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Nonprofit Education

Starting a Nonprofit

Starting a nonprofit

Starting a nonprofit can be very rewarding, but there are a lot of details that go into it. You may benefit from hiring a professional company to ensure it is done correctly.

Should you make a nonprofit?

Sometimes it is more helpful to volunteer at an existing organization than to create a new one. That may sound discouraging, but volunteers are also appreciated, and your skills and knowledge can go towards improving one that is already on its feet.

Creating a nonprofit

If you’ve decided to move forward in creating a nonprofit, here are some of the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Choose a name. Your organization’s name must not be too similar to another’s, though some states will let you contact them and request to use a similar name.
  2. Appoint a Board of Directors. Less than half of these directors may be related or compensated, in order to prevent a conflict of interest when deciding pay, voting for Board members, and so on.
  3. You’ll need to file articles of incorporation (code) and have a copy of your company’s bylaws on hand.
  4. Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). This may be done online and should take less than an hour. Be sure to select receive letter online to get your EIN as soon as possible. Please note that having an EIN does not mean you are incorporated.
  5. Apply for tax-exemption. This means becoming recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS and filing any state tax and charity paperwork. Each state is different in what they require.

More in-depth guides may be found via CalNonprofits and the Digital Media Law Project.

For more information on starting a nonprofit organization, please visit our web page or Contact Us at 407-857-9002.

Article submitted by Shannen Constable, BizCentral USA service consultant.