How to Start a Nonprofit in Georgia


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Start a Nonprofit in Georgia

Are you looking to start a nonprofit in Georgia? You’ve come to the right place. Known for its vibrant community and rich culture, Georgia (often referred to as The Peach State) is an ideal location for establishing a nonprofit organization. Unlike for-profit businesses, nonprofits focus on addressing pressing social issues and require a strong foundation, thorough research, and a clear mission targeting a specific community problem.

Embarking on the journey of creating a nonprofit entails various crucial steps, such as obtaining 501(c)(3) status. A 501(c)(3) organization is designed for charitable, religious, educational purposes, and more, qualifying it for federal and state tax exemptions.

In the spirit of Georgia’s motto, “Wisdom, justice, and moderation,” thousands of nonprofits are founded within the state each year. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to starting your own nonprofit corporation in Georgia. Keep in mind that the steps discussed here are general guidelines, and modifications may be necessary depending on your specific circumstances. To gain a deep understanding of how to start a nonprofit in Georgia, we encourage you to read this article in its entirety.

What is a Nonprofit in Georgia?

Nonprofit organizations are legal entities that operate to serve public benefits and address community issues. Unlike for-profit organizations, nonprofits do not aim to generate any profit. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) generally exempts nonprofit organizations from tax. However, based on the business entity structure, you will receive tax exemptions as a nonprofit.

In Georgia, ensure you have a community issue to address before you start forming your nonprofit. It can generally be education, religion, charity, social service, or other social issues. Nonprofits do not pay taxes on the money they receive through fundraising programs, donations, or any charitable funding.

Types of Nonprofits in Georgia

The first thing one has to decide is what type of nonprofit structure one wants. There are several types of nonprofits one can start. Here is a list of nonprofit types one can choose from-

  1. Nonprofit LLC
  2. Nonprofit Corporation
  3. Unincorporated Nonprofit

Forming an LLC in Georgia for your nonprofit can be a smooth option. However, having a corporation is less complex than having a nonprofit LLC. Hence, it is wise to start a nonprofit corporation instead of an unincorporated nonprofit or nonprofit LLC.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team.

Technically, starting a corporation for your nonprofit protects your personal assets but also is eligible for Federal and State tax exemptions. When you form an LLC for your nonprofit, it only protects your personal assets but does not give you any tax exemptions. On the other hand, a nonprofit Corporation has both corporation and limited liability company benefits. You can also have an unincorporated structure where you don’t have to register it. Unincorporated nonprofits in Georgia might be eligible for tax exemptions (check with Georgia Department of Revenue), but this type of organization does not get to enjoy limited liability and personal asset protection.

How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in Georgia

Setting up a nonprofit corporation requires a few things to consider. Name of the nonprofit, initial directors, drafting bylaws, get a Registered Agent, obtain tax IDs, insurance, and a bank account – these are important steps you must follow. The steps mentioned here are general business formation steps. State-wise, some steps can be different. Getting an expert consultation before you start your nonprofit corporation formation is recommended. Here are the steps explained below-

Step 1: Get a Suitable Name for Your Georgia Nonprofit Corp

The first step is to name your nonprofit corporation. You must be sure that the name is available and that no other organization is using this name. You can check the Georgia LLC name search to find the best suitable name for your organization. You must follow those rules to avoid any legal issues later. You can reserve the name for 30 days for any domestic entity (such as a nonprofit LLC) if you’re not forming the nonprofit immediately.

Step 2: Appoint the Initial Board of Directors

The next step is to get your nonprofit’s initial board of directors. It is very important when you are setting up a nonprofit corporation. You need at least One unrelated directors to start the organization. If you don’t choose a minimum of One directors, it will automatically become a member-managed corporation.

Step 3: Appoint Your Georgia Registered Agent

The third step is to get a Georgia Registered Agent for your nonprofit corporation. The Registered Agent is a person who receives all the legal documents on your behalf. It is necessary to get a registered agent. He/she must be above 18 years old and have a physical address in Georgia.

Step 4: Write Georgia Nonprofit Bylaws

The next important step is to write the company bylaws. The directors and board members must decide how the meetings, elections, voting, and other corporate activities will be held. These bylaws must comply with the Georgia state law. It is similar to an LLC operating agreement in Georgia for the LLC owners.

