Get Your Nonprofit Organization Off to a Good Start with the Help of an Attorney
A nonprofit organization can be a driving force for change and give you the opportunity to change the world in which we live. It is something that many of us have hopes and dreams of doing. However, to set up a nonprofit organization in the state of Florida, you have to follow a very specific process and file all of the right documents to protect you and your organization from litigation. An experienced Tampa business transaction and formation attorney can ensure you get off to the right start.
Articles of Incorporation
When you make the choice to start a nonprofit organization, you may not have some of the legal aspects in mind. However, the very first step you need to take is to draft your articles of incorporation. These must be created and then filed with the Florida Department of State. These import documents will include all of the basic information about your organization, such as the name and address, the purpose, the name and address of the registered agent, and the way in which your organization will appoint the directors. They must also include the name and address of the incorporator.
The next step is to adopt bylaws. Florida Statute 617.0206 requires the board of directors to create these. They do not need to dictate the information that is included in the bylaws, however, most organizations include the following information:
- The size of the board of directors and the way in which they are appointed or elected.
- How often the board members are scheduled.
- The rules that will govern the board of directors.
- How grant money, if obtained, will be utilized.
State Registration Forms
If you want to be able to engage in some fundraising activities or meet certain conditions, you need to register with some specific Florida agencies. For example, if you want to solicit individual contributions, you must register with the Division of Consumer Services and your registration is required to be renewed every year. To file business taxes, you have to register your organization with the Florida Department of Revenue.
Tax Exemption Forms
Nonprofit organizations are entitled to some special benefits, such as tax exemption. To ensure your tax-exempt status you will have to register your nonprofit organization with the Florida state government and the IRS. Before taking the time to file, verify with the IRS that you qualify. Your attorney can help ensure that you file all of the correct forms. Once you get your federal letter granting you federal tax-exempt status, you can then apply for state income tax exemption.
Contact an Experienced Business Planning Attorney
If you are ready to take the plunge to start your nonprofit organization, an experienced Florida business planning attorney can help. Attorney David Toback has years of experience dedicated to helping clients just like you ensure they meet all of the federal and state requirements for your business, whether nonprofit or otherwise. Contact our office today to discuss your goals and legal needs and schedule a consultation.