Does a charity have to register under state charitable solicitation registration laws to solicit a corporation or a private foundation if it is not soliciting the general public?
Generally, the 39 states and the District of Columbia that have charitable solicitation registration statutes requiring registration prior to soliciting residents within their jurisdictions consider both individuals and entities as residents, including foundations and corporations (although usually not governmental entities). Therefore, if you intend to solicit a foundation or a corporation in a state with a registration statute, you are likely to trigger a pre-registration requirement. Since foundations and corporations are presumably more sophisticated about these matters than members of the general public, the registration statutes do not really protect them and very few foundations or corporations look to see if an organization is actually registered. Many charities, either through ignorance or a conscious business decision, don’t bother to register in the state of a foundation or corporation if that is the only solicitation they are doing in the state, but a lawyer can’t advise that it is not required if it technically is required. As usual, it requires a state-by-state analysis to know what is required, but this is the general rule.
For more on charitable solicitation registration, you can listen at your convenience to our recent webinar available in our Bookstore.