10 Essential Steps to Start a Nonprofit (cont’d)

Welcome to the third in a series of ten posts discussing what you should do to start a nonprofit.  You have your mission statement, you’ve assembled your team.  Now, it’s time to take your first formal, legal step–incorporate with the Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation.

My posts regard Ohio, but these steps are similar in most states.  Be sure to check the rules and law in your state.  Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Secretary of State to form a corporation.  With nonprofit corporations, your articles must address issues important to the IRS, including conflict of interest and dissolution matters.  It is important to note that filing articles with the Secretary of State does not make your organization tax exempt, and donations are not tax deductible to the donor.  For an nonprofit corporation to become tax exempt, it must apply for tax-exempt status with the IRS, which will be addressed in a subsequent post.

The Articles of Incorporation are relatively easy to complete and file.  In Ohio, articles can be filed online.  You need to submit your name, address of the organization, designate a statutory agent to receive legal mail, and the names of your incorporators.  Once your articles are accepted, you will receive a charter number as an official corporation.

If you would like assistance filing articles of incorporation for a nonprofit corporation, email me at julie@juliemillslaw.com, or contact me through http://www.juliemillslaw.com.  I can help get your nonprofit started so you can fulfill your mission!

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