Step 5: File the Georgia Articles of Incorporation

This is the most important step. File your Articles of Incorporation with the Georgia Secretary of State. You can do it through three ways, online, by mail and in-person. All the formation forms, such as the Georgia LLC Articles of Organization form, the Georgia Articles of Incorporation form for corporations, forms for LLPs, and all others can be found on the Georgia SOS official website. Submit the details of your nonprofit corporation, like the name of the nonprofit, address, name and address of the registered agent, operation dates, directors’ details, and more information related to your company. You can send the form (for offline filing) and the filing fee of $100 for filing online and $110 for filing it by mail and in person. to the Corporations Division,, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE,, Suite 313 West Tower,, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. or upload it online (if available).

Step 6: Obtain Tax ID for Your Georgia Nonprofit Corporation

The subsequent step involves obtaining a Tax ID for your nonprofit corporation. You will need to acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the official IRS website. To obtain the EIN, submit your application to the IRS office either by mail or through their online platform. There is no associated cost for this process.

Step 7: Get Business Licenses in Georgia

The next step is to get the business licenses you need to run your nonprofit organization in Georgia. Check with the local government office if any special licenses you need to run your nonprofit. You can file your nonprofit as a charity if you want.

Step 8: Federal Tax Exemption

You must submit Form 1023 to the IRS to file for federal tax exemption. This form, titled “Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” is required for all nonprofit corporations. Smaller nonprofits have the option to file Form 1023-EZ instead. You will be prompted to provide details about your organization upon obtaining the relevant form. Complete the form with the necessary information and submit it. The filing fees are $600 for Form 1023 and $275 for Form 1023-EZ.

Step 9: State Tax Exemption

Once you get the Federal Tax Exempt, it is time for State Tax Exempt. In Georgia, you must apply for the tax exemption to Georgia Department of Revenue. Get the form, fill it up with the correct details, and send it to the office. You may need to pay a fee along with the form and supportive documents to apply for the State Tax Exemption. You need ST-5 Certificate of Exemption to apply for the state tax exemption. Read Georgia classification of taxes to learn more about the Georgia tax structure.

Step 10: Get Insurance for Your Georgia Nonprofit

Once you start your nonprofit, you must get insurance to protect your organization. You must get workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance if you have employees. Based on your nonprofit structure, you might need general liability insurance, property, vehicle, auto insurance, etc. You can contact the insurance providers to learn more about which are required for your organization. Also, you can contact Georgia Department of Insurance for more information.

After Forming Your Georgia Nonprofit Corporation

Once your nonprofit is formed, there are additional steps to complete:

  • Get a Business Bank Account: You must get a business account for all types of business-related transactions in Georgia. You may need different documents based on the bank and place of business. Check with the bank for it.
  • File Nonprofit as Charity: This is optional. Your nonprofit is either for charity purposes or any purpose that meets your community’s needs. If your organization is for charity purposes, then you can file your nonprofit as a charity to enjoy tax exemptions.
  • Other Business Compliances: You may need additional compliances based on your nonprofit type. Check with your attorney or local authority for more information.

Names of Nonprofit Corporations in Georgia

Following are some of the Nonprofit Organizations in Georgia. The contact information of these organizations can be found on Georgia SOS official websites.

  • Sober Living America Inc.
  • Horse Rescue Relief and Retirement Fund Inc.
  • International Topical Steroid Awareness Network (ITSAN)
  • Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences Inc.
  • Next Generation Focus Inc.
  • Frankie and Andy’s Place
  • Healing4Heroes™ Inc.
  • Lindsey’s Place

