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Incorporate a Nonprofit Association

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By incorporating a nonprofit association, you can establish legal protection that separates your personal assets from the activities of the corporation. Don't leave your personal wealth exposed.

The Company Corporation is America's leading provider of business entity formations in all 50 states. We can incorporate your nonprofit in just ten minutes at the fraction of the cost of using an attorney and we can help you obtain your tax-exempt status with the IRS. Learn more about how incorporating your nonprofit can help you qualify for tax exemptions, accept donations, become eligible for grant money, and more.

Should I incorporate my nonprofit association?

4 Reasons to Incorporate your Nonprofit Association:

  1. Nonprofit Corporations enjoy an exemption from corporate income taxes on profits from activities related to their purpose.
  2. Qualifying for a tax exemption is harder for associations than for corporations. Without tax-exempt status, your group is unlikely to qualify for many public and private grants.
  3. Donors can deduct gifts to your group on their federal and state tax income returns once your organization becomes a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation.
  4. Members and directors of nonprofit corporations are generally protected from personal liability, meaning that their own money, houses, and cars aren't at risk. That's not true for an unincorporated association.

What are the steps to form a nonprofit corporation?

8 Steps to Form a Nonprofit Organization:

  1. Choose a business name.
  2. Incorporate online or by phone with The Company Corporation.
  3. Apply for your IRS tax exemption.
  4. Apply for a state tax exemption.
  5. Draft bylaws.
  6. Appoint directors.
  7. Hold a meeting of the board.
  8. Obtain any necessary licenses and permits.
Learn more about the nonprofit industry

What's the difference between a public charity and a private foundation?

Every exempt charitable organization is classified as either a public charity or a private foundation. They are distinguishable primarily by the level of public involvement in their activities.

Generally, organizations that are classified as public charities have an active program of fundraising and receive contributions from many sources (including the general public, governmental agencies, corporations, private foundations or other public charities). Examples include: churches, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.

By contrast, private foundations typically have a single major source of funding (usually gifts from one family or corporation rather than funding from many sources). Many offer grants to other charitable organizations and to individuals, rather than operate charitable programs.

What are the common tax forms for charities?

Common tax forms for charities are:

  • Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax
  • Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax
  • Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption for 501(c)(3) Charitable Organizations
  • Form 1024, Application for Recognition of Exemption for 501(a) Organizations
  • Form 1120, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations
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