8 Key Components of Forming a Nonprofit
Sometimes, professionals desire to bring change in the community, and one way to do this is through a nonprofit. Depending on your passion, you can choose from a list of the different nonprofits, including educational, animal welfare, religious, and many others. Despite the nonprofit you select, what remains common among all is the passion for supporting and benefiting the community. Additionally, most nonprofits qualify for tax exemptions under 501(c) (3) regulations.
Below are eight key components of forming a nonprofit in North Carolina.
Choosing a Name
The name you choose should not be similar to that of another organization. Using a misleadingly similar name to that of another nonprofit is also prohibited. To find out if the name you want for your nonprofit is available for you to use, reach out to the North Carolina Secretary of State. You can also conduct a name search online on the State of North Carolina site. Additionally, the name you select must not contain offensive words.
Selecting a Registered Agent
To form a nonprofit in North Carolina, you need to choose a professional who will be responsible for accepting legal documents on behalf of your nonprofit. The registered agent you select needs to be physically present in North Carolina. The agent's office must be one that remains open during regular business hours and should be legally sanctioned to conduct business in the State.
Choosing Directors and Officers
You must select at least one director for you to form a nonprofit in North Carolina. The director does not need to be a resident of North Carolina. Also, a director does not need to be a specific age. So, you can choose depending on factors such as the type of nonprofit you want to form. For instance, nonprofits focusing on youth activities can have a 16-year-old director.
The officers to select include the president and the secretary. To elect officers, you need to hold a board of directors meeting.
Filing Articles of Incorporation
To form a nonprofit in North Carolina, file Articles of Incorporation with the North Carolina Secretary of State. In the article, state the following;
● Purpose (whether religious, charitable, educational, etc.)
● Provisions about dissolution
● Name of registered agent
Find out from this Secretary of State form all the details you need to fill in when completing articles of incorporation in North Carolina.
The Bylaws lay out the internal rules of the nonprofit. Some states require the bylaws to be filed with the secretary of state however that is not a requirement in North Carolina. Every nonprofit should make sure they create and maintain a copy of the bylaws. When setting bylaws, there are no specific criteria you need to follow, as long as the bylaws describe the rules and procedures that the nonprofit will embrace.
Obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number)
Apply for an Employer Identification Number after the State approves your Articles of Incorporation. The EIN is necessary for State and Federal tax purposes, opening a business bank account, and hiring employees.
Applying for Tax-Exempt Status
After the nonprofit is incorporated, you can apply for tax exemptions. To do so, fill Form 1023 or 1023EZ(The Application for Recognition of Exemption Under 501 (c)(3)) and submit it to the IRS. Filling the forms aims to show that your nonprofit qualifies to be a tax-exempted organization.
Charitable Solicitation License
North Carolina regulates the solicitation of charitable contributions. Any nonprofit (few exceptions) that plan to solicit charitable contributions must first obtain a license. A license can be obtained from the North Carolina Secretary of State.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Do not take any action after reading this article before obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Contact a qualified attorney here for a consultation if you want to form a legally registered nonprofit organization.