You have the background, the desire and the mission to get your new business up and running.  Should it be a profit or non-profit entity?  You want to go after federal and state grant funding opportunities and think a non-profit is the best way to go.  If you are unfamiliar with the tax laws that are specific to non-profit 501(c) (3) federally designated corporations, it is wise to seek out a knowledgeable business law attorney.

 

Corporation set up.

Setting up a corporation is not difficult in the State of Florida.  Most of the paperwork can be retrieved on Sunbiz.org, however if you do not set it up correctly from the beginning, there may be problems with your business structure down the road. In most instances, a person knows what they want to do for their business and the services they would like to offer, but they do not know how to legally define the activities and the mission statement involved, or what the tax structure  should be.  A business attorney can help with all of that.  The Florida Laws regarding corporate structure will need to be followed.  These instructions are for incorporating a Florida Non-Profit Corporation pursuant to s.617.0202, F.S, and cover the minimum requirements for filing Articles of Incorporation. The Florida Division of Corporation recommends a review of all documents by legal counsel before submission, because they do not provide legal, accounting or tax advice.

A business attorney can help you with:

  1. Naming a corporation. Filing a request for the name you wish. A name must be unique and distinguishable for State Department recording, and include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Corp,” or “Inc.” A name search is necessary before submitting documents and should not be assumed by the business until a formal acknowledgement is sent from the Division of Corporations.
  2. Drafting articles of incorporation. An attorney can assist with the creation of this document that includes: 1) a principal office or street address for the business, 2) a mailing address if different from street address, 3) choosing a registered agent and supplying their name and address who will be the person responsible on behalf of the business who has a physical address not a P.O. Box, 4) a signature on the proper form for the registered agent accepting obligations of Florida S 617.0501, 5) a specific purpose for the corporation such as “community support,” 6) using specific language to reflect the 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, 7) choosing a governing body for the corporation and how they will be elected, 8) drafting by-laws which will state how the company will be run, 9) choosing an effective date of the corporation which will require annual renewal documents with the State, and 10) providing signatures of all responsible parties to the corporation.
  3. Filing 501c3 paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.
  4. DBA or Fictitious Name assignment if necessary, an attorney can advise with this.
  5. DUNS numbers are required for federal granting agencies and an attorney can fill out the paperwork to get you going with this.
  6. Tax structures are important to set up early so filing of returns is made easy, and you do not find yourself in the position of owing taxes and not being able to pay them. An attorney can be of great assistance to advise you on the tax structure suitable to your revenue stream, they can also file your quarterly and annual returns in collaboration with an accountant, or in some cases a business attorney may also know the tax laws for corporation progress and will include  those activities in corporation representation.

Hire an attorney.

It is important to hire a business law attorney in St. Augustine to work out all of the intricate details of setting up a non-profit corporation in Florida.

 

Old City Law, PLLC

1 Riberia Street.

St. Augustine, FL 32084

[email protected]
(904) 806-2471

Sources.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0600-0699/0617/Sections/0617.0202.html

https://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/start-business/efile/fl-nonprofit-corporation/instructions/

https://app.irs-ein-tax-id.com/NonProfit

http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ByName

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501c3-organizations