The Unified Registration Statement or URS Form is a method used to file charitable solicitation registrations with state regulators. The URS Form came about after extensive discussion by state regulators including the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) and National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) which ultimately culminated in a unified form that it was hoped would be adopted or accepted by most states. While this was a noble goal that would have simplified the charitable solicitation process for the hundreds of thousands of nonprofits that file charitable solicitation forms each year, today the URS Form is not accepted by many states.
Since the release of the Unified Registration Statement in March 1997, there have been 14 revisions to the URS Form. The most recent revision was in May 2010 with the release of the URS Form 4.01. Most of these revisions centered around states addition additional supplemental forms that they required for nonprofits that file the URS Form. At this point almost every state that accepts the Unified Registration Statement will also require additional supplemental forms which in large part defeats the purpose of the Unified Registration Statement.
In addition, less and less states accept the form each year. When the for was releases in 1997, many states committed to using it or transitioning to it over time. For a while there were many states that would allow it. Today, the number decreases each year as some states transition to filing online and other states have decided to focus instead on their form and the specific questions of interest to their state regulators. There are also some states which say they accept it, such as Illinois, which in practice end up rejecting a large percentage of applications made using the URS form.
With states preferring their own forms, less states accepting the Unified Registration Statement, and the complexity of the supplemental state forms in addition to the URS form, it is now considerably easier just to file the state forms which the state prefer anyway. Thus there are less and less URS filers each year. The URS form is still used as the main for in Louisiana and is sometimes needed for the initial filing in Kentucky, but generally does not serve much purpose any more even though over 20 states say that they still accept it.
If you are overwhelmed with the charitable solicitation registration process, Completely Compliant can help. Completely Compliant is the expert in charity state registration and we make the process easy for you. Contact us today and find out how we can assist you with your nonprofit’s state filings.