How to Dissolve a 501(c)(3) in Pennsylvania

by Christopher Carter; Updated September 26, 2017

A Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) exists as a nonprofit corporation formed to fulfill a charitable, educational, scientific or religious purpose. The profits of a 501(c)(3) are used to fulfill the organization’s stated purpose. The organization does not have owners, and founders and board members do not receive profits from the Pennsylvania 501(c)(3). A Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) can dissolve by filing the appropriate form with the Pennsylvania Department of State. In addition, a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation must satisfy all claims and obligations against the organization as a condition of dissolution.

Step 1

Propose dissolution of the Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) to the organization’s board of directors. The board of directors must agree unanimously to dissolve the organization. The organization may voluntarily dissolve if an event in the organization’s bylaws occurs. Draft a written resolution to dissolve the business. The resolution must contain the voting record, name and address of each board member.

Step 2

Obtain a tax clearance from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. A tax clearance can be obtained when the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue determines that the organization does not owe any money to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Acquire a tax clearance from the Bureau of Employment Security of the Department of Labor and Industry. This indicates the organization does not owe any money or taxes to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Step 3

Notify creditors regarding the Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation’s impending dissolution. Mail a notice to each of the organization’s creditors. Indicate where creditors can send claims against the business. Communicate the information that creditors must include in written claims made against the organization. Provide creditors with a due date to submit claims against the organization.

Step 4

Satisfy creditor obligations. Make satisfactory arrangements to pay all creditor claims. Liquidate the Pennsylvania organization’s assets. This allows the organization to raise money to pay off creditor claims.

Step 5

File articles of dissolution with the Pennsylvania Department of State. Print the articles of dissolution from the Pennsylvania Department of State website. Provide the name and address of the organization, and indicate that the dissolution paperwork applies to a nonprofit corporation as opposed to a for-profit corporation. Indicate the name and county of the person or business that accepts legal documents on behalf of the Pennsylvania 501(c)(3). Communicate the date when the organization became incorporated and indicate that all organizational liabilities have been resolved. State the name and address of each director, and the name and address of each officer. Include the signature of an authorized representative. As of 2011, it costs $70 for a 501(c)(3) to file articles of dissolution with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Step 6

Publish a notice of dissolution. The notice must be published in two general newspapers that operate in the same county as the Pennsylvania 501(c)(3). The cost to publish a notice of dissolution will vary based on the advertising costs charged by each newspaper. Publish the notice one time in both newspapers. Maintain proof of publication along with the organization’s other important business documents.

Step 7

Distribute the organization’s remaining assets. A 501(c)(3) in Pennsylvania must distribute any remaining organizational assets to another nonprofit organization. Assets from the organization cannot be distributed to directors, officers, founders or employees.

About the Author

Christopher Carter loves writing business, health and sports articles. He enjoys finding ways to communicate important information in a meaningful way to others. Carter earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Eastern Illinois University.

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