How to start a nonprofit in Tennessee – 501c3 Organization


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# How to Form a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation

## Introduction
A nonprofit corporation is purpose-driven, with the goal of not making a profit for themselves but rather to further a social cause or provide a public benefit. If you’re looking to start a nonprofit corporation in Tennessee, here’s a guide to get you started on the right path.

## Do It Yourself vs. Hiring a Service
There are two ways to form a nonprofit corporation – you can do it yourself or hire a service to assist you. Let’s explore both options to help you decide how to proceed.

### Option One: Do It Yourself
If you’re looking to save money, you can choose to form a nonprofit corporation on your own. Here are the steps to follow:

1. **Choose and Secure Your Nonprofit’s Name**: Select a name that aligns with your mission and follows naming guidelines in Tennessee.

2. **Appoint a Registered Agent**: Designate an individual or hire a professional service to handle legal papers on your behalf.

3. **Select Directors and Officers**: Choose individuals to oversee the operations and management of your nonprofit.

4. **File the Nonprofit Corporation Charter**: Submit official papers, including necessary information about your organization, to the state of Tennessee.

5. **Operating Procedures and Housekeeping**: Develop bylaws and a conflict of interest policy to govern your nonprofit’s operations.

6. **Apply for an EIN and 501(c)(3) Status**: Obtain an Employer Identification Number and apply for federal tax exemption status to enjoy tax benefits.

By following these steps, you can successfully establish your nonprofit corporation in Tennessee.

## Conclusion
Forming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation requires careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. Whether you choose to do it yourself or seek professional assistance, ensuring compliance with regulations and setting a strong foundation for your organization is key to its success in furthering your social cause or providing a public benefit.


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