How to Start a Nonprofit in Missouri


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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Start a Nonprofit in Missouri

Are you looking to start a nonprofit in Missouri? You’ve come to the right place. Known for its vibrant community and rich culture, Missouri (often referred to as The Show-Me 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 Missouri’s motto, “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law (Salus populi suprema lex esto),” thousands of nonprofits are founded within the state each year. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to starting your own nonprofit corporation in Missouri. 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 Missouri, we encourage you to read this article in its entirety.

What is a Nonprofit in Missouri?

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 Missouri, 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 Missouri

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 Missouri 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 Missouri might be eligible for tax exemptions (check with Missouri 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 Missouri

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 Missouri 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 Missouri 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 60 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 Three unrelated directors to start the organization. If you don’t choose a minimum of Three directors, it will automatically become a member-managed corporation.

Step 3: Appoint Your Missouri Registered Agent

The third step is to get a Missouri 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 Missouri.

Step 4: Write Missouri 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 Missouri state law. It is similar to an LLC operating agreement in Missouri for the LLC owners.

Step 5: File the Missouri Articles of Incorporation

This is the most important step. File your Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State. You can do it through two method that is filing online, or by mail. All the formation forms, such as the Missouri LLC Articles of Organization form, the Missouri Articles of Incorporation form for corporations, forms for LLPs, and all others can be found on the Missouri 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 $50 fo filing online, $105 for filing by mail to the Corporations Unit, James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or upload it online (if available).

Step 6: Obtain Tax ID for Your Missouri 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 Missouri

The next step is to get the business licenses you need to run your nonprofit organization in Missouri. 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 Missouri, you must apply for the tax exemption to Missouri 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 Form 1746 to apply for the state tax exemption. Read Missouri classification of taxes to learn more about the Missouri tax structure.

Step 10: Get Insurance for Your Missouri 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 Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration for more information.

After Forming Your Missouri 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 Missouri. 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 Missouri

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

  • Grandview Charities
  • Greenfield Charities
  • Greenwood Charities
  • Hallsville Charities
  • Hamilton Charities
  • Hannibal Charities
  • Harrisonville Charities
  • Hayti Charities.

FAQs

What steps are required to start a nonprofit in Missouri?
To start a nonprofit in Missouri, you must first incorporate your organization with the Missouri Secretary of State, submit a charitable organization registration application to the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs, and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
What are the fees to start a nonprofit in Missouri?
The fees to start a nonprofit in Missouri vary depending on the type of organization and the services you require. Generally, you will need to pay a filing fee to the Missouri Secretary of State, as well as a charitable organization registration application fee to the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs.
What are the filing requirements for a new nonprofit in Missouri?
To form a new nonprofit in Missouri, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State. These articles must include the name of the organization, the purpose of the organization, the address of the office of the registered agent, the name and address of each incorporator and the registered agent, and the address of the initial registered office.
Does my nonprofit need to register with the Missouri Secretary of State?
Yes, all nonprofits in Missouri must register with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Does my nonprofit need to register with the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs?
Yes, all nonprofits in Missouri must register with the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs in order to apply for tax-exempt status.
Do I need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to start a nonprofit in Missouri?
Yes, all nonprofits in Missouri must obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Are there any other requirements for nonprofits in Missouri?
Yes, nonprofits in Missouri must also file an annual report with the Missouri Secretary of State, and may need to register with other agencies, such as the Missouri Department of Revenue, depending on the type of organization.
What is the process for registering a nonprofit in Missouri?
The process for registering a nonprofit in Missouri includes filing Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State, submitting a charitable organization registration application to the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs, and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
What are the benefits of forming a nonprofit in Missouri?
Forming a nonprofit in Missouri provides several benefits, including potential tax-exempt status, the ability to apply for grants, and the ability to receive donations that are tax-deductible for the donor.
What is the timeline for registering a nonprofit in Missouri?
The timeline for registering a nonprofit in Missouri can vary depending on the type of organization and the services you require. Generally, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Are there any resources available to help me start a nonprofit in Missouri?
Yes, there are many resources available to help you start a nonprofit in Missouri, including the Missouri Nonprofit Association, the Secretary of State’s website, and the Missouri Department of Consumer Affairs.
What steps do I need to take to start a nonprofit in Missouri?
To start a nonprofit in Missouri, you need to form a legal entity, register with the Missouri Secretary of State, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, register with the Missouri Department of Revenue, and obtain any necessary local licenses and permits.
How do I form a legal entity for my nonprofit in Missouri?
To form a legal entity for your nonprofit in Missouri, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Is there a fee to file Articles of Incorporation in Missouri?
Yes, there is a fee of $45 to file Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State.
Are there any other fees associated with forming a nonprofit in Missouri?
Yes, there may be other fees associated with forming a nonprofit in Missouri, such as filing fees for registering with the Missouri Department of Revenue, obtaining a local business license, and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
What is the deadline to file Articles of Incorporation in Missouri?
The deadline to file Articles of Incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State is 30 days from the date of incorporation.
What information do I need to include in Articles of Incorporation?
Articles of Incorporation must include the name of the nonprofit, its purpose, the address of its registered office, and the name and address of its registered agent.
How do I register my nonprofit with the Missouri Secretary of State?
To register your nonprofit with the Missouri Secretary of State, you need to file an Application for Registration of Nonprofit Corporation with the Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to register with the Missouri Secretary of State?
The fee to register with the Missouri Secretary of State is $25.
How do I obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS?
To obtain an EIN from the IRS, you can either apply online or complete Form SS-4 and submit it by mail.
How do I register with the Missouri Department of Revenue?
To register with the Missouri Department of Revenue, you need to complete and submit Form 83-185 to the Department.
Is there a fee to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue?
Yes, there is a fee of $25 to register with the Missouri Department of Revenue.
Do I need to obtain any local licenses or permits to start a nonprofit in Missouri?
Yes, you may need to obtain any local licenses or permits that are required in your jurisdiction in order to start a nonprofit in Missouri.
How long does it take to form a nonprofit in Missouri?
It typically takes several weeks to form a nonprofit in Missouri, depending on the complexity of the process and the speed at which applications are processed.
What is the difference between a nonprofit and a charity in Missouri?
In Missouri, a nonprofit is a legal entity that is established to pursue a purpose other than making a profit, while a charity is an organization that is established to provide relief to those in need.
Do I need to file annual reports with the Missouri Secretary of State?
Yes, you need to file an annual report with the Missouri Secretary of State every year.
What is the deadline to file an annual report with the Missouri Secretary of State?
The deadline to file an annual report with the Missouri Secretary of State is April 15th.
How do I obtain a local business license in Missouri?
To obtain a local business license in Missouri, you need to contact the applicable local governing body.
Is there a fee to obtain a local business license in Missouri?
Yes, there may be a fee to obtain a local business license in Missouri, which varies depending on the jurisdiction.
What are the tax obligations of a nonprofit in Missouri?
Nonprofits in Missouri are generally exempt from federal income taxes, but may be subject to state and local taxes, such as sales and use taxes.
How do I apply for tax exempt status in Missouri?
To apply for tax exempt status in Missouri, you need to file Form MO-1040 with the Missouri Department of Revenue.
What are the reporting requirements for a nonprofit in Missouri?
Nonprofits in Missouri are required to file annual reports, tax returns, and any other applicable reports.
Does a nonprofit in Missouri need to have a board of directors?
Yes, nonprofits in Missouri are required to have a board of directors, who are responsible for overseeing the operations of the organization.

