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If you will be seeking grants, a non-profit organization should typically be your choice for a corporate form. Most grant providers (charitable organizations, private and public foundations) will not give grants to for profit
companies. Churches may also be more inclined to work with a non-profit organization than a for profit business. That does not mean you could not be paid a reasonable salary for your work with the non-profit and non-profits can contract
with for profit organizations.
An LLC can be either a domestic non-profit or for profit company by filing the proper forms as detailed below. You would also need to file for an Employer Identification Number with the IRS and a Form 1023 to achieve recognition from the IRS for your 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Following is the Michigan state government link to form a corporation
Whether you need a subsidiary
company should be closely considered due to the cost and oversight efforts that would involve. Unless there is a need to separate the companies to protect assets or to have a separate for profit company to contract with the non-profit company, there may be no advantage to separate companies.
SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business
, at http://www.score.org
offers free face to face or online counseling to assist you with your business by experienced volunteer business entrepreneurs, including start-up formation, legal structures, business plans
Following are public domain links to form non-profit and for profit corporations
respectively, in Michigan:
I hope this is responsive to your question. If you would like further clarification, please let me know.