Starting a nonprofit organization in Washington State can seem daunting, but with the right guidance, anyone can get the process underway. To get started, potential nonprofit founders should be aware of the necessary steps, resources, and laws that are required to properly register and operate a nonprofit in the state.
Research Nonprofit Requirements
Before beginning the registration process, potential nonprofit founders should research the requirements for creating a nonprofit in Washington State. This research should include understanding the Washington State Nonprofit Corporation Act, which provides the framework for forming and managing nonprofit organizations in the state. Additionally, potential founders should also familiarize themselves with Washington State’s Office of the Secretary of State, which oversees the registration of all nonprofits in the state.
Create a Nonprofit Plan
Once potential founders have a strong understanding of the legal requirements for starting a nonprofit, they should begin creating a nonprofit plan. This plan should include the mission and goals of the organization, as well as a detailed description of how the nonprofit will operate. The plan should also include a budget to help determine the costs associated with running the organization.
Register the Nonprofit
Once the nonprofit plan is complete, potential founders should register the nonprofit with the Washington State Office of the Secretary of State. To do this, they will need to fill out and submit the necessary registration forms, which can be found on the Washington State Office of the Secretary of State’s website. Along with the forms, potential founders will need to provide a description of the nonprofit’s purpose, the names and addresses of its directors, and its proposed governing documents.
Obtain Tax Exempt Status
In order to be recognized as a nonprofit organization in Washington State, potential founders must obtain tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. To do this, they will need to submit the necessary paperwork to the IRS, which can be found on the IRS website. The IRS will review the paperwork and, if approved, will provide the nonprofit with a tax exemption number.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Depending on the type of nonprofit being created, potential founders may need to obtain certain licenses and permits in order to legally operate in the state. These licenses and permits can include business licenses, fundraising licenses, and other permits that may be required. Potential founders should research the specific licenses and permits that are required for their nonprofit and obtain them before beginning operations.
Starting a nonprofit organization in Washington State can be an exciting endeavor, but it requires a lot of planning and preparation. Potential founders should research the necessary steps and legal requirements for forming and operating a nonprofit in the state, create a detailed plan for the organization, register the nonprofit with the state, obtain tax exempt status from the IRS, and obtain any necessary licenses and permits. With the right guidance and preparation, anyone can get the process underway and begin making a difference in their community.