The decision to convert from for-profit to nonprofit status in the United States involves more than simply filing to become tax-exempt. First, you need to consider whether your current business activities qualify as charitable activities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Get started with these two Candid resources, the video Can My Business Be a Nonprofit? and the course Is Starting a Nonprofit Right for You? Attend the class in person or watch it as a video.

Since you would need to change your filing status with the IRS, it is important to research its regulations on charitable organizations. Keep in mind that the IRS also classifies other types of tax-exempt entities, such as business leagues, labor and social welfare organizations, each with their own restrictions and eligibility requirements.

You also need to check with your state agency (typically the Secretary of State or Attorney General's office) to find out what they require you to submit. Locate your state's charity office.

Incorporating as a nonprofit involves a certain loss of personal ownership over the organization, since all nonprofit organizations are run by a board of directors. It is important for you to consider the pros and cons of incorporating as a nonprofit before you make your decision.

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See our related Knowledge Base articles:

- How can I find board members for my nonprofit?
- How do I write a business plan for a nonprofit organization?
- What is social enterprise?
- Can my organization have a subsidiary?

See how ready you are to start a nonprofit with Candid's Nonprofit Startup Assessment.

More articles on starting a nonprofit

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