How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation
How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation
Form a Non-profit Corporation in any State Online
Online Nonprofit Incorporation


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What is a Nonprofit Corporation?

A Nonprofit Corporation is sometimes called a Not-For-Profit Corporation.

A Nonprofit Corporation is an organization that is legally registered on the state level, usually with the Secretary of State.  While the federal government must approve the tax-exempt status of a Nonprofit Corporation, a Nonprofit Corporation is not initially registered with any US government agency.   more...

Do I need a lawyer to Form a Non-Profit Corporation?

The short answer is no. No state legally requires a lawyer to form a Nonprofit Corporation.  However, if there is anything about forming a Non-profit Corporation that you're not sure about you should seek the advice of a competent lawyer, an accountant, or both in the state in which you want to Register your new Nonprofit Corporation BEFORE you Incorporate.   more...

What are the most common types of Nonprofit Corporations?

The most common types of Nonprofit Corporations are:
  • Public-benefit Nonprofit Corporations
  • Religious Corporation
  • Mutual-benefit Nonprofit Corporation

What is the difference between a Nonprofit Corporation and a Benefit Corporation?

One of the major responsibilities of a For-profit Corporation is to increase shareholder value. For most Corporations the pursuit of shareholder value is done without regard for specific benefits to the public. The only benefits that matter are those that benefit the shareholders, who are the owners of the Corporation.  For-profit Corporations often face pressure to abandon social goals in order to increase their bottom line.

Nonprofit Corporations are formed to provide some kind of public benefit but may be restricted in their ability to raise capital when they need to grow.   more...

Who owns a Non-profit Corporation?

No one person or group of people can own a Nonprofit Corporation.  Once it is incorporated, the Nonprofit Corporation is a separate legal entity from its founders, directors, officers, and employees.  The Nonprofit Corporation itself owns assets of the business and is entitled to receive all revenues from its operation.  Any equity in a Nonprofit Corporation belongs to the organization itself, not to the founders, board of directors or staff.

In addition, a Nonprofit Corporation cannot be sold to another individual, corporation or organization.

Can a Nonprofit Corporation make money?

Contrary to popular belief a Noprofit Corporation may actually make a profit.  Many Nonprofit Corporations derive much of their funding from tax-exempt donations.  Sometimes a Nonprofit Corporation can receive more in donations that the costs to actually run the organization.   more...

Are all Nonprofit Corporations Tax Exempt?

Absolutely not.  The terms Nonprofit and Tax Exempt are not synonymous.  Registering a Nonprofit Corporation with the Secretary of State does not confer or guarantee tax exempt status on the Nonprofit Corporation.

Nonprofit status refers to legal status under state law.  Tax Exempt status refers to US federal income tax exemption under the US IRS code and may apply to certain state taxes.   more...

What is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation?

501(c) refers to a section of IRS code which deals with tax exempt organizations including, but not limited to, Nonprofit Corporations.   more...

What information does a Nonprofit need before it can apply for 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Status?

BEFORE a Nonprofit applies with the IRS for 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt status it will need the following:
  • Articles of Incorporation approved by your Secretary of State
  • Bylaws
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Statement of purpose that meets IRS requirements
  • Statement that your Nonprofit Corporation will not engage in prohibited political or legislative activity
  • A Plan of Dissolution describing the distribution of assets upon dissolution

Is Federal Tax Exemption the same as State Tax Exemption?

No.  Once a Nonprofit Corporation has obtained Tax Exempt Status from the IRS it needs to apply to the state, usually to the Department of Revenue, for exemption from state taxes.  This may include exemptions from income, property, sales, and other state taxes.

For states in which there is an income tax, the procedures and obligations for obtaining state-level Tax Exempt Status vary from state to state.  For specific information on any state click on that state's link in the list below.

What happens when a Nonprofit Corporation wants to shut down?

When a Nonprofit Corporation wants to cease operations, any assets of the Nonprofit Corporation must be distributed to other Nonprofits which were formed for similar purposes as the Nonprofit Corporation which is closing.

Under no circumstances can a Nonprofit Corporation distribute any remaining assets to its founders, directors or employees.

How can I Form a Non-Profit Corporation Online?

If you are ready to Form a Nonprofit Corporation online now, simply click on your state in the list below to get more information and access our order entry page
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