Nonprofit Law/501c3 and DBA


Thanks for your time very much, Atty Mechanic.

We are a small 501c3 nonprofit horse rescue. We wish to use a DBA to make our name more fitting to what we do.

If we file a DBA, how do we notify the IRS that we're using that DBA?
What steps do we take so that other things like Guidestar understand that both names are the same rescue?

I don't know if your organization has gross receipts above $50,000 per year that would require you to file Form 990 with the IRS, but, if you do, the dba would go near the top after "Doing business as"

Otherwise, you can mail evidence of the dba. The IRS exemption determination letters are standard. You can see in a sample determination letter at: on page
three under the heading "Notify Us On These Matters"

--Start of Excerpt ---
If you change your name, address, purposes, operations or sources
of financial support, please inform our TE/GE Customer Account
Services Office at the following address: Internal Revenue Service,
P.O. Box 2508, Cincinnati, Ohio 45201. If you amend your
organizational document or by-laws, or dissolve your organization,
provide the Customer Account Services Office with a copy of the
amended documents. Please use your employer identification number
on all returns you file and in all correspondence with the Internal
Revenue Service.
--- End of Excerpt ---

As for Guidestar or or you would need to contact them directly to find out their own procedures.

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. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.  

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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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