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Start a Nonprofit Corporation

Register your charitable business and file for income tax exemption.

When running a business focused on charitable causes, you may want to start a nonprofit corporation. By registering your business as a nonprofit, you gain added credibility, access to public and private grants, and the ability to apply for exemption from taxation by filing a 501(c)(3).

$99+ state fees

What are the benefits of filing as a nonprofit corporation?

Save every year with tax exemption.

Nonprofit corporations can apply for tax exemption from federal taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. This can save money over the long term and provide more funding for the business and its goals.

Gain trust and recognition.

Filing your business as a nonprofit corporation demonstrates the charitable intentions of your business to the community, providing additional credibility and trust.

Limited Liability Protection

Forming a nonprofit corporation creates the legal framework for businesses to offer services for the general good, while providing limited liability and asset protection for its owners.

We complete all of the documents

Our filing experts can quickly and accurately file a nonprofit organization and handle all of the paperwork on your behalf.

What is a nonprofit corporation?

A nonprofit corporation is a special type of corporation created specifically to provide additional benefits for businesses who intend to operate with a charitable purpose. While a nonprofit shares all of the standard benefits that come along with incorporation, it also allows a business to apply to the IRS for tax exemption status. In order to qualify for this exemption, a business must be formed to benefit the public or a specific group of individuals. Some examples of nonprofit corporations include Goodwill, YMCA, and the American Red Cross.

What are the benefits of filing as a nonprofit corporation?

Nonprofit corporations are eligible to apply for a 501(c)(3) status, which is a designation issued by the IRS to businesses that are established for a religious purpose, charities, educational or scientific reasons, as well as businesses centered in public safety and testing. Organizations that are designated as a 501(c)(3) are exempt from federal, sales and property taxes. Over time this savings can be substantial, allowing nonprofit corporations to reinvest its profits back into the organization, and give the business the chance to further service the community.

In addition, many public and private institutions that fund grants only accept applications from public charities or nonprofit businesses, so a business that relies on these kinds of grants would benefit from choosing to form as a nonprofit. Nonprofits can also receive contributions that are tax deductible for the individual who contributes, which can provide additional incentives for public donations.

What kinds of businesses should form a nonprofit?

In order to enjoy the benefits of federal tax-exempt status, nonprofit businesses and organizations must meet a few basic requirements. First, they must be formally incorporated, have chosen a name for their business, and filed their articles of incorporation (a requirement in most states) to qualify for exemption from state and local taxes.

They must also establish a mission statement. This is done not just to define their mission and values, but is also necessary for the IRS and state tax agencies to take into consideration when deciding if your business will achieve nonprofit status. The nonprofit must follow state and federal accountability rules and meet reporting requirements to remain eligible. Under the Federal Tax Code Section 501(c), a tax-exempt corporation cannot pay dividends and, upon dissolution, must distribute its remaining assets to another nonprofit group.

How does a nonprofit become tax exempt?

Simply forming a nonprofit does not grant tax exemption. Nonprofits must file for tax-exempt status with the IRS. Upon being reviewed, the agency will decide whether or not to grant tax-exempt status.

Our filing experts can help you to start enjoying the benefits of forming a nonprofit corporation today for just $99 plus state fees. Click here to get started.

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Frequently asked questions

When you decide to incorporate your business, there are four different business entities to choose from: C-Corporation, S-Corporation, Non-Profit Corporation, or Professional Corporation . Read more or compare business entities in our Comparison Chart.

Our applications allow you to name up to four officers for your corporation when you file with us. Most states allow businesses to authorize one person to serve in the three mandatory positions:

  • President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary or Clerk

This person's responsibility and authority changes for each position.

The President The President has the overall executive responsibility for the management of the corporation and is directly responsible for carrying out the orders of the board of directors. He or she is usually elected by the board of directors.

The Treasurer The Treasurer is the chief financial officer of the corporation and is responsible for controlling and recording its finances and maintaining corporate bank accounts. Actual fiscal policy of the corporation may rest with the Board of Directors and be largely controlled by the President on a day-to-day basis.

The Secretary The Secretary is typically responsible for maintaining the corporate records. In addition to these required officer positions, a corporation may also have vice presidents and/or assistant secretaries or assistant treasurers.

The purpose of a Registered Agent is to provide a physical address for your business so that it can accept official documents on behalf of your corporation (tax notices, annual reports, legal-process documents such as a summons, etc.).

The primary benefit of this service is that it provides a layer of privacy between you and the public. As the Registered Agent's name and address is one of public record, generally the Registered Agent's legal address will be the one listed in all official public documents.

Penalties for not maintaining a Registered Agent may include fines or revocation of business's corporate legal status. Please note that post office boxes are not allowed.

Learn more in "Registered Agent Services".

To keep your business legally viable, there are a number of steps you may need to follow after you incorporate your business. For example, you may need to file an Article of Amendment if you need to make changes to your company. You also may need to issue stock or file an Annual Report, which is a requirement in most states. Our business filing experts can help you process necessary changes to your business.

Learn more on how to maintain your corporation

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