Also Read

Why Missouri Nonprofit Corporation is So Important

One of the main reasons why nonprofit corporations in Missouri are so important is their ability to fill gaps in services that may not be provided by the government or for-profit entities. Nonprofits often work in underserved communities or address specific needs that may not receive adequate attention from other sectors. Whether it’s providing food assistance, healthcare services, education programs, or shelter for the homeless, nonprofit organizations play a crucial role in addressing social issues that affect the most vulnerable members of our community.

Nonprofits also play a vital role in fostering collaboration and innovation. With their focus on mission-driven work and community impact, nonprofits often serve as catalysts for change and bring together diverse stakeholders to address complex issues. By working collaboratively with government agencies, businesses, and other organizations, nonprofits can create new solutions and approaches to tackle persistent challenges.

Furthermore, nonprofit organizations are important in promoting civic engagement and volunteerism. Many individuals are drawn to nonprofit work out of a desire to make a difference and give back to their communities. By providing opportunities for individuals to volunteer their time and resources, nonprofits not only address critical needs but also foster a sense of connection and belonging among community members.

In addition to their direct impact on the community, nonprofit corporations also play a crucial role in promoting economic growth and sustainability. Nonprofits are major employers in Missouri, creating jobs and providing a source of income for thousands of individuals. Moreover, by investing in local businesses and infrastructure, nonprofits contribute to the overall economic development of the state.

Nonprofit corporations also play a critical role in advancing social justice and equity. Many nonprofit organizations focus on serving marginalized or underserved populations, advocating for policy change, and addressing systemic injustice. By amplifying the voices of those who are often overlooked or ignored, nonprofits contribute to building a more just and equitable society for all residents of Missouri.

Overall, nonprofit corporations in Missouri are a cornerstone of our community, providing essential services, fostering collaboration and innovation, promoting civic engagement, and advancing social justice. By supporting and investing in the work of nonprofits, we can ensure a brighter future for all residents of our state. Let us continue to recognize and celebrate the vital role that nonprofit organizations play in improving the quality of life for all Missourians.

Conclusion

Starting a nonprofit corporation in Missouri 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 Missouri, 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 Missouri, you must follow the steps mentioned above in the article.

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