Is your organization looking to file for nonprofit status? Are you about to start a new charity and want to do everything by the book from the beginning? Here's why you should hire an attorney with expertise in nonprofits before you make another move.
File Your Forms Properly
If you want to qualify for tax-exempt status, there is a specific process to follow and specific forms to fill out. Make a mistake on those forms and the IRS is not going to grant you your status. Hire a lawyer to help you navigate this process and fill the forms out properly on the first try so you can get going with your charity or nonprofit sooner rather than later.
Stay in Compliance With Tax Laws
Even after you have your tax-exempt status, you'll need to stay in compliance with applicable tax laws in order to retain that status. Your lawyer can give you an overview of what you should or should not do. You can also keep your lawyer on retainer for future questions in order to ensure that you don't make a mistake that puts your status in jeopardy.
Follow All Fundraising and Lobbying Regulations
Nonprofits and charities often make money through fundraising and perhaps you are also trying to pressure government representatives to help out in some way with your cause. There are regulations that need to be followed in both of these areas as well. Your lawyer will once again help you see the big picture so you can start heading in the right direction and then be around to answer any specifics to make sure you continue to do things the right way.
Form Your Board
A nonprofit needs a board of directors to provide oversight. If you don't have any experience with forming a board, you might not know where to begin. Your attorney will know all of the best practices and can also help you vet the people you are considering putting on your board. You don't want to announce your new board and then have the media find a skeleton in someone's closet that embarrasses your new organization. Your lawyer can do that investigation ahead of time to make sure all new board members are the right people for the job.
Create Your Bylaws
Bylaws are essentially the rules that your organization will follow during operation. These rules will include the restrictions you'll have to follow in order to protect your tax-exempt status as previously described. Your attorney can help you write your new bylaws to save you time and to make sure that you are set up properly.
For more information about nonprofit compliance laws, contact a local professional.Share
13 February 2023
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