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Nonprofit Law/transfer 501c3 across state lines


I am on the board of trustees of an elementary school with 501c3
> non-profit status (since 2003).  Due to a large number of factors, we
> did not open our doors for operation this past fall.  We incorporated
> in CT in 2003 and I now live in MA.  If we were to open a new school
> in MA can we transfer our non-profit status to MA?  Is there any new
> forms we have to fill out?  How difficult a process is this?  If it
> takes us a while to set up here in MA is our 501c3 status in jeopardy
> of expiring?

You would simply need to register the CT corporation as a "foreign", meaning "out-of-
state" corporation wishing to do business in MA and the registration is with the same office that incorporates (usually called the Secretary of State's Office, Corporation Division)

The Corporations Division for Foreign Corporation registration is at

Then, 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.

Also, after you register in MA, to request an updated exemption determination letter, an
officer of your organization should call the IRS Exempt Organizations unit in Cincinnati at 1-877-829-5500 between 8 am an 5 pm your local time and hit "2" about 10 seconds after they ask, in Spanish, whether you want a Spanish speaking agent (unless you want to speak to them in Spanish. Then they will give a recording, lasting about 30 concerning organizations that may have lost their exempt status.  Then hit "4" a couple of seconds after that.  Then you wait for an agent and explain the situation that you main office address has changed and you want an updated determination letter as to exemption. There is no charge for that.

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


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. 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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