Forming a Georgia 501c3 Nonprofit Corporation

Forming a 501c3 nonprofit corporation in Georgia is a two-step process. The first step is incorporating in Georgia by choosing a business name and submitting Articles of Incorporation to the Corporations Division, part of the Secretary of State’s office, located in Atlanta, Georgia. This is done pursuant to Title 14 of the Code, or Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).

The second step in the process, after you’ve incorporated, is to register your business as a 501c3 corporation with the IRS, if you wish to operate as 501c3 nonprofit and accept tax-deductable donations.

Forming a Georgia Nonprofit Corporation

Nonprofit corporations will submit the nonprofit version of the Georgia articles of incorporation; if obtaining 501c3 status from the IRS is the next step, those articles should include a few specific clauses addressing that 501c3 status, as well as a specific purpose that corresponds to one of the accepted 501c3 nonprofit purposes: charitable, scientific, literary, educational, or religious. While the articles can certainly be amended later, it’s a good idea to include the IRS-required information right from the beginning.

While your specific situation of your Georgia nonprofit corporation may require additional clauses, at minimum your nonprofit Articles of Incorporation will include:

  • Your business name
  • Your business purpose, including the specific purpose
  • IRS-required language about dissolutions and disposal of assets under Section 501c3
  • “The power of indemnification under the Georgia Revised Statutes shall not be denied or limited by the bylaws.”
  • Business location
  • Registered agent’s name and address
  • Incorporator’s name and address

Your Articles of Incorporation should be signed by the incorporator, or the person that causes the articles to be filed.

Obtaining 501c3 Status for Your Nonprofit Corporation

Eligible Georgia nonprofit corporations can apply for 501c3 status from the IRS, which will give them certain tax advantages.

The information you will need to provide to the IRS in order to become a 501c3 corporation includes:

  • Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation and specific 501c3 language attachment
  • Description of your business purpose and activities
  • Conflict of Interest form
  • IRS Form 1023
  • Corporate Bylaws
  • Donation estimates for the first three years of business
  • Information on fundraising organizations you are associated with
  • List of corporate officers and their respective contracts

You may be required to provide more information that that listed above, depending on your business activities and the IRS’s requirements.

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Georgia Startup Quicklinks

For information on other types of businesses in Georgia, please explore the links below.