The First Step in Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) Formation
What is nonprofit incorporation?
Nonprofit incorporation is the process of creating a legal entity that exists wholly apart from the people who started your organization. This makes the nonprofit legally distinguishable from its founders.
It’s the first step and a crucial part of starting a 501(c)(3) or any other type of nonprofit. It all begins here!
Why should you incorporate your nonprofit?
If you’re seeking 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS and need to make your nonprofit a qualifying entity, consider incorporating your nonprofit to meet that requirement. The majority of 501(c)(3) organizations are nonprofit corporations, and it’s beneficial for more than just gaining tax-exempt status.
Nonprofits and for-profits alike benefit from incorporation because it protects its founders from personal liability. When you distinguish your nonprofit as a legal entity, you’re protecting yourself from being held personally responsible for the actions of the organization.
How do you incorporate your nonprofit?
You’ll need to file Articles of Incorporation (or a Charter), and it’s most common to file in the state in which you’ll base your operations. Many states have templates you can follow, but they don’t include the federal clauses required by the IRS. If you use one of these templates, you’ll probably need to make an amendment prior to gaining 501(c)(3) status.
How do you get started without a complete template and avoid having to make amendments to your application? If you’re not sure what requirements your state will have for these documents or just want the help of seasoned professionals, consider using Foundation Group’s nonprofit incorporation service, SureStart.
How can Foundation Group help?
SureStart™ is Foundation Group’s formation service for new nonprofits and includes the following services:
Consultation with a staff professional about your new corporation
Foundation Group has in-house Nonprofit Exemption Specialists who are experts in different types of organizations. SureStart clients will be paired with one of these specialists to help establish the nonprofit. Clients also have access to ongoing consultation for one year by appointment or through the online client portal.
Preparation of Articles of Incorporation
When it’s time to file your Articles of Incorporation, or Charter, with your state’s Corporations Office, Foundation Group can prepare the documents for you.
Preparation of draft bylaws
Foundation Group can prepare draft bylaws that are state and IRS compliant, or review existing bylaws for compliance and advise changes. These bylaws dictate how your nonprofit will be governed by its board of directors.
Securing a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) from the IRS
Your Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) is like your nonprofit’s social security number: it’s the numeric identifier assigned to your nonprofit by the IRS. Foundation Group can apply for your FEIN for you.
As a SureStart client, you will also receive bonus freebies, like templates for corporate minutes creation. Foundation Group’s services are available for all U.S. states and territories.
NOTE: Incorporation services are an integral component of our SureStart service, but not available a-la-carte.