useful links

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Legal disclaimer

This resource contains general educational information related to legal concepts, but this information does not constitute legal advice. Anyone seeking legal advice is strongly encouraged to consult with a licensed attorney regarding any of the matters discussed herein. Although licensed attorneys work with Napa Legal, Napa Legal is not a law firm and does not undertake legal representation on behalf of any clients. Further, no licensed attorney working with or on behalf of Napa Legal agrees to undertake legal representation on behalf of any client unless the terms of such representation are set forth in a separate, written representation agreement.