Each of these completed documents, along with your $400 or $850 filing fee, then becomes part of your 501c3 application packet to be filed with the IRS. You must place the documents in the correct order and make sure that nothing is missing. Your filing fee payment is made by check and should be made payable to the United States Treasury. The check should be placed on top of your application and none of the forms should be attached by staples or paperclips.
Preparing your formation documents (Articles of Incorporation) and waiting for approval from the state takes usually takes between two days and a couple of weeks, depending on your filing method (mail, online, or fax) and the state in which you are incorporating. Then, waiting for the IRS to review your 501c3 application packet takes somewhere between 2-9 months, although three to five months is more common.
Add all of this up, and a new nonprofit organization starting at the very beginning can expect at least three months and perhaps longer (4-7 months) before achieving 501c3 federal tax exempt status from the IRS.
If you have questions about applying for 501c3 exempt status or want to know more, please contact us at 1.800.268.4388. We’re glad to help!