Articles of Incorporation
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All organizations (except those classified as churches) are required to file an annual 990 form (990N, 990EZ, 990, or 990PF) to be exempt from Income Tax.
The 990 return is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year.
Failure to file for 3 consecutive years could cause your organization to lose tax-exempt status.
Florida Nonprofit Filing Requirements
In order to become an official Florida nonprofit, you have to incorporate with the state. There are several steps you have to take in order to prepare:
- Give your nonprofit a unique name that abides by state requirements
- Choose a registered agent: a business or entity with a Florida address that can receive important legal documents for your nonprofit
- Choose directors and officers: at least three directors or board members, and at least one officer with responsibilities in the organization including recording meeting minutes
- Adopt bylaws and a conflict of interest policy
Once you have all of these Florida nonprofit filing requirements complete, you’re ready to file your articles of incorporation.
Florida Nonprofit Articles Of Incorporation
Officially register your Florida nonprofit by filing with the state. There are several pieces of information you have to have ready when you do:
- Organization’s name
- Registered agent name, address, and signature
- Corporate purpose: this must have specific language based on your situation that is not included in the standard state-provided boilerplate in order to qualify for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status
- Optional: officers and directors
- Manner of election for officers and directors
- Effective date
- Incorporator’s name and signature
- Correspondence name and email
Keep in mind that you will also have to file an annual report to stay compliant with the state, or the organization will be administratively dissolved.
Florida Nonprofit Tax Exemption
After you have your Florida nonprofit articles of incorporation, you can get an employer identification number. When you have all of that done, you’ll be ready to file for tax exemption with the IRS.
The bright side about creating a nonprofit in Florida is that they’ll accept a positive IRS Letter of Determination, so you don’t have to apply separately for state tax exemption.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re wondering how to become a 501(c)(3) in Florida, the process is pretty straightforward.
- First, you’ll need to go through the standard process of nonprofit incorporation in Florida.
- Then you’ll need to register as a charity with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and apply for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (Form 1023).
For more information on how to start a nonprofit in Florida, please refer to our Nonprofit Startup Guide.
As a new nonprofit organization, you’ll need to file Florida nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. These are submitted to the Florida Secretary of State, and they must include your unique corporation name, principal business address, the name and address of the registered agent, the corporate purpose, the names of all officers/directors, and other related information.
Every nonprofit in Florida is required to file an annual report confirming that the corporation is still active and that the principal information is still accurate.
The Florida non-profit annual report is filed each year between January 1st and May 1st.
If you’re interested in starting a 501(c)(3) in Florida, your organization must meet certain criteria. It must be “organized and operated exclusively” for at least one exempt purpose (e.g. religious or charitable). Members and officers can be provided “reasonable compensation” but cannot personally benefit from the net earnings. In addition, nonprofits are prohibited from taking part in political campaigns for or against a specific candidate. Florida nonprofits are also required to have at least three board members upon formation. Aside from that, the only major nonprofit requirements are to keep up with the annual state and federal reporting requirements.
Bylaws are an important aspect of any nonprofit. They generally comprise a list of rules governing the organization, and they’re agreed upon at the first Board of Directors meeting. Florida does not impose specific rules regarding bylaws, so you can construct them in whatever way works best for your organization. In addition, you’re not required to include them in your Florida nonprofit Articles of Incorporation or submit them to the Secretary of State. Just make sure that you keep them readily accessible in your main place of business.
If you’re looking for help operating your Florida nonprofit, making it sustainable and keeping it state-compliant, BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions is here for you.
We’re experts in the nonprofit world, having helped over 30,000 people with their nonprofits nationwide.
Give us a call today to find out how we can best help you help others.