When an entrepreneur starts out on his/her long journey of building a legacy with his business; he/she almost immediately focuses on the legal status of his business. Thoughts include: ‘Should I become a limited liability company or an S-Corporation?’; ‘What if I take on partners?’; ‘How do I get more capital without giving up control?’
Characteristics of Non-Profits
There are three primary characteristics of all non-profit organizations. First is to serve the community; secondly, provide security to staff; and finally earn enough money to continue in operations in the future.
Section 6033 of the Internal Revenue Code requires tax exempt organizations to file an annual report. Form 990 fulfills this requirement. Many citizens utilize the information from Form 990 to evaluate the non-profit organization they donate to annually. The 990 covers much of the information any citizen desires to know about the charity of their choice.
Before you do anything towards starting a non-profit organization, you need to form a brain trust. This is a group of friends that will add their thoughts to your idea and provide you with a platform to begin the process. Their ideas, questions, suggestions, misgivings, and other thoughts expand your thinking beyond a simple idea to a core value of what is important.
I have had many clients come to me to ask how they could start a non-profit organization. The main purpose of starting a nonprofit is to gain the contribution advantage the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides. Why do you need the IRS to authorize this? What is the difference between tax exempt and a charitable organization? How does the church fit into all of this?