How to Form a Florida Nonprofit Corporation
How to file for 501c3 status in Florida
To form a Florida nonprofit corporation, or 501c3, you first need to register with
the state as a nonprofit corporation by filing Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation.
After you’ve done so, you’ll need to obtain the 501c3 status from the IRS.
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If you intend to apply for 501c3 status from the IRS, you must form your business
for one of the following purposes: scientific, religious, charitable, literary,
or educational. If your business is formed for any other purpose, such as personal
profit or exclusive family activities, you will find it difficult, if not impossible,
to obtain 501c3 status from the IRS. Fines or other penalties may also be imposed
if you obtain 501c3 status improperly, and documentation will be periodically reviewed
to ensure that you are still qualified to enjoy the tax benefits a 501c3 offers.
Register your Nonprofit Corporation in Florida
Other than your purpose statement, which cannot be a “general purpose” and must
specify in detail how your business fits into one of the above categories, your
Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation will include much the same information as For-Profit
In your Nonprofit Articles, which you will file with the Florida Secretary of State’s
office, you will need to include the following:
- Business name, including appropriate suffix
- Principal place of business, which must be a physical street address
- Purpose statement, which should include the IRS-required language necessary to obtain
- Manner in which Directors are appointed
- Directors/Officers (optional), including names, titles, and addresses
- Registered Agent’s name and physical address
- Incorporator’s name and address
- Future effective date, if the filing date is to be different from the date the application
- Signatures of both the Incorporator and the Registered Agent
When the state approves your application and registers your business, you then become
a legal entity, able to do business in the state of Florida. At this point, you
can apply to receive tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Applying for 501c3 Tax-Exempt Status from the IRS
In addition to your state filing information, the IRS will require a great deal
of information from you, including but not limited to the following:
- Form 1023
- Articles of Incorporation, including specific 501c3 language
- Three years of donation estimates
- Detailed description of your business activities
- Three years of expense estimates
- Conflict of Interest form
- Information about any organization from which you are involved in fundraising or
- Depending on the amount of compensation they are to receive, a list of any independent
contractors or officers
- Copies of any leases or contracts with any of the above persons
This is by no means a comprehensive list of the information the IRS will require.
Depending on your specific purpose, additional forms and information may be required.
When you use Click and Inc to file your 501c3, we make sure the required 501c3 language
is present in your state Articles of Incorporation from the very beginning. Learn
more about forming a 501c3 Nonprofit.
Further Responsibilities of a Florida Nonprofit Corporation
All incorporated entities in Florida, whether nonprofit or for-profit, must submit
an Annual Report to the Secretary of State’s office. Failure to do so may result
in a revoked status or late fees.
If any of the information provided to either the state or the IRS changes, it is
extremely important that you file the appropriate amendment document with one or
both levels of government. Failure to do so may result in penalties, late fees,
or the termination of your business.
You will be required to obtain an Employee Identification Number, also known as
an EIN. The EIN is obtained through the IRS.
Check with the IRS to determine further requirements you may have at the federal
Depending on your purpose and your local jurisdictions, you may be required to open
any number of Business Licenses at the state, county, or town level. Learn more
about our Business License
Services to streamline the process.
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