Although you won’t have to pay taxes on fundraising activities directly tied to the stated purpose of your non-profit corporation, there are still many everyday business tasks that must be handled at early stages. For example, non-profits must still obtain state and federal tax numbers, even though they may only need them for identification purposes. Likewise, you must make sure you’re in full compliance with all of your state’s workers’ compensation laws, assuming you will be hiring on-site employees.

As these initial reminders indicate, once you’ve got the doors to your non-profit corporation open, you still have considerable administrative work to complete. And you must make sure the members of your board and others are fully complying with all basic corporate law requirements.                                                                                                                                             

Some of the conditions your non-profit must meet are set forth below. Of course, it’s always wise to meet with your Peachtree City business attorney to make sure you’re fully complying with all duties required of non-profits.

Other Early Administrative Tasks Non-Profits Must Address Like Other Businesses

  • Obtaining proper licensing, if required. Check with your state’s business licensing office to be sure you have obtained all licenses you need to operate. Be sure to also inquire if they are any city, county or local licenses required – these can vary from state to state;

  • Opening appropriate accounts. Make sure you’ve properly opened a business bank account to serve all of your corporate needs;

  • Meeting applicable registration requirements. Find out if your state’s Attorney General’s Office requires you to register your non-profit’s presence in the state or to file any type of regular reports of any kind;

  • Monitoring all trademarks and other unique business rights. If you are operating under any type of trademark or use regular copyrighted materials, make sure your attorneys are monitoring their proper usage;

Basic Corporate Activities Required of All Non-Profit Corporations

  • All corporate officers managing any finances must be reminded to never co-mingle personal and corporate funds – at any time, for any reason. Careful financial records must be kept and maintained, always available for government inspection;

  • Make sure your corporate officers are conducting regular meetings, in keeping with all state and federal laws (these do not all have to be conducted in person). Be sure accurate minutes are being kept regarding all corporate meetings – or find out if you’re allowed to simply draft a memorandum stating what business was conducted at any meeting and then subsequently have all parties to the meeting endorse it;

  • Inquire about the basic tax-exemption amount that allows a non-profit running public charities to not even file a tax return (earnings of $25,000 or less is an amount common to some states). Decide whether it may be in your non-profit’s best interests to go ahead and file a return each year, even if not required -- for business recordkeeping purposes.

  • Be sure you’ve designated your non-profit corporation’s agent for service, in case any lawsuits or other legal documents need to be served upon someone.  Inquire which government entities you must notify about this information.

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.

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