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1st steps

!!emoji!!1!!emoji!! soaring eagle ॐ
11/09/12 04:25:47PM

this was taken from another discussion and is state specid-fic but the general frameworks pretty simular state to state and i think we can form in 1 stTe and reelocate to another once we find land

the 1st steps we should take are organizational

forming a non profit

we dont have to do all the legl stuff on day 1 we can start the process and make it legfit when ready heres the colorodo steps to form a nin profit ive done these steps in pa and its virtualy the same

1. Choose who will be on the founding board of directors for your nonprofit corporation.

In Colorado, your nonprofit corporation must have one or more directors.

2. Choose a name for your Colorado nonprofit corporation.

The name of your nonprofit corporation cannot be the same as the name of another nonprofit corporation on file with the Colorado Secretary of State. To see if your proposed name is available, you can search Colorados name database at

3. Prepare and file your nonprofit articles of incorporation.

You will need to create and file nonprofit articles of incorporation with the Colorado Secretary of State office. The articles of incorporation need to include basic information such as your nonprofits name, your nonprofits statement of purpose, certain provisions required for state and federal tax-exempt purposes, and the name and address of your registered agent (the person to whom legal notices should be sent).

The Colorado Secretary of State should have a nonprofit articles of incorporation form -- either a fill-in-the-blank form or a sample on which you can base your articles. To ensure that youll receive 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status when you apply with the IRS, youll need to include specific language to ensure that you'll receive tax-exempt status, such as a clause dedicating the nonprofits assets to another 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization should your nonprofit end. Your state form may include these provisions already but, if yours doesnt, consult a legal self-help guide such as How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo), to make sure your articles comply with Colorados nonprofit laws.

4. Prepare bylaws for your Colorado nonprofit corporation.

Youll need to prepare bylaws that comply with Colorado law and contain the rules and procedures your corporation will follow for holding meetings, electing officers and directors, and taking care of other corporate formalities required in Colorado. For more information, see Nolos article Nonprofit Formation Documents: Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Organizational Minutes or, for help creating your bylaws, see Nolos book How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo). Your bylaws do not need to be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State -- they are your internal operating manual.

5. Hold a meeting of your board of directors.

Your first board meeting is usually referred to as the organizational meeting of the board. The board should take such actions as:

  • approving the bylaws
  • appointing officers
  • setting an accounting period and tax year, and
  • approving initial transactions of the corporation, such as the opening of a corporate bank account.

After the meeting is completed, minutes of the meeting should be created.

6. Set up a corporate records binder.

You should set up a corporate records binder for your nonprofit to hold important document such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and minutes of meetings. For more information, as well as minutes forms, consent forms, and other resolutions, see Nonprofit Meetings, Minutes & Records, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo).

Now that you have created your nonprofit corporation, you can obtain your federal and Colorado state tax exemptions. Here are the three steps you must take to obtain your tax-exempt status:

1. File your Form 1023 federal tax exemption application.

To obtain federal tax-exempt status, you need to complete and file IRS Form 1023 with the IRS. This long and detailed form asks for lots of information about your organization, including its history, finances, organizational structure, governance policies, operations, activities, and more. For more information, see Nolos article How to Obtain 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status for Your Nonprofit or, for line-by-line instruction on how to complete the form, see How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation, by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo).

2. Obtain your Colorado state tax exemptions.

Once you have your federal tax exemption, you need to obtain your Colorado state tax exemption. This may include exemptions from income, property, sales, and other state taxes. Colorados tax agency will have a form you need to file to obtain your state tax exemption.

3. Other state reporting and registration requirements.

Depending on your activities and the size of your organization, you may need to register with the Colorado attorney general before doing any fundraising activities. Check with Colorado's attorney general website at for additional rules or, for more information about fundraising registration requirements, see Nonprofit Fundraising Registration: The 50-State Guide, by Stephen Fishman (Nolo).

Thats it! Thats all it takes to become a Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation in Colorado.

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