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Nonprofit Law/Can I set up a DBA in California for a non-profit that is incorporated in New Jersey?


Thanks for your time.  I am just wondering, if I have a non-profit 501c3 arts organization (recognized as such on the federal level) and this entity is incorporated in the state of NJ as a non-profit charity, is it necessary to MOVE and therefore file for corporation status here in California or can we simply set up a DBA in California?  I hope that makes sense and I appreciate your help!

It is not necessary to re-incorporate (incorporate in California). You normally would advise the IRS of your change of address in your annual filing. Links to Form 990/990-EZ/990-N and instructions as to who must file
are at,,id=152728,00.html and, as
you would be making that filing soon, and the option is on those
forms to put in your new address, I suggest that you do that.

Note that, as you would be doing business (whether nonprofit or not) you would need to register your corporation with the California Secretary of State's Office.
After you are registered, if you want to use a different name, you may then file a DBA in California.

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) discusses the required
annual filings in their Publication "Exempt Organizations" which is
available at

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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