How to Start a Nonprofit
I did something crazy when I started my nonprofit….
The wrong person to be exact…
But the deal never went through.
Well because I stopped and had to evaluate did, I really need to hire someone to do this for me.
I thought I did because I’m easily overwhelmed with new challenges just like you.
But I became obsessed with learning how to start a nonprofit.
It didn’t just stop there, I wanted to help other people start nonprofits too at an affordable rate.
What I forgot to tell you is the person I was going to hire was charging me a $1,000.00 to take care of the formalities. Can you believe that?
As I took online courses with the IRS and other trainings I became more confident with starting nonprofits including my own and I decided it was time launch my nonprofit administrative services business.
So, here I am over a year later…
I’ve incorporated several nonprofits throughout the United States for a fraction of the cost of what other consultants charge including lawyers.
Who is this Post For?
If you are an aspiring social entrepreneur…you want to keep reading.
I’ve put together a quick step by step list of what you need to start a nonprofit.
Step 1: Choose a Name
I’m here to give the top secrets to creating your business name.
1. Be creative but don’t compromise the spelling.
Ex. TWITTER vs. TWEETER
2. There’s lots of competition out there but don’t copy someone else’s business name. OKAY?! Besides this isn’t legal and you may be sued.
3. If you plan to expand the business don’t limit yourself to a certain region.
Ex. North Texas Navigational Bank vs. National Navigate Bank
There’s so much the goes into name your nonprofit. This will give you the basics to get started.
Step 2: Incorporate Online or by Mail
You would be surprised how many government agencies are still accepting physical mail. That’s a whole nother story. Anyways the next is to file your legal documents with the secretary of state.
Filing fees range from $20 to $180. Don’t let that stop you, your mays below for your state.
I seriously live in the best state to incorporate – Texas only charges $25.00.
Step 3: Draft bylaws
I tell everyone your bylaws are your ten commandments.
Thou shall not…
It can be wordy but it you have the right bylaws drafted; it will give you all the information you need to stay in compliance with what the IRS requires for nonprofits.
It’s like a STAY OUT JAIL document. 😊
Step 4: Apply for your IRS Tax Exemption
This part is so darn challenging.
Why? Because you have no idea which form to file.
Let’s me make it easy for you…
If you’re a startup organization with estimated revenue for the next 3 years of less than $50,000 annually and less than $250K in assets, please use the 1023EZ form. Period.
The form fee is only $275 and takes about 30 to 90 days for the IRS to approve.
You can only submit it online.
Please DO NOT use this form if you’re a church, school or hospital.
If you are the opposite of what is listed above use the 1023 form and it cost $600 and must be mailed to the IRS. It takes up to 1 year for the application to be processed.
Step 5: Apply for a state tax exemption
This step is a little tricky. Some states automatically exempt you if you’re a registered nonprofit. It’s best to check with the Comptroller or Revenue Department for your state to determine what’s next with this step.
Better yet, call us.
I hope these steps gives you a quick overview and eliminates the overwhelming feeling of starting your nonprofit the right way.
Until next time!!!