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Nonprofit Education

Checklist for starting a nonprofit in New York

Nonprofit organizations can help people in your community. There are many different types of nonprofits, but they all focus on helping others and solving problems. Understanding how to start a nonprofit organization in New York is not difficult if you follow along with our New York nonprofit compliance checklist. By using the steps below you can create your own checklist. Any nonprofit starts with identifying a problem and searching for a solution to that problem.

charity workers helping families and children

Step 1 Find your purpose

When you’re thinking about how to start a nonprofit organization in New York, it’s important to consider your purpose. Think about the communities you want to serve and determine your mission, values, and purpose.

Step 2 Pick a name

Step 2 of your New York nonprofit compliance checklist is selecting a name for your nonprofit. The name of your nonprofit cannot conflict with other corporations already on file with the New York Department of State. There are also specific words and phrases that cannot be included in your name under New York Law. Be sure to follow and understand any and all guidelines when naming your organization to avoid problems later. Select a name that helps identify your purpose. Having the right name will help people find you and attract support for your cause.

Step 3 Formation meeting

Part of the New York nonprofit compliance checklist should include holding a meeting to select board members. This meeting is to appoint officers, approve Bylaws, and set up the operations for the nonprofit. The meeting minutes should be recorded along with any decisions and action items.

Step 4 Incorporate your nonprofit

The next thing to do is form a nonprofit corporation under New York state law and file the necessary paperwork. Forming your nonprofit begins with selecting at least three board members. Board members must be at least 18 years of age unless the nonprofit involves youth activities. The board for your nonprofit will manage operations and make decisions on behalf of the organization. Starting a nonprofit organization in New York starts with a board that will make decisions and develops a plan to address the issues the organization is focused on.

Step 5 Apply for an EIN

When you start a nonprofit organization in New York, you’re going to need a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is used by the IRS to identify your organization. By having an EIN number, your organization can conduct business, open bank accounts, file state, and federal taxes, and hire employees.

Step 6 Create your bylaws

In order to comply with New York State Law, you will need to create your Bylaws. Bylaws are a set of rules that govern the operation of your nonprofit. These Bylaws must comply with New York State law regarding corporations.

Step 7 Articles of Incorporation

The next step in starting a nonprofit corporation organized in New York is to file your Articles of Incorporation. In New York, these articles are known as a Certificate of Incorporation. A Certificate of Incorporation is a document filed with the state that legally defines the corporation’s creation. The information in these documents provides general information about the corporation, such as the name and address of the organization.

Step 8 Appoint a Registered Agent

Appoint a registered agent. Like most states, New York requires you to appoint a registered agent. But in New York, every corporation must appoint the New York Department of State as it’s registered agent for service. A registered agent is responsible for legal documents received by your business. In this case, the New York Department of State will accept documents on behalf of a corporation if it’s sued and forward them on to the organization.

Step 9 Check for license or permits

Your New York nonprofit compliance checklist should include checking for special licensing requirements. In order for some nonprofits in New York to be compliant, it may be necessary to obtain a business license or permit. Contact the New York Business Express to find out if permits or licenses are required for your nonprofit. A license may be required due to the location and specific activities associated with your nonprofit.

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By following the steps outlined above, you will know how to start a nonprofit organization in New York and avoid problems with state compliance issues. Be sure to create your own New york nonprofit compliance checklist and start helping people today.

If you need help starting a nonprofit in New York, get in touch with us at BryteBridge today. We have experts ready to help.

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