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Typical Steps for Creating a Non-Profit Organization

1. Organizational Document. The Organizational Document of the non-profit organization has to be prepared and filed with the filing office of the state where the organization is intended to be created. The organizational document is in some states an Articles of Incorporation document containing specific required language depending on the type of non-profit (i.e., religious, public benefit, etc.).


2. Bylaws. The bylaws of the non-profit organization contain important provisions about how the non-profit organization will be governed, including provisions designed to protect the directors and officers from business liabilities. Drafting and adopting the bylaws of the non-profit organization is generally one of the central requirements that needs to be complied with rigorously in order to show that the non-profit organization is a "separate" entity, and therefore, the directors and officers should enjoy limited liability protection.


3. Employer Identification Number - EIN. After the Organizational Document is approved by the state, applying for a federal tax ID (EIN) is one of the first things which must generally be done. You cannot even open a bank account on behalf of the non-profit organization unless the non-profit organization has obtained the federal tax ID (EIN). This is also one of the formalities required to "separate" the non-profit organization from directors and officers in order to be afforded limited liability protection. Furthermore, an EIN is required in order to have a complete IRS 501 3 (c) form (see below).


4. IRS 501 3 (c) form.  The IRS 501 3 (c) form, a long 15 pages plus document, has to be prepared and filed with the IRS. The IRS 501 3 (c) form is the application for non-profit/ tax exempt and "tax deductible contributions" status. A copy of the Organizational Document and Bylaws, as well as evidence of the claimed non-profit activity of the non-profit organization is also generally required. There is also a filing fee of $300 or more depending on the actual or expected gross revenue of the non-profit organization. If the IRS 501 3 (c) application package is complete and without errors, the IRS will generally issue a verdict within 30-45 days.


5. State Tax Authority Filing. Tax non-profit / exempt status of the non-profit organization must also be granted by the tax authority of the state where the non-profit organization was formed and/or operates. Otherwise, the non-profit organization may be subjected to the regular state business income taxes. The good news is that once the IRS grants the non-profit/ tax exempt status to the non-profit organization, obtaining the corresponding equivalent status from the state is generally only a formality.
 

 

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To Create a S - Corporation:

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To Create a Non-Profit Corporation:

  • Complete our online incorporation questionnaire.

  • Add to the shopping cart one of the three incorporation packages and the respective state filing fee.

  • Add also the IRS 501 (c) 3 application preparation service. ($450).

 

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