Helpful guide to Incorporate your VOSH Chapter pursuant to IRS Section 501c3 (Application for Recognition of Exemption) 

This is meant to be a helpful roadmap to help guide you through the process to incorporate your VOSH chapter pursuant to IRS section 501c3 (Application for Recognition of Exemption). We have provided links to most concepts mentioned in this article. 

This is not intended to be legal advice and we suggest you consult with an attorney who specializes in forming nonprofit organizations. Also please be aware that the IRS Code requirements may be revised or changed, so always ensure you are using the most current forms.
WHY SHOULD MY CHAPTER INCORPORATE AS A IRS SECTION 501C3 ENTITY?

To help you understand why you might want to incorporate, here is an article and a video which will explain the benefits of forming a nonprofit organization.

YOU MUST BE A CORPORATION, AN UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION OR A TRUST TO BE TAX EXEMPT. HOW DO I DO THAT?

If you have not already done so, you will need to incorporate your chapter under the laws of your state.  All states will have a Secretary of State, State Corporation Commission or similarly named governmental agency which is responsible for corporate matters. Google it to find the correct department.

1. Choose a Corporate Name
VOSH Chapters take the form of VOSH-State or Region. Note: VOSH Chapters use the dash and you are advised to check with VOSH/International to determine if that name is already being used by another chapter. Having said that, most of you are already using a VOSH-Chapter name.

2. Prepare and File Articles of Incorporation  
https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/suggested-language-for-corporations-and-associations
https://form1023.org/how-to-draft-articles-of-incorporation

3. Appoint a Registered Agent 

4. Set Up a Corporate Records Book

5. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, which is used to identify a business entity.You will need one in the next step. You may apply for free online. Check with your state to see if you need a state number or charter.

6. Prepare Corporate Bylaws 
https://form1023.org/how-to-draft-nonprofit-bylaws-with-examples
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://vosh.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/VOSH-IL-Bylaws-2018-word-doc.docx .
https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/other-non-profits/exempt-organization-bylaws

7. Appoint Initial Corporate Directors (President, Secretary, Treasurer)

8. Hold Your First Board of Directors Meeting

9. Calendar and follow the rules and laws related to maintaining your nonprofit organization, such as proper record keeping, regular board meetings with minutes and filing your Form 990 annually. 

NOW THAT MY CHAPTER IS A CORPORATION, HOW DO WE APPLY FOR NON PROFIT STATUS UNDER IRS SECTION 501C3?

For your corporation to achieve non profit status, you must submit an application to the federal government in the form of either  Form 1023-series package or Form 1023-EZ.

If you are eligible for the 1023 EZ form, the process is simpler and you can file electronically. To determine if you are eligible to file Form 1023-EZ: Complete the Form 1023-EZ Eligibility Worksheet. You can find it here (at page 13) If you answer “Yes” to any of the worksheet questions, you are not eligible to apply for exemption under section 501(c)(3) using Form 1023-EZ. You must apply on Form 1023. If you answer “No” to all of the worksheet questions, you may apply using Form 1023-EZ. 

A. Form 1023-EZ: Any organization that has gross receipts in each taxable year of normally not more than $5,000. Certain organizations are eligible to apply for exemption under section 501(c)(3) using Form 1023-EZ. Among the 26 qualifications necessary to use Form 1023-EZ: 

  • Projected annual gross receipts must not exceed $50,000 in any of the next 3 years
  • Actual annual gross receipts must not have exceeded $50,000 in any of the past 3 years
  • Total assets must not exceed $250,000
  • The organization must not be a foreign organization, LLC, successor to a for-profit entity, church, school, or hospital
  1. How To File: Form 1023-EZ can only be filed electronically by going to IRS.gov/Form1023-EZ or Pay.gov (enter the term “Form 1023-EZ” in the search box).They will not accept printed copy submissions of the application.
  2. If you don’t already have one, you will need an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a Federal Tax Identification Number and is used to identify a business entity. You can apply for free online here:  This article is also helpful. 
  3. The user fee for Form 1023-EZ is $275.
  4. This is a helpful article: https://www.hurwitassociates.com/starting-up-nonprofit-foundation-basics/form-1023-ez-faq

 

     B. If you don’t qualify for the 1023-EZ process, you must file the Form 1023-series . If  you click this link, scroll down to the third page and start there. On the last 2 pages of the form is a Form 1023 Checklist to help keep you organized.

  • If you don’t already have one, you will need an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is a Federal Tax Identification Number and is used to identify a business entity. You can apply for free online here:  This article is also helpful. 
  • Here are some Frequently Asked Questions
  • The fee for Form 1023 is $600. 
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION
  • Note: You must also apply for non profit status in your state. This article does not address that process, as each state is different. Consult your local laws. You can use most of the same information above to apply to be recognized as a tax-exempt in your state You may have other benefits under your local state laws, such as you may qualify to be exempt from sales tax in some states. Consult your local laws. This is a helpful source on the IRS website.

If  you have questions, you may contact Natalie Venezia or Barbara Brown, OD. We can help guide you to helpful resources.

This is not intended to be legal advice and we suggest you consult with an attorney who specializes in forming nonprofit organizations. Also please be aware that the IRS Code requirements may be revised or changed, so always ensure you are using the most current forms.