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Apply for 501c3 Status – Form a 501c3 Organization

We’re Your Starting Point!

Nonprofit Elite provides expert counsel and outsourcing services to startup nonprofit organizations, including preparation of your formation documents, help through the 501c3 application process, and a full range of consulting and compliance solutions. No matter where you are in the startup process, we can help.

Call 800.268.4388 with your questions today!

Nonprofit Elite provided us with consultation, formation documents, and preparation of our 501c3 application – a first class experience from start to finish. Our goal was to do things the right way and that’s exactly what happened. Ben and his team were helpful at every step. We had our IRS approval in three months.”

—Malcolm K. Farmer
President and General Manager
NBA’s G League Texas Legends

Understanding the 501c3 Application Process

Articles of Incorporation

Step one is to incorporate in your state as a nonprofit or public benefit corporation by filing Articles of Incorporation with your Department/ Secretary of State. While there are other ways to form a 501c3 organization, such as creating a trust or non-incorporated organization, state incorporation is by far the most common method. Incorporation costs vary from state to state but typical fees range from $25-$125. The length of time to incorporate ranges from a few hours to several months, depending on the state and your filing method. Most important is that you must include the IRS-required purpose and dissolution language in your formation documents, even though most state forms do NOT mention these requirements.

Tax ID Number and Bylaws

Your next step is to obtain a Tax Identification Number from the IRS, also called an EIN or FEIN, and then create organizational Bylaws. Bylaws are a required governing document that provide rules and management guidelines for your organization and your board of directors. A custom set of Bylaws takes a few days to prepare, and we can obtain your Tax ID Number online from the IRS website in about 20 minutes. There are no state or federal filing fees associated with obtaining your EIN or creating Bylaws, but keep in mind both of these items are carefully reviewed when you file your IRS Form 1023 to apply to the IRS for federal tax-exempt status.

IRS Form 1023

The last step in the 501c3 application process is to file either IRS Form 1023 or IRS Form 1023-EZ with the IRS. This is by far the most complex and time-consuming part of the process; even the IRS estimates 20–100+ hours of preparation time for a first time applicant. We strongly encourage you to contact Nonprofit Elite to determine which form to file, and there is a required User Fee of either $275 or $600 depending on the form. Once completed, you will submit your IRS Form 1023 application to the IRS for review along with signed copies of your formation documents, Bylaws, Tax ID Number, Conflict of Interest Policy, User Fee, and all additional schedules and notes.

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New $275 Form 1023-EZ User Fee (July 1, 2016)

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IRS Form 1023-EZ Help and Services

IRS Form 1023-EZ Help, Cost and Services [custom_frame_right shadow="on"] Searching for IRS Form 1023-EZ help, cost or filing services?  Nonprofit Elite can help! We are excited to offer a more affordable and faster 501c3 application process to small and mid-size nonprofit organizations seeking to obtain tax exempt status from the IRS. The newly-released 501c3 application [...]

IRS Approval – Phoebe’s Phriends

Congratulations to Nonprofit Elite client (CT) Phoebe's Phriends who recently received their approved IRS Letter of Determination. This is a wonderful organization that raises money for Pediatric Cancer Research, and they are doing a great job! And for anyone curious, the IRS review process took approximately eight months for this [...]

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