FAQs

What is a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
A nonprofit organization in Georgia is an entity that is organized for a charitable, educational, religious, literary, or scientific purpose and is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).
What steps do I need to take to start a nonprofit in Georgia?
To start a nonprofit organization in Georgia, you must first create a corporate structure with the Georgia Secretary of State, obtain a federal tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service, and open a bank account in the name of the new organization. You may also need to register with the Georgia Department of Revenue for tax purposes and apply for recognition of exempt status from the IRS.
Do I need to register with the Georgia Secretary of State to form a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
Yes, you must register with the Georgia Secretary of State to form a nonprofit organization in Georgia.
Is there a fee to form a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
Yes, the Secretary of State charges filing fees for nonprofit organizations. The fee may vary based on the type of entity you are forming.
Who can form a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
Any individual, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity can form a nonprofit organization in Georgia.
What paperwork do I need to form a nonprofit in Georgia?
To form a nonprofit organization in Georgia, you will need to file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State, obtain a federal tax identification number from the Internal Revenue Service, and open a bank account in the name of the new organization.
How do I obtain a federal tax identification number for my nonprofit organization in Georgia?
To obtain a federal tax identification number for your nonprofit organization in Georgia, you must complete an IRS Form SS-4 and submit it to the Internal Revenue Service.
What are the benefits of forming a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
The benefits of forming a nonprofit organization in Georgia include tax-exempt status from the IRS, access to certain grants and donations, and the ability to receive certain tax deductions.
Are there any restrictions on the activities of a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
Yes, there are certain restrictions on the activities of a nonprofit organization in Georgia. These restrictions may vary based on the type of organization. Generally, nonprofits must avoid political activities and activities that serve to benefit private individuals or specific organizations.
Are there any special regulations for nonprofits in Georgia?
Yes, nonprofits in Georgia are subject to certain regulations, including registration with the Secretary of State, obtaining a federal tax identification number, and obtaining recognition of exempt status from the IRS. Nonprofits must also comply with any applicable state and local laws.
Is there an annual filing requirement for nonprofits in Georgia?
Yes, nonprofits in Georgia must file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The report must be filed by May 1 of each year.
Do I need to obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS to operate a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
Yes, you must obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS to operate a nonprofit organization in Georgia. To obtain recognition of exempt status, you must complete and submit an IRS Form 1023 or 1023-EZ.
Do I need to register with the Georgia Department of Revenue to operate a nonprofit organization in Georgia?
Yes, you must register with the Georgia Department of Revenue to operate a nonprofit organization in Georgia. You must complete and submit Form ST-5 to the Department of Revenue.
What are the tax implications of starting a nonprofit in Georgia?
Nonprofits in Georgia are exempt from federal and state income taxes, but may need to pay sales taxes and property taxes. Nonprofits may also be subject to certain other taxes such as payroll taxes and unemployment taxes.
What documents do I need to submit to obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS?
To obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS, you must complete and submit an IRS Form 1023 or 1023-EZ. Additionally, you may need to submit supporting documents such as a copy of your articles of incorporation, financial statements, and IRS Form 2848.
What are the reporting requirements for nonprofits in Georgia?
Nonprofits in Georgia must file an annual report with the Secretary of State by May 1 of each year. Additionally, nonprofits must comply with any applicable federal and state reporting requirements.
How do I apply for grants in Georgia?
To apply for grants in Georgia, you must first identify the grants that you are eligible for and then complete the necessary application forms. Different grants may have different requirements and application processes.
What are the accounting requirements for nonprofits in Georgia?
Nonprofits in Georgia must maintain accurate and complete financial records, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and donations. Nonprofits must also comply with any applicable state and IRS reporting requirements.
How do I open a bank account for my nonprofit organization in Georgia?
To open a bank account for your nonprofit organization in Georgia, you must provide the bank with the necessary paperwork, such as a copy of your articles of incorporation and a federal tax identification number.
How do I obtain a state sales tax exemption for my nonprofit organization in Georgia?
To obtain a state sales tax exemption for your nonprofit organization in Georgia, you must complete and submit Form ST-5 to the Georgia Department of Revenue.
How do I apply for a state property tax exemption for my nonprofit organization in Georgia?
To apply for a state property tax exemption for your nonprofit organization in Georgia, you must submit a petition to your county board of tax assessors.
Are there any resources available to help me start a nonprofit in Georgia?
Yes, there are several resources available to help you start a nonprofit in Georgia, including the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, the IRS website, and the Georgia Association of Nonprofits website.
What are the steps to establish a nonprofit in Georgia?
The steps for establishing a nonprofit in Georgia include incorporating with the Georgia Secretary of State, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, registering for sales tax with the Georgia Department of Revenue, and filing for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
What paperwork is required to start a nonprofit in Georgia?
The paperwork required to start a nonprofit in Georgia includes the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws, the Conflict of Interest policy, and the Form 1023 or Form 1024 application to the IRS.
What filing fees are associated with starting a nonprofit in Georgia?
The filing fees associated with starting a nonprofit in Georgia are the $100 filing fee to the Georgia Secretary of State, the $35 filing fee to the Georgia Department of Revenue, and the $600-$850 filing fee to the IRS.
What is the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code?
The Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code is the statutory authority governing nonprofit organizations in the State of Georgia.
Does Georgia have specific laws for nonprofits?
Yes, Georgia has specific laws for nonprofits, which are outlined in the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code.
What is the Georgia Secretary of State?
The Georgia Secretary of State is the state agency responsible for the oversight of corporations, including nonprofit organizations, in the State of Georgia.
Does Georgia have a registration requirement for nonprofits?
Yes, nonprofit organizations in Georgia are required to register with the Georgia Secretary of State.
What is the Georgia Department of Revenue?
The Georgia Department of Revenue is the state agency responsible for the collection of taxes, including sales tax, in the State of Georgia.
Is a Georgia nonprofit required to file taxes?
Yes, a Georgia nonprofit is required to file taxes, including Form 990, with the IRS.
What is the IRS?
The IRS, or Internal Revenue Service, is the federal agency responsible for the collection of taxes in the United States.
Can a Georgia nonprofit apply for 501(c)(3) status?
Yes, a Georgia nonprofit can apply for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
Is there a time limit to apply for 501(c)(3) status in Georgia?
Yes, Georgia nonprofits must apply for 501(c)(3) status within 27 months of incorporation or risk losing the ability to apply for the status.

