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Non-profit bylaws are followed by certain companies and businesses.

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Sample Non-Profit Bylaws

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Sample Non-Profit Bylaws

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What are Non-Profit Bylaws?

Non-profit bylaws are followed by certain companies and businesses. These bylaws help to prevent disorganization and corruption within a company, and they should be clearly outlined in a company rulebook and employee handbook. This ensures all employees in a company are aware of the bylaws and how to follow them.

Non-profit bylaws will vary depending on the needs of the company. They may revolve around many aspects of the business, including grant funding, the board of directors, meeting minutes, filing practices, and more. Organizations can focus on different areas depending on their specialization and areas of interest. A company's bylaws must comply with all federal laws as well as state laws.

Nonprofit vs Business

Unlike a conventional business, nonprofits are designed to positively impact a target community without yielding a profit. Nonetheless, nonprofits share much in common with for-profit organizations. This guide is designed to help anyone interested in establishing a nonprofit do so. We cover what distinguishes a nonprofit from a conventional business, the costs of getting one off the ground, and offer a step-by-step guide on how to create one of your own.

In general, nonprofits should be structured like a for-profit business. However, there are a number of important differences, including:

  1. Ethically, nonprofits should minimize administrative costs and fundraising obligations.
  2. For-profit organizations are funded through investors and revenue generated from customers who purchase goods and/or services. Nonprofits, on the other hand, are funded through donations (with no return on investments) and donate their services and/or goods for charitable purposes to those in need.

Startup costs

The startup costs of a nonprofit depend on a host of factors that vary by state. Other costs include:

  1. Articles of incorporation: between $50-$100 (see more below)
  2. Tax filing costs: the cost of filing for tax-exempt status depends on the size of your operating budget.
  3. Additional costs: other costs vary by state, but may include fees for periodic reports or charity renewal.
    • Be sure to consult your state’s website

Do I need an attorney?

It’s best to hire an attorney with 501 (c)3 experience to help you start your nonprofit and file your tax exemption documents. Most attorneys lack experience working with nonprofits, so consider consulting the Better Business Bureau for recommendations for qualified firms.

Cost of 501(c) and Incorporation in US States  

July 25, 2018

Infographic showing the approximate costs of 501(c) and incorporation in US states.

Methodology

Our team at FormSwift cumulated the Costs of Incorporation and Costs of filing for a 501(c) in each state. Please note the following: 

  • In some states, the in-person fee might be more expensive than the mail-in fee, and we have accounted for the mail-in fee in this graphic.
  • Optional expedite fees for applications for Articles of Incorporation may be available by state, which would increase cost. Check your state website for the cost of this service if you are interested. 
  • 501(c) is either a $400 or $850 IRS fee, which is why we use intervals to assess Total Cost. 

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Non-Profit Bylaws

Non-profit bylaws are put into written form. Depending on the laws of your state, you may need to put a copy of your non-profit bylaws on file with the Secretary of State. Non-profit bylaws are the regulations that you will use to operate your non-profit.

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Special Power of Attorney

A Special Power of Attorney document sets out the wishes and directions for one or more 'Agents', 'Attorneys-in-fact' or 'Attorneys' to take decisions on behalf of a named 'Principal'. It covers: • The term or length of the delegated power(s), i.e. fixed or periodic • The amount and frequency of specified activities needing to be carried out • Financial, business or domestic arrangement details • Who is responsible for specified activities and to what extent they have authority to act on the Principal's behalf • Other details

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Articles of Incorporation

Articles of incorporation is a document used to establish the identity of a corporation. In some states, articles of incorporation are known as certificates of formation. You should check with your Secretary of State to find out if you are required to legally file your articles of incorporation with their agency.

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Balance Sheet

The purpose of a balance sheet is to provide a snapshot of a business' financial stability. A balance sheet lists capital, assets, and liabilities.

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