Four Things to Know About Starting a Nonprofit Corporation in Florida
In recent years, there has been a notable surge in the creation of nonprofits throughout the country. In Florida, there are specific rules that apply to the creation and operation of a nonprofit corporation. But despite the complex rules and regulation that may apply, starting a nonprofit does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. At the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, we are devoted to helping nonprofits of all sizes get off the ground. We are especially motivated to help religious nonprofits as they navigate the law and ever-changing rules. Here are four things that you need to know before starting a Florida nonprofit.
Filing Requirements are Different From a Typical Corporation
When filing your articles of incorporation with the Florida Secretary of State, you will need to make sure that everything is typed legibly and in English, regardless of the language spoken by the members. Likewise, you must ensure that a director signs off on everything.
You Must Have a Board of Directors
Florida nonprofits must have a minimum of three directors. They must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 or older (one may be as young as 15 if permitted by the nonprofit bylaws)
- Directors may serve one-year terms
- There is no residency requirement for directors
You Must Establish a Unique Tax ID Number (EIN) With the IRS
Unlike a sole member LLC or other flow-through taxation entity, you cannot just use your social security number for tax filings. Your nonprofit is a unique entity that must be created and exist as its own separate company for IRS purposes. This means setting up an EIN with the IRS.
You Will Need to Comply With Federal 501(c)(3) Rules to be Exempt From Taxation
Most people establish a nonprofit to do good works for others. Examples may include churches, daycare centers, homeless shelters, or recovery and treatment centers. Many faith-based charities are set up as nonprofits. The primary benefit for having a nonprofit corporation is to provide free or reduced cost services to the public without the need to pay taxes. But it is not enough to establish your nonprofit in Florida. While this may be the first step, you will also need to comply with federal law in order to be exempt from IRS taxes. This means meeting the requirements of IRS Section 501(c)(3). Many small religious nonprofits run afoul of these complex rules when they fail to consult with a small business attorney.
Getting Help Early
Before you begin taking donations or expending money on your new nonprofit, be sure to consult an experienced small business and nonprofit attorney near you. At the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, we approach every new nonprofit with the same loving attention we would apply to any other business. In fact, as a faith-based law firm in Miami, we are passionate about making sure that religious organizations are protected from discrimination and that they can operate free from taxation. This is the best way to help small charities and other nonprofits provide the best services available to the people of our community. For help forming your nonprofit or to deal with accidental regulatory violations, give our firm a call today or visit us online to learn more.