Closing Permanently

Law and Ethics: An Ounce of Prevention

American Alliance of Museums

Museum magazine addresses ethical and legal considerations for the closure of a university museum and its collection to be sold. The article addresses MOUs, legal impediments due to donor restrictions, the role of a separately incorporated friends group, and the vulnerability of museums run by non-museum parent organizations.

Facts about Terminating or Merging Your Exempt Organization

Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a Fact Sheet about Terminating or Merging Your Exempt Organization (PDF, 4 pages) that provides important information about what should be reported to the IRS when a tax-exempt organization shuts down, transfers assets, or merges with another tax-exempt organization.

Termination of an Exempt Organization

Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service provides information on how to file an annual report or notice after an organization’s termination and required disclosure information.

Easements to Protect Historic Properties: A Useful Historic Preservation Tool with Potential Tax Benefits

National Park Service

The National Park Service explains historic preservation easements (PDF). A nonprofit may consider this as a method for protecting its historically significant structures or land areas if it dissolves as a corporation. State Historic Preservation Offices may be able to offer assistance with such an arrangement.

Closing Your Business: What You Need to Do


Nolo observes that closing a business legally and safely requires more steps than starting one. The article includes general information about state requirements for dissolving a corporation and has a link to the secretary of state’s website for each state. It also has a state-by-state summary of laws related to final paychecks for employees. As an aid in keeping the process organized, it provides a checklist of 20 things to do after making the decision to close. Note that the article is written to assist for-profit corporations; laws concerning the distribution of a nonprofit’s assets are different, requiring distribution to other nonprofits.

Getting Out

Small Business Administration

Small Business Administration shares technical and legal resources for closing a business, transferring ownership, liquidating assets or filing for bankruptcy.

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