So, you’re wondering how to start a 501c3 nonprofit organization? Starting a 501c3 is a process. Our lifeblood is helping our clients navigate the process to a speedy and successful conclusion. The following are the steps required. For starters, it is important that you have taken the time to consider what type of work your organization will be doing and making sure that a 501c3 is the right type of entity for your vision. Don’t worry. We can help you decide that. If you are not sure, just contact us, and we can help.
We get your Nonprofit incorporated – First comes the filing of your Articles of Incorporation (may be called something different in your state) with your state and paying the state filing fee. Once you fill out and return your Corporation Questionnaire to us, we prepare your Articles, Bylaws, and 4 other necessary legal corporate documents for you to have a secure legal foundation for your nonprofit, all within 5 working days. Guaranteed or we pay you $200. We email them to you in PDF format with precise instructions for mailing to your state so you complete this step with perfection. We strongly urge you to let us prepare your Articles of Incorporation so they are done right for the IRS. Otherwise, you could be looking at additional costs. We can’t be responsible for the work of others or if you try to do it yourself.
Five More Very Important Corporate Documents you must have – These documents are extremely important. You will need all of these documents when you incorporate your new nonprofit organization.
1. We prepare your Bylaws.
This is probably the most important corporate document we prepare for you. This is a legal document, and as you’ve probably heard, a misplaced comma in a legal document can have serious legal consequences. Over our 39+ years in existence, we have seen a lot of 501c3 organization Bylaws not done by a lawyer, and we could foresee many problems. (We cannot review your Bylaws, and we cannot be responsible for the work of others.) If you want to use your Bylaws, that is fine. But be sure and use our Adoption and Certification documents (please see 2. and 3. below).
But that’s not all. Something else that often gets overlooked are two more very important documents that accompany the Bylaws.
2. Adoption of the Bylaws by the board of directors or trustees is a very important document proving that the Bylaws were adopted. You will need this in the unlikely event that you have a problem with a director (not being able to get him out of your organization, for example). If that should happen, you will be glad you have this document. Also, to open a bank account at some banks, you will need this document.
3. Certificate of Secretary certifying that the Bylaws were adopted by the board. Without this document, there could be some doubt that the Bylaws were adopted by your board. You will need this in the unlikely event that you have a problem with a director (not being able to get him out of your organization, for example). If that should happen, you will be glad you have this document. Also, to open a bank account at some banks, you will need this document.
That’s not the end of the corporate documents. Another document we prepare for you is the
4. Appointment of Initial Directors. Directors do not magically appear. They must be appointed. If your nonprofit is important enough for you to begin, it is important enough to do right. You’ll be glad you did.
One final document we prepare for you is the:
5 . IRS Conflict of Interest Policy. Without this, you open yourself up to conflicts of interest that are not permitted by the IRS.
We prepare your Articles of Incorporation and these five very important corporate documents for you within 5-business days from when we receive your completed Corporation Questionnaire back from you. Or we pay you $200. That’s our guarantee. You won’t be calling us on the phone asking where your documents are and when you can expect to get them. The documents come to you by email in PDF format for speed and convenience.
We file for your IRS 501c3 Tax-Exempt Status – Next we file your 501c3 application with the IRS, and you pay the IRS filing fee. Sounds easy enough, right? Maybe you have thought about doing it yourself? But that’s fraught with minefields, potholes, stumbling blocks and a lot more. We often compare it to getting your automatic transmission repaired. There’s a lot to it, and the transmission repair person needs to be a specialist, with many years of experience. When we prepare your IRS application, we want it to sail through the IRS without taking forever. And without the IRS sending 15 pages of questions like what happened to this person. We also don’t want you to have problems down the road, years later, when something in your application comes back to haunt you. When you invest your time and your treasure, you want to be sure it’s done right. Our 39+ years of world class experience will help you make sure it is done right.
We prepare your application for you within 5 business days of receiving your completed 501c3 Questionnaire, your Financials, and a copy of your filed Articles of Incorporation, and your Adoption of Bylaws, signed by your directors. Guaranteed. Or we pay you $200. Then, we go online and enter on the IRS website all the information you provided to us. Much nicer than you doing that yourself! Then, you go online to the IRS website and sign the application and pay the $600 filing fee. You’re done! You can sit back and relax and wait for your IRS letter.
You receive your IRS Determination Letter – This is the “golden” IRS letter that means your application was a success. You can now celebrate!
With us at your side, it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think to form a 501c3. We’re here as your partner with the experience to help you painlessly through the process. With over 39+ years and 3,000+ 501c3 applications personally overseen by Harvard lawyer David G Marmon, we have the experience you need to help you and make your 501c3 dreams come true.
More Information on Starting a Nonprofit Organization
If you’re looking for information on how to start a charity or some other type of nonprofit, we can help. Most people assume that noble intentions are enough. But the reality is that starting a nonprofit should be based on filling a need and solving a particular problem that’s neglected by many. Starting a nonprofit or a charity is possible if you follow the right steps.
First, you need to have a particular vision for the organization. That vision should inspire you and will inspire others to come alongside you. Define what your mission for the new organization is in some detail.
Secondly, come up with a solid name that will encourage people to donate to your nonprofit. Make sure that the name you choose has some significance. Nonprofits typically depend on philanthropy to thrive and grow. A good name plus a good cause can hugely impact your donations positively.
Thirdly, it’s important to have a uniqueness to your new nonprofit organization. With over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the US alone, it is important to differentiate yourself somehow, even if it’s only geographically, i.e., in your local area. A unique angle is not only great for donations, but in this way, you’re not just thought of as another run-of-the-mill charity organization.
Fourth, plan to have a leadership management team in place. This can be a board of directors or advisers. The board of directors is usually great for keeping things transparent and honest. You can be the prime mover and the overall leader and director, but you will want to attract others to come alongside you and help.
While forming the board of directors, it is helpful, though not necessary if some are competent leaders in their industries. This not only adds some legitimacy to your organization, it portrays your new nonprofit organization as professional and serious. A highly influential board of directors can help attract funding to your cause, courtesy of their network and influence. However, if you do not have this, do not be concerned. Lots of nonprofits are successful without this.
If you’re wondering about how much it costs to start a 501c3 organization, the answer is “not much.” In filing with the IRS, you will pay a fee of $600 fee. States have their own filing fees for Articles of Incorporation, and of course, 501c3GO charges a fee for all the work we do for you. https://501c3go.com/how-much-does-it-cost-2/