Would you like to form a nonprofit in California? Are you searching for an affordable legal professional to help you? Learn how to form a nonprofit in California. A People’s Choice can help you file your nonprofit with the California Secretary of State and get 501C3 exempt! As a legal document preparer service, we have helped numerous charitable organizations obtain tax-exempt status and avoid hefty legal fees while doing so. Read on to learn more about how to form a nonprofit in California.

Form a Nonprofit in California – An Overview

Nonprofits are created for charitable purposes. Under California State law, a nonprofit corporation must be formed to benefit the public, a designated group of individuals, or the membership of the nonprofit. The IRS classifies several different kinds of nonprofit business structures into the following categories:

Charitable organizations

  1. Civic league, social welfare organization, or local employee association
  2. Trade or professional association
  3. Social or recreational club
  4. Fraternal societies
  5. Veteran organizations

Each category listed above has different tax implications. The California Attorney General’s Guide for Charities is a great source of information regarding setting up a California charitable organization.

How to Form A Nonprofit in California

In order to form a nonprofit corporation in California, you first need to choose and reserve a corporate name and prepare and file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. You can check with the Secretary of State to determine if a proposed corporate name is available. We recommend you reserve a corporate name (60 day period) to ensure you receive your desired name.

Once you designate a corporate name, you will need to file the Articles of Incorporation. The Articles of Incorporation identify the organization’s name, purpose, agent for service of process, and any limitations on corporate powers. Your corporation will be legally created with the filing of the Articles of Incorporation.

In addition, you will need to create bylaws, elect initial directors, take the initial board meeting minutes, and file the Statement of Information by Domestic Nonprofit Corporation within 90 days after filing the Articles of Incorporation. If your organization receives any type of assets, you will need to register with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts. We can help prepare and file these documents on your behalf. Contact us for more information.

File for Federal & State Tax Exempt Status

Once you have a nonprofit corporation established, you will need to file documents with the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board to obtain tax exempt status. Obtaining a tax exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) can be tedious. The application consist of 11 parts and 8 schedules. It usually takes the IRS 3-4 months to process the application.

Once you receive a letter from the IRS designating your tax exempt status, you can file it with the Franchise Tax Board in order to request affirmation of your nonprofit’s tax exemption. This will allow you to forgo the filing of the complicated state income tax exemption form.

Hire a Nonprofit Legal Document Preparer

At A People’s Choice, we have helped several charitable organizations obtain nonprofit tax exempt status. We provide affordable rates and can save you hundreds of dollars. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you form a nonprofit in California.

Get help with your California legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!


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