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 Articles.

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 501c3 status
  • 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 is received
  • 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
  • Bylaws
  • Conflict of Interest form
  • Information about any organization from which you are involved in fundraising or donations
  • 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 level.

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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