The Unified Registration Statement is No Longer Useful

Because states frequently change their registration rules, the usefulness of the Unified Registration Statement (URS) for state charitable solicitation registration is at an end.

The URS is not kept current and up-to-date. It contains dozens of errors of fact that result in rejected registration applications [for organizations that don't know any better on a regular basis].

The last update to the URS was the release of v. 4.02 in March 2014. At that time only changes to Wisconsin procedures were incorporated, and Wisconsin has since added more changes to their requirements that are not included.

Prior to the Wisconsin changes the previous update was in May 2010, with v. 4.01, and when released it already contained some 20 errors.

Despite what some sources may say, many states no longer accept the URS. Maine, Mississippi and South Carolina have dropped it entirely, and its use is actively discouraged by North Carolina and Massachusetts. Only 18 states use it. 30 states, including some of those 18, require their own state form in addition. The URS contains an appendix of state forms, most of which are years out of date and the links to the live forms (for download) are broken.

Only nine states accept the URS [in its current form] for renewals or annual reports and 35 require their own state forms.

The URS is not only no longer useful, it is increasingly obsolete.

For do-it-yourself state registrations, nonprofits are better served by an online service that provides up-to-date forms and current instructions to meet state registration requirements inexpensively:

Marc Lee
November 7, 2015

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