Knowing how to start a nonprofit in Florida is not a difficult process. Start the process by checking your eligibility as a 501(c)3 organization in Florida. The best approach is to always begin with a plan. Be sure to research nonprofits in Florida and determine the specific requirements for your organization.
Step 1: Pick a Name
The first thing to consider is a name for your organization. There are special requirements for organization names in Florida, so be sure to check your name to avoid problems. Your name should reflect the purpose of your organization and be searchable to allow potential donors to find you.
Step 2: Nominate a Registered Agent
Once you have a name and start your nonprofit in Florida, you must nominate a registered agent for your organization. A registered agent is a person responsible for legal documents received by your business. A registered agent must be a resident of Florida or a corporation legally allowed to conduct business in Florida.
Step 3: Elect a Board of Directors
Starting a nonprofit in Florida requires electing a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for managing the organization. A board usually consists of a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a secretary, and various other positions needed to run the organization. Florida requires you to have a minimum of three directors who are not related to each other and at least one officer who will record the meeting minutes. The specifics of board positions are usually found in the organization’s Bylaws, but must also comply with state requirements.
Step 4: Bylaws Policy
When starting a nonprofit in Florida, you are required to have Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest policy. Bylaws are a set of rules that govern the operation of the nonprofit. A conflict of interest policy is to ensure that decisions made by the board and officers are best for the organization and do not benefit individual members. These requirements must be put into place at the first organizational meeting when the Board of Directors is elected.
Step 5: Articles of Incorporation
The next step is to file your Articles of Incorporation. Articles of Incorporation are documents filed with a government body that legally state the corporation’s creation. The information in these documents provides general information about the corporation, such as the name and address of the organization. There are special requirements when starting a nonprofit in Florida in order to qualify as a 501(c)(3) organization. In Florida, the purpose of your organization must meet the requirements found here.
Step 6: Employer Identification Number
Now that you have the Articles of Incorporation, you can apply for 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.
Now that you know how to start a nonprofit in Florida, your organization can then apply for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.