Step 6: File for 501.c.3 Charitable Nonprofit Status

File for your nonprofit 501.c.3 status

To become a tax exempt nonprofit you need to get your 501.c.3 status. To do this you must submit Form 1023 to the IRS.

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You can start fundraising before you get your 501.c.3. All donations within 18-months of getting you 501.c.3 are tax-exempt.

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The video below is an overview of the 501.c.3 nonprofit application process. If you are in the process of forming a nonprofit, this video will give you a good idea of what’s ahead.

To become a tax exempt nonprofit you need to get your 501.c.3 status. To do this you must submit Form 1023 to the IRS. You must also include your nonprofit articles of incorporation and your bylaws with this application. So, before you start filling out form 1023, be sure you have:

The IRS is going to ask for some specific details to be documented in you application. So be prepared to spend a few days filling out this form and gathering your resources. Your articles of incorporation and/or your bylaws are going to have to include:

  • a statement of your exempt purpose(s), (such as charitable, religious, educational, and/or scientific purposes)
  • a dissolution clause
  • a conflict of interest clause

Also, be prepared to give detailed answers about your*:

  • compensation of officers, directors, trustees, employees, and independent contractors
  • past, present, and planned activities
  • financial revenues and expenses

*You may not know all of this information if you are a new nonprofit. An informed best guess is suitable, just be sure to state this in your documentation.

Here are some more resources:

  • “Start a Nonprofit” – Nonprofit Ally’s step-by-step nonprofit incorporating guide.
  • “Nolo: How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation” – A great book that walks you through EVERYTHING you need to know. This book includes a CD with sample bylaws and articles of incorporation. (This is an affiliate link. I only recommend what I use and this book was invaluable. I highly recommend it.)

I hope you find this helpful.

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