A lot of people frequently ask the question “How to start a nonprofit in Tennessee.”
Step 1: Develop a mission statement The first step in starting a nonprofit organization in Tennessee is to develop a mission statement that meets the requirements of the IRS for tax-exempt organizations. Your mission statement should clearly define the purpose and goals of your organization, and will be required for your articles of incorporation and Form 1023 (Application for Recognition of Exemption).
Step 2: Choose a name for your organization The next step is to choose a unique name for your organization and check with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office to make sure it is available for use. The name you choose should be easily recognizable and reflect the mission of your organization.
Step 3: File articles of incorporation After you have chosen a name, you will need to file articles of incorporation with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office. The articles should include specific language required by the IRS for tax-exempt organizations. Filing fees for articles of incorporation can range from $20 to $50 depending on the type of organization.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) You will also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS by completing Form SS-4. An EIN is a unique number assigned to your organization by the IRS and is used to identify your organization for tax purposes.
Step 5: Create a set of bylaws The bylaws of an organization are the rules that govern the internal operations of your organization. They should include information such as the composition of the board of directors, the responsibilities of the officers, and the process for amending the bylaws.
Step 6: Hold an organizational meeting The next step is to hold an organizational meeting with the initial board of directors, where the bylaws will be adopted. This is also where the initial board of directors will be elected.
Step 7: Prepare and submit Form 1023 Once you have completed the previous steps, you will need to prepare and submit Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption, to the IRS. This form requires detailed information about your organization’s mission, activities, and finances.
Step 8: Obtain 501(c)(3) status After submitting Form 1023, the IRS will review your application and determine whether your organization is eligible for 501(c)(3) status. This status means that your organization is exempt from federal income tax and that donations to your organization are tax-deductible for donors.
Starting a nonprofit in Tennessee can be a complex process, but with the right guidance and planning, you can successfully navigate the process and achieve your goal of making a positive