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I would like to begin the process for obtaining a 501c(3)

Hello. I would like to...
Hello. I would like to begin the process for obtaining a 501c(3) non-profit organization and I realize that I need to first get a non-profit status in a state. My question is which of these 4 states would be most beneficial for this? Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona or California (or maybe you have another one you would recommend) This organization is a member based volunteer supported group focused on the protection of public camping lands and the support of our members, fostering good public relations and relaxed interaction with Rangers. We also plan to begin an education program to teach people about camping on public lands, using solar and general all around info for camping in an RV, Tent, vehicle, etc. With a certificate of "Boondockery" upon completion. One of our other goals is to help the homeless and we have several ideas on that front. We will want to be able to apply for grant programs as well. One of the things we do is volunteer to clean up public lands as a group working with the BLM and National Forest. Our membership is all over the US and we currently have over 260 members.
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3/19/2018
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 526
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. I am working on a response to your question and should have that to you shortly.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you

Congratulations on this endeavor; it sounds fantastic.

It used to be that where you formed a corporation - profit or not for profit - made a pretty big difference in how complicated formation and complying with state rules and regulations would be. The good news is that anymore, most states have taken steps to try to encourage corporate formation in their state. I took a quick glimpse at the non-profit corporation requirements for the various states you mentioned and a couple more with which I am familiar and there was not much of significance that was different. Unlike for profit corporations, you do not have to consider corporate tax rates.

California tends to have more requirements than other states, but in the non-profit realm they are minimal. Of the states reviewed, only one - New Mexico - has a requirement that you may wish to avoid and that is that you must have 3 or more directors and they must be named in your Articles of Incorporation. The other states you are considering require just one director. With that in mind, you may consider forming in one of the other states where more of your leadership will be located or more of your activities are likely to occur.

Once you choose your initial director(s), pick a state and are ready to file your Articles of Incorporation (forms located at the Secretary of State website for each state), you will want to adopt bylaws governing operation of the non-profit and then once officially formed, you will want to do the following as well:

Hold a Board of Directors meeting to approve the bylaws, appoint any officers, establish your accounting method (cash or accrual) and tax year (calendar or some other fiscal year), and to approve any actions that need to be taken to get you set up (e.g., opening bank accounts, renting a location if you are going to do so, etc.)

This is a good time to task the Secretary with maintaining all your corporate records

Start working the Form 1023 for your 501(c)(3) status with the IRS

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 526
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you! I think you answered everything for me very thoroughly.

I am glad I could be of assistance. Let me know if you need anything further.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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