Many people who think about a nonprofit startup are unaware that they will be starting a small business. Similarly, the have all the needs of a successful business. Likewise, all the standard protocols apply. But there is more to be done.
The primary purpose to be accomplished by a nonprofit is its mission. Whether it is feeding the disabled or putting on theater performances, anyone who forms a nonprofit will soon realize that they are also running a business. And in order to achieve their mission they must run their business well.
Financial systems, bank accounts and payroll must be setup, Employees will need to be hired. Also, buying the right kinds of insurance is important. And the organizational structure, mission statements, long-range planning, evaluation, and the proper leadership have to be considered.
For years Business & Financial Solutions has been getting calls from people planning to start nonprofits. They ask what needs to be done. Often there is much that they do not know about, or have never considered. Some believe that most of what is entailed is legal. For example, forming a corporation, obtaining a tax exemption and the like. There is, however, much more than just the legal aspects. In fact a good deal of the legal requirements is fairly simple.
In an effort to provide answers to those seeking help, Business & Financial Solutions offers a free consultation. We want to help start you in the right direction. This consultation is designed primarily for those wishing to start a new organization. But it may also be useful to existing groups who want to make sure that all the bases are being covered.
Running a nonprofit is a lot of work! When it is realized that for even the smallest nonprofit there are a number of systems for recording information that need to be set up and reports that have to be filed with the government; that there are myriad aspects to payroll (taxes, withholding, forms reports, etc.); that health insurance and workers compensation will have to be secured for the staff; that the details of the Family Medical Leave Act and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) need to be mastered; and much more, second thoughts about the desirability of going forward may emerge. Starting a nonprofit is only for the serious at heart.
If you have read this far and you are serious about starting a nonprofit, call (855) 557-2222 for your initial consultation. Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Business & Financial Solutions can help sort through the red tape in starting your nonprofit. We can assist with incorporating, obtaining 501(c)(3) status, and filing the form 1023 with the Internal Revenue Service for recognition of tax exemption. Relatively speaking, forming the corporation is fairly straightforward (assuming that one completely understands the process). Applying for 501(c) (3) status, on the other hand, is quite subjective.
Form 1023 itself is up to 28 pages long. With the required attachments, schedules and other materials that may be necessary, it is not uncommon for these submissions to the IRS to be more than 50 pages. Think of Form 1023 as an IRS examination. Instead of an audit of a tax return, the 501(c)(3) application process is more like an audit of proposed (and/or previous) activity. It is a thorough examination of the organization’s governing structure, purpose and planned programs. The IRS is looking to make sure that the organization is formed for exclusively 501(c)(3) purposes and that its programs are designed to fulfill these stated purposes. In addition, the IRS is looking closely for conflicts-of-interest and the potential for benefit to insiders, both possible grounds for denial.
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