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Start a Non-Profit

No matter how big your goals are, it's important to start your NPO off right. We can help.
Want help? Call us at (888) 627-1186
Jim G. | Co-Founder, Tech4America
Incorporated using Rocket Lawyer in December 2012

How it works

Answer a few simple questions

Tell us a little bit about your business.

We do the paperwork for you

We reserve your business name and take care of your Non-Profit filing.

You're done!

We store your documents in your account and send you hard copies.

Why Choose Rocket Lawyer?

We Make It Simple

We check your name, file your paperwork, and follow up with your state. All you need to do is tell us a little bit about your business.

Specialists to Answer Your Questions

Our specialists have incorporated thousands of businesses just like yours. They can walk you through the entire Non-Profit process by phone and answer any questions you have.

Legal Help After You Incorporate

Whether you need to create Non-Profit Bylaws, get help filing for a 501(c)(3) exemption, or just get in touch with an experience Non-Profit attorney, we're here to help your through it.

Our Promise

If you're not completely satisfied with your incorporation, we'll give you a full refund.

Reasons to Incorporate as a Non-Profit

Accept Donations

Since Non-Profits don't usually sell things or have clients in the traditional sense, some of your organization's income will come via donation. When you incorporate as a Non-Profit, you'll not only be able to accept donations, but your donors will get to write those gifts off on their personal taxes.

Enjoy Tax Exemptions

Non-Profits enjoy a wider array of tax benefits than any other entity. Generally, an NPO or 501(c)(3) can pay it's founders and employees a fair, competitive salary, but pass profits to shareholders. Because of this, and because of their missions, Non-Profits can obtain tax exempt status.

Do Good Work

Non-Profit Organizations aren't interested in selling widgets or forcing competitors out of the market. Instead, NPOs operate for the public good. Founding a Non-Profit means that you've made it your mission to help improve the lives of others. And that, in itself, is it's own reward.

Choose the Right Business Type

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of each entity type to find the one that's best for your business.

LLC S-Corp C-Corp Non-Profit Sole Proprietorship
Managing your business
Limited liability protection
LLC members are not personally responsible for business debts or liabilities. C-Corp shareholders are not personally responsible for business debts or liabilities. S-Corp shareholders are not personally responsible for business debts or liabilities. Non-Profit directors are not personally responsible for NPO debts or liabilities. Sole Proprietors are personally responsible for business debts and liabilities.
Perpetual existence varies
With the proper planning, LLCs can exist for generations. S-Corps continue to exist even if the owners or majority shareholders leave or pass away. C-Corps continue to exist even if the owners or majority shareholders leave or pass away. Non-Profit organizations and institutions survive after their directors leave. Sole Proprietorships do not exist when the owner quits or passes away.
Favorable for raising capital varies
LLCs can raise money via banks and investors but cannot sell stocks. S-Corps can get loans from banks, as well as distribute stock to up to 100 people. C-Corps have the easiest time raising capital as there is no cap on how many people can own stock. Non-Profits can both get loans and receive tax-deductible donations. Sole Proprietorships can occasionally receive bank loans but cannot sell stocks.
Management flexibility
LLCs allow for a large variety of management structures based on your specific needs. Management structures for S-Corps are largely dictated by state and federal law. Management schemas for C-Corps are largely dictated by state and federal law. NPOs need to follow strict management laws to guard their non-profit status. Since Sole Proprietorships have only one member, there is no management structure.
Tax Considerations
Pass-through taxes
LLC members are taxed on their personal tax returns. The LLC itself is not taxed. S-Corp shareholders are taxed on their personal tax returns. The company itself is not taxed. C-Corps are taxed both at the corporate level and again on shareholders' individual returns. Non-Profits are taxed on a corporate level but may also enjoy a host of tax-exempt benefits. Sole Proprietorships are taxed only on their owner's tax return.
Double taxation
Since LLCs can be a pass-through entity, owners are taxed on their personal income. S-Corp shareholders are taxed personally. The S-Corp, however, is not. C-Corp income is taxed at the corporate level first, then again at the personal level. This is called "double taxation." Non-Profits are only taxed once and can write off most of their expenses. Sole Proprietors are taxed only on their personal tax return.
Tax exemptions
LLCs can claim deductions but not tax-exempt status. S-Corps can claim deductions but not tax-exempt status. C-Corporations are not tax-exempt entities Not only are donations to Non-Profits tax-exempt, but NPOs can themselves apply for tax-exempt status. Sole Proprietorships are the least official business entity and cannot claim tax exemption.
State government fees
Formation fees
LLCs must pay state fees during the incorporation process. These fees are tax deductible. S-Corps must pay state fees to legally incorporate. These fees are tax deductible. C-Corps must pay state fees to become legally recognized. These fees are tax deductible. Non-Profits pay state fees when they incorporate. These fees are tax deductible. Since Sole Proprietorships aren't incorporated entities, they don't pay formation or compliance fees.
Compliance fees
While LLCs have less compliance requirements than other entity types, there are reports and licenses that need to be filed and maintained. S-Corps usually will need to file reports and pay compliance fees on an annual or semi-annual basis. C-Corps generally must file reports with their state, as well as a host of other regulatory and compliance fees. Non-Profits have more compliance responsibilities than other entities as they must continually preserve their tax-exempt status. Sole Proprietors do not have ongoing compliance fees.
Need help?

Talk to an incorporation specialist:

(888) 627-1186

Create your LLC

Start Now Start Now

Create your S-Corp

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Create your C-Corp

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Create your Non-Profit

Start Now Start Now

Start Your Non-Profit Today

Start making the world a better place. When you incorporate as a Non-Profit with Rocket Lawyer, we'll stay with you through the process, helping you create Bylaws, giving you tips on how to stay compliant and secure 501(c) status, and helping you find a Non-Profit attorney to answer all of your questions