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How To Start A Nonprofit: Part Two

Welcome back to our series on how to start a nonprofit! This week, we will discuss the next three steps to forming your organization. By the end of this post, you’ll know more about creating articles of incorporation, bylaws, and filing for federal tax-exempt status, so your nonprofit organization will begin with its best interests in mind. Without further ado, here are the next steps to nonprofit formation.

4. Create your articles of incorporation.

Your articles of incorporation form the legal entity of your nonprofit organization. Each state has different requirements for these articles of incorporation, and the IRS utilizes specific language that you must follow when you file said articles. The board of directors’ first job for your nonprofit will be reviewing and approving the incorporation articles before they are filed. Having a nonprofit lawyer to guide you may help you throughout this process, especially if you plan to file for federal tax-exempt status.

5. Create your bylaws.

The bylaws your nonprofit organization creates will act as an extension of the rules required by federal and state law. Not only are they needed if you are filing for federal tax-exempt status, but they will act as a guide for your nonprofit’s board of directors. These bylaws are a way to govern your nonprofit and protect those within it using a conflict of interest policy. Just make sure you check if your state has specific rules and regulations as to what this policy is required to include.

6. File for federal tax-exempt status.

After your nonprofit is formed, apply for tax-exempt status through the IRS. Tax-exempt status offers tax deductions for donors to your nonprofit, a discount on bulk postage, exemption from federal corporate income taxes, as well as allowing you to receive grant funding. There are many different types of organizations that are tax-exempt, the most well-known being charitable organizations or 501(c)(3) organizations. Keep in mind that there are restrictions on 501(c)(3) organizations, such as not being organized for the benefit of private interests and not participating in campaign activity for or against political candidates.

There are three more steps under your belt, with only three left to go! With articles of incorporation, bylaws, and understanding of federal tax-exempt status, there is a lot of information to both consider and remember when creating your nonprofit. Don’t let this deter you! With the guidance and advice of a good nonprofit attorney, you’ll be able to handle all of this with confidence. Keep an eye out for our final article on how to start a nonprofit, where we will discuss the last three steps of nonprofit formation.

Do you need an attorney to help navigate nonprofit law? Contact Epstein Law today! > >

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