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Forming A Non-Profit

Use this checklist as a starting guide to help you set up and file for legal recognition as a non-profit organization. This list does not replace legal advice and each state might have special requirements that need to be met. It is meant as a starting point and to get you ready for filing the official papers. Check off each item when completed.

 

Steps To Creating A Non-Profit:

 

Administrative Organization

  • Set goals for your non-profit.  Clearly defined goals will be used to guide non-profit activities and will serve as an outline for the next step.
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  • Write a mission statement.  A mission statement will be needed for some documents and applications and will also be used as an organizational guide.
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  • Form a Board of Directors. This is needed to apply for non-profit (501(c)(3) status
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  • Elect officers for the Board of Directors
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Professional Services forming nonprofit checklist
  • Secure legal representation (paid or pro-bono) to answer questions and help with legal filings.
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  • Decide on other professional services you may need (such as the help of an accountant or CPA)
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Documentation & Filing
  • Obtain necessary documents and applications. Check your state website for requirements.
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  • Review applications and break down the tasks involved.
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  • Reserve the name of your non-profit group on a local and state level and also as a .org and .com.
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  • Decide (with the Board) whether your group should be a corporation, charitable trust, or unincorporated association.  Consult legal representative as needed.
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  • Write Bylaws and/or Articles of Incorporation (requirements differ by state; your legal representative or application can tell you if this is needed).
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  • Collect all necessary documents for filing.
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  • Complete incorporation documents.
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  • File documents of incorporation.
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  • Write a business plan to guide group activities, including fundraising activities for your non-profi.t
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  • Set an organizational budget, scheduling expenditures.
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  • Apply for a Federal Identification Number, or EIN.
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  • Apply for Federal Tax Exempt Status (file 501(c)(3)).
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  • If required, file for state non-profit recognition.
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  • If required/applicable, file for state tax exemption.
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Additional Notes

(Use this space for notes and questions you want to research or ask a professional.)

 

 

 

 

Related articles:

Should Your PTO File for Nonprofit Status?

Find Seed Money for Nonprofits

Starting a New Nonprofit? 10 Things You Need to Know to make it a Success!

24 Ways to Prep Your Nonprofit Board to Fundraise

Nonprofit Incorporation

Steps to Starting a Successful Nonprofit Organization

From Fundraising to Social Enterprise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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