Secretary of State Information
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ARTS-NONPROFIT (REV 09/2009)
Organization of California Nonprofit, Nonstock Corporations
California nonprofit, nonstock corporations organized for religious, charitable, social, educational, recreational or
similar purposes are formed pursuant to the Nonprofit Corporation Law, commencing with California
Corporations Code section 5000. The three primary types of nonprofit corporations, namely, religious, public
benefit and mutual benefit, are described below.
A. A corporation organized to operate a church or to be otherwise structured for primarily or exclusively
religious purposes is a nonprofit Religious corporation.
B. A corporation organized primarily or exclusively for charitable purposes and which plans to obtain state tax
exempt status under California Revenue and Taxation Code section 23701(d) and/or federal tax exempt
status under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) or organized to act as a civic league or a social
welfare organization and which plans to obtain state tax exempt status under California Revenue and
Taxation Code section 23701(f) and/or federal tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code section
501(c)(4) is a nonprofit Public Benefit corporation.
C. A corporation organized for other than religious, charitable, civic league or social welfare purposes and
planning to obtain tax exempt status under provisions other than California Revenue and Taxation Code
sections 23701(d) and 23701(f), Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4), or not planning to be tax exempt
at all, is a nonprofit Mutual Benefit corporation.
The attached samples have been drafted to meet minimum statutory requirements. The samples may be used
as a guide in preparing documents to be filed with the Secretary of State. You must determine the type of
nonprofit corporation to be formed and follow the applicable sample. It is suggested that you seek private
counsel for advice regarding the proposed corporation’s specific needs, which may requir