Also Read

Why Georgia Nonprofit Corporation is So Important

Nonprofit corporations in Georgia span a wide range of sectors, including health and human services, education, environmental conservation, arts and culture, and more. These organizations work tirelessly to meet the needs of individuals and communities, often with limited resources and funding. Without the dedication and passion of nonprofit workers and volunteers, many essential services and programs would simply not exist.

One of the key reasons why nonprofit corporations are so important in Georgia is their ability to address complex social issues that require innovative and collaborative solutions. Whether it’s providing food and shelter for the homeless, advocating for the rights of marginalized communities, or promoting environmental conservation efforts, nonprofits play a critical role in driving social change and addressing systemic inequalities.

Nonprofit organizations also serve as a crucial resource for communities in times of crisis or disaster. When natural disasters strike or emergencies arise, nonprofit corporations in Georgia are often on the front lines, providing immediate support and assistance to those in need. Their ability to mobilize quickly and efficiently can mean the difference between life and death for individuals and families facing unforeseen challenges.

Furthermore, nonprofit corporations in Georgia play a vital role in advocating for social justice and equity. By amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, promoting advocacy efforts, and pushing for policy changes, nonprofits are instrumental in advancing social change and protecting the rights of all individuals. Their tireless advocacy work helps to create a more just and inclusive society for everyone.

Nonprofit organizations also provide invaluable opportunities for community engagement and volunteerism. Residents of Georgia have the chance to get involved with causes they are passionate about, whether through donating their time, skills, or resources. This sense of collective action and shared purpose fosters a strong sense of community and encourages individuals to work together towards common goals.

Overall, nonprofit corporations in Georgia serve as a vital force for good in the state, driving positive change and addressing critical social issues. Their commitment to serving the needs of communities, supporting vulnerable populations, and advocating for social justice is essential in building a more equitable and inclusive society for all. As we look towards the future, it is clear that nonprofit organizations will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the landscape of Georgia and supporting the well-being of all its residents.

Conclusion

Starting a nonprofit corporation in Georgia is an incredible way to give back to your community and positively impact the causes that matter most to you. By forming a nonprofit, you can provide essential services, promote awareness, and make a lasting difference in the lives of those who need it most. In Georgia, a lot of nonprofit organizations are there to cater to people in need. Starting a nonprofit corporation is better than an LLC, as it provides limited liability and tax benefits. It helps you save taxes. If you want to start a nonprofit in Georgia, you must follow the steps mentioned above in the article.

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