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Nonprofit Management Solutions Resources - Steps, Forms and Information on Starting A Nonprofit Corporation in California
Steps, Forms and Information on Starting
A Nonprofit Corporation in California

       

Recommendations before you apply for tax-exempt status–

a) Read Get Ready, Get Set (2.5M .pdf). This resource explores information you need to know prior to starting a nonprofit. Also available in Spanish En Sus Marcas, Prepárense (2.5M .pdf).

b) Develop a business plan that includes a minimum of your proposed organization’s mission, organizational chart, proposed services, needs assessment, implementation strategy, and resources to accomplish your mission.

       
1. SELECT A NAME
2. SECURE AN EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
3. SECURE THE NONPROFIT INCORPORATION PACKET
4. FILE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
5. DEVELOP BYLAWS
6. PREPARE CALIFORNIA APPLICATION FOR TAX EXEMPTION FT B 3500
7. SUBMIT APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL TAX EXEMPTION PACKAGE 1023
8. MAIL A COPY OF THE IRS TAX DETERMINATION LETTER TO THE FRANCHISE TAX BOARD IN SACRAMENTO
   
  SUGGESTIONS
  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
       
     
1. SELECT A NAME- Although it is not required, it is advisable to reserve a name in advance. This way you are not delayed in securing your tax-exempt status because another corporation has already selected the name you chose.
   
  Choice A
The San Diego office of the California Secretary of State closed in April 2010 due to budgetery constraints. Visit: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/be/name-availability.htm for information and to download a Name Reservation Request Form.
       
      California Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
       
  Choice B Visit the business section of the California State web site www.sos.ca.gov, go to the business section and download/print Name Availability Inquiry Letter and Name Reservation Request Form.

A preliminary check of the availability of a corporation name can be made by mailing the Name Availability Inquiry Letter to:
       
      California Secretary of State
Name Availability Unit
1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
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2. SECURE AN EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER The best method for securing an Employee Identification Number (EIN) is to go to the Internal Revenue Service web site www.irs.gov and print Form SS-4 along with instructions.

To apply use the fill-in form available on the IRS web site www.irs.gov. Complete the form and call (866) 816-2065 or fax the completed form to (215) 526-3990. There is no charge for filing this form.

If you do not have Internet access, you may order a copy of Form SS-4 by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM or by visiting the San Diego IRS office:
       
      Internal Revenue Service
880 Front Street, First Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am to 4:30pm
       
  Order the following while you are on the IRS web site or at the San Diego IRS office – you will need them later, in addition to the Form SS-4:
       
  Form 8718 User Fee for Exempt Organization
Determination Letter Request
       
  Package 1023 Application for Recognition of Exemption, which includes official instructions
       
  Publication 557 Information on being a nonprofit corporation
   
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3. SECURE THE NONPROFIT INCORPORATION PACKET- By visiting the San Diego office of the California Secretary of State (see # 1A).

The Nonprofit Incorporation Packet includes:
       
  a) samples of the Articles of Incorporation,
b) fee schedule and process for filing Articles of     Incorporation,
c) form to reserve name, and
d) Form FTB 3500, California tax exemption application.
    DO NOT REQUEST SEPARATELY
 
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4. FILE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION – If you do not secure sample Articles of Incorporation plus instructions from the San Diego Secretary of State's office, you can download them at the California's Business Portal under Forms.
Submit a check for $30, payable to the Secretary of State, along with the original and four copies of your proposed Articles of Incorporation to:
       
      California Secretary of State
Legal Review Unit
1500 11th Street, Room 390
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-2318
       
  or, The Articles of Incorporation may be hand delivered to the Secretary of State’s –San Diego office (see #1A). In addition to the $30 filing fee, a $15 special handling fee must be remitted by separate check for this counter service.
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5. DEVELOP BYLAWS (rules for managing your nonprofit)– Sample bylaws are available in the Nonprofit Management Solutions Resource Library.
 
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6.

PREPARE CALIFORNIA APPLICATION FOR TAX EXEMPTION FT B 3500- If you didn’t secure the form
FTB 3500 in the Nonprofit Incorporation Packet (see #3) you may request a form from:
       
      Franchise Tax Board
353 Mission Center Road, Room 314
San Diego, CA 92108
(800) 852-5711
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm


or online at: www.ftb.ca.gov/forms
       
  Mail completed application for tax exemption FTB 3500 along with requested attachments and a $25 check, payable to the Franchise Tax Board to:
       
      Franchise Tax Board
P.O. Box 942857
Sacramento, CA 94257-4041
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7. SUBMIT APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL TAX EXEMPTION PACKAGE 1023-
       
  Items to submit:
  a) Completed Package 1023 along with requested      attachments
b) Form 8718
c) Check for $750, payable to the Internal Revenue Service
       
  MAIL TO:   Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 192
Covington, KY 41012-0192
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8. MAIL A COPY OF THE IRS TAX DETERMINATION LETTER TO THE FRANCHISE TAX BOARD IN SACRAMENTO (see #6)
       
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SUGGESTIONS
       
Follow instructions
       
Make copies
       
Make sure your IRS Tax Determination Letter is in a secure place (the IRS does not provide copies)
       
Contact the city or county clerk where the principal place of business is located for information regarding business licenses, fictitious business names, zoning requirements, etc.
       
If you have employees, register with
       
      California Development Department
3110 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92108
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ADDITONAL RESOURCES
       
www.nonprofit.about.com
    Nonprofit Charitable Organizations
   
www.fdncenter.org
    Foundation Center
   
www.ftb.ca.gov
    Resource: Starting a Business
   
www.form1023help.com
    How to complete application for federal tax exemption
   
How to Form a California Nonprofit Corporation
    Available for purchase or viewing in the NMS Resource Library
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