The 501c3 Application Can Be Simple
Many make the process of starting a nonprofit and filling out the 501c3 application difficult when in actuality it is a fairly simple process. Many when starting a nonprofit search for the “501c3 Application,” when in reality there are more steps than just the application. There are countless companies that make their living off of charging exorbitant fees to help others who want to start a nonprofit. It is not necessary to pay someone else money to fill out the 501c3 application when starting a nonprofit. Instead, starting a nonprofit can be done quickly and easily. Read on and I will explain the process to help anyone get a nonprofit created without paying a lot of money to do it.
Many endlessly search the internet looking for all the steps to start a nonprofit, while simutaneously hoping to find an affordable way. There is typically two ways to create a nonprofit for doing charitable nonprofit work. First is by creating an independent 501c3 nonprofit and the second is through a fiscal sponsor. Both ways of creating a nonprofit work fine, however I believe more people enjoy running the Fiscally Sponsored nonprofit. Starting a nonprofit through a fiscal sponsor has very little paperwork or expense and no 501c3 application to get started and the ongoing administration is minimal. The process to start each is explained below.
Independent 501c3 Application
The steps to start a nonprofit independent 501c3 are not as long as they are difficult. Creating an independent 501c3 nonprofit is not inexpensive and can run over $1000 in just the fees to file the 501c3 application with the state in which the nonprofit is incorporating and the IRS filing fees. Unfortunately, there is no way around the non profit incorporation fees and the filing fees to the IRS. However, you do not necessarily need to pay someone to help you do do this. The steps are:
1. Incorporate a nonprofit corporation in the state you reside in
2. Create Bylaws in which to govern your corporation
2. Apply for tax exempt status by filling out and filing the IRS Form 1023 (501c3 application)
3. Apply for an EIN number
4. Apply for a business license
5. Open a bank account once the nonprofit corporation is established
That is really all there is to it. I will advise that the IRS FORM 1023, who some call the 501c3 application is very long and somewhat difficult to fill out. You may want to consult an expert and pay a reasonable fee for help getting this 501c3 application form completed. Once the IRS FORM 1023 is filed with the IRS it can take many months until accepted.
No 501c3 Application
However, starting a nonprofit through a fiscal sponsor is certainly an easier route since there is no 501c3 application. Fiscal Sponsorship is a formal arrangement in which a 501c3 public charity sponsors a project that needs nonprofit status. Typically, a nonprofit set up through Fiscal Sponsorship takes less than 4 weeks to get approved and less that $400 to establish. Through Fiscal Sponsorship, the nonprofit should have the ability to do anything it could as an independent nonprofit. Fiscal Sponsorship is a great way to start a nonprofit and allows the organization to do nonprofit work with 501c3 status without all the hassle or expense of starting an independent nonprofit or filling out a 501c3 application. In addition, most Fiscal Sponsors take care of the accounting, banking and administrative services as well as providing training and 100% support. The steps are:
1. Find a Fiscal Sponsor that will sponsor the nonprofit
2. Fill out their application which is usually short
Because the fiscal sponsor typically takes care of everything else, once the application is filled out that is all there is to it. There is usually a multitude of amenities the sponsor includes so make sure to take advantage of all of them.
As you can see, starting a nonprofit does not have to be difficult to figure out the steps or require a 501c3 application. The steps are fairly simple, its compiling the information that is the hard part. Above all, find experts and organizations that can provide you guidance, information, and support for minimal fees. The help in starting a nonprofit should not cost you hundreds and should be straight forward.
For more information on starting a nonprofit, the 501c3 application (IRS 1023) and getting all the help you need see the page “How to Get Started” here on this web site.
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