Starting A Non Profit >> What Forms and Documents do I have to File?
Name reservation Form. The first form you have to file with you state’s Secretary of State (SOS) is a Name Reservation Order. Check out State Resources links page for links to your state. This is the form filed with your State’s SOS that allows you to secure a name for your organization. Most SOS websites allow you to do a name search before you reserve the name. There may be a fee involved in the name reservation process. Again check out State Resources links page for links to your state.
Complete and File Articles of Organization. In most cases, once you have filed an application for a name reservation form with your state’s Secretary of state, you are given set time frame to file your Articles of Organization. The typical time period is 30 days and may vary from state to state. Be sure to pay attention to this time frame as if it expires on you, you may be require to resubmit a name reservation request. Also note that you would not be able to file your Articles of Organization UNLESS you name reservation is approved.
Keep in mind you need to file the Non-Stock Certificate of Incorporation. Be sure to ask for any other materials that explain the rules, etc. governing charitable solicitations, hiring employees, employer payroll and unemployment taxes, registering for taxes and for sales and/or income taxes under state and local law (if any), and matters of interest for setting up and managing a nonprofit in your state. These may come from several different offices at both the state and local levels. Again check out State Resources links page for links to your state.
Prepare and file your organization's bylaws. There are many, many good books in libraries and bookstores to help you. Check out our
resources section of the site. In general, the IRS looks at the bylaws to determine whether a group is what it claims to be. This is a critical document, and of at all possible, should be reviewed by an attorney. Here is a
Complete your Federal Tax exempt application. This involves several forms that need to be completed and submitted. Form 8718 User Fee for Exempt Organization Determination Letter Request. Form 8718 can be found here -
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8718.pdf . The next is Form SS-4 – Application for Employer Identification Number. Check out
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html for all your options for applying for your EIN. Applications can be faxed, phoned in or completed immediately online. This service is free.
File Tax exempt paperwork. The next for is Publication 557 (Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization) can be found here
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p557.pdf . If you are filing as a foundation use Publication 578 Tax Information for Private Foundations and Foundation Manager. This can be
It is assumed you will be applying for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, and therefore you will need to file either form must file Form 1023
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1023.pdf Application for Recognition for exemption or to file Form 1024
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/k1024.pdf Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a)*. If your organization is a church, or church-affiliated auxiliary or an association of churches, you are not required to file Form 1023.
PLEASE NOTE: That you must file your Form 1023 within 15 months after the end of the month in which you filed your Articles of Incorporation to ensure that your organization is tax exempt from inception. If not, your tax exemption does not become effective until the postmark date.
Apply for Federal Nonprofit Mailing Permit. This is recommended in order for your organization to qualify for lower rates on bulk mailings. For more information on eligibility, contact the U.S. Postal Service and ask for Publication 417, Nonprofit Standard Mail Eligibility
http://pe.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/pubs/Pub417/pub417.pdf The USPS
will require a copy of each of the items mentioned above, plus
copies of your literature, newsletters, or promotional materials
before approving your request.
Set up corporate checking account
with local bank. They will require a copy of your organization's
Employer Identification Number, Articles of Incorporation, etc.
Be prepared with all your paperwork before you go to your local
banking institution. Simple call before to see what forms you