BCO-10 Instructions

By Mark Wollacott

If you are going to start a nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania, chances are you are going to come across the BCO-10 form. The BCO-10 is a registration form for nonprofit and charitable organizations that should be filed with the Pennsylvania State Department within 30 days of your organization receiving total contributions of more than $25,000. The BCO-10 is one of many forms needed, along with a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS, bylaws, articles of incorporation and IRS form 990.

Read the opening letter and instructions carefully. In the sample BCO-10 provided in the Resources section, you will find instructions for the BCO-10 starting from page 6 and running through to page 9.

Decide if your organization or charity should be exempt. Find your type of organization in the left column of page 9 and then look at the criteria for exemption on the right. If you meet these criteria, you can file an Institution of Purely Public Charity Registration Statement and IRS Form 990. If you cannot find your type of organization in the left column or do not meet the criteria, you will have to complete the BCO-10.

Calculate how much you expect to receive in total contributions over the whole year from all sources. This will determine the registration fee, which runs from $15 for contributions of $25,000 or less to $250 for those receiving more than $500,001.

Start filling in the information about your organization. The form begins with basic questions regarding the organization's name, its operating address and other names. Questions 6 to 8 only need to be filled in when the BCO-10 is completed for the first time. Renewals can skip this part. The form requires simple information regarding your organization's IRS status and personnel.

Get your fellow signatories to check the information you have filled in and then ask them to sign the form. The BCO-10 requires the chief fiscal officer and another authorized officer to sign and print their names.

Send the completed form along with the other required forms to:

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Department of State

Bureau of Charitable Organizations

207 North Office Building

Harrisburg, PA 17120

About the Author

Mark Wollacott began writing professionally in 2009. He has freelanced for "Kansai Time Out" and "Kansai Scene" magazines and he has also worked for Travelocity and the Austin Post, writing about travel, business and technology. Wollacott has a Bachelor of Arts in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Wales.

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