Forming a Tax-Exempt Non-Profit

C&C (Copilevitz & Canter, LLC) has extensive experience and familiarity with the formation of non-profit organizations and obtaining from the Internal Revenue Service exemption from federal income tax for these organizations. We also secure exemption from state taxes. Discuss how to start your proposed non-profit organization with an attorney by calling or by e-mailing us through this Web site.

Categories of Tax-Exempt Status

The Internal Revenue Code provides for approximately 30 different categories of tax-exempt status. The most common is Code section 501(c)(3), the category which includes charities (including public supported charities and private foundations), churches, religious organizations, schools, colleges and universities.

Most of the more than 250 non-profit organizations which are our clients fall into the 501(c)(3) category. We have many clients in other categories as well, such as 501(c)(4) [social welfare organizations], 501(c)(6) [trade associations and professional societies], 501(c)(7) [social clubs], and 501(c)(10) [fraternal orders].

Steps in Starting a 501(c)(3) Organization as a Trust or Non-Profit

We normally form approximately 25 to 30 new 501(c)(3) organizations each year. We provide advice as to the option of forming the organization as a trust or non-profit corporation and explain governance options for non-profit corporations. We also provide insight into governance options, such as whether to provide for voting members or to have a self-perpetuating board of directors. We prepare the articles of incorporation or trust in order to ensure that it will qualify under Treasury Regulations which govern entitlement to federal tax exempt status.

We prepare the bylaws, as well as the various "governance documents," such as a conflict of interest policy, records retention policy, and director (or trustee) indemnification policy.

After making sure the client understands these documents and approves of them, we prepare the Form 1023 which is the application to the IRS for recognition of tax-exempt status as a Code section 501(c)(3) organization. We respond to all IRS queries in regard to the application and governing documents, which is part of the review process conducted by the IRS.

Following securing tax-exempt status, we continue to assist the organization in compliance with federal and state laws, as well as in the development of fund raising plans.

If You Plan to Start a Non-Profit Organization, Contact Copilevitz & Canter, LLC

If you plan to form a not-for-profit organization or serve as the manager of an NPO, you understand the importance of following the complex laws and regulations required to obtain and maintain tax-exempt status. Lawyers of Copilevitz & Canter, LLC, invite your inquiry on legal issues pertaining to non-profits. Contact us online to discuss your organization's goals and concerns.