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Being a good citizen means so much more today than it did before.

If you have a servant’s heart and want to take your desire to do good and work on a larger scale, you may be ready to start your own not-for-profit organization. The Zimmerman Law Firm can help.

This blog post will give you an overview of how to start a non-profit organization in Texas. If you have any questions, please contact us today.

1. Develop a Mission Statement

First, state your mission. To succeed as a non-profit organization and to successfully obtain tax-exempt status, you must clearly define the purpose and mission of your nonprofit organization.

Before taking any further steps, make sure you know the specific goals and objectives you aim to achieve through your organization’s activities.

2. Choose a Name

You will want donors and beneficiaries of your non-profit to recognize your work easily, so select a unique name for your organization.

An attorney can help you confirm that the name complies with the naming requirements of the Texas Secretary of State and is not already in use by another entity in Texas.

3. Recruit Board Members

An important part of carrying out your mission is selecting a board to help you achieve it. Assemble a board of directors who will govern fairly and help oversee the organization’s activities.

Choose individuals who have the skills, expertise, and commitment to your mission to help your non-profit succeed.

4. Draft Bylaws

Next, you will need to prepare bylaws, which are your non-profit’s governing rules and procedures.

The bylaws should outline the structure of the organization, the roles and responsibilities of board members, the decision-making process, and other important operational details.

5. File Certificate of Formation

When you are ready to formalize your non-profit’s status, prepare and file a Certificate of Formation with the Texas Secretary of State. This document officially establishes your non-profit as a legal entity.

The certificate typically requires information such as the name of the organization, the purpose, the registered agent, and the address of the organization.

This is one of the most important steps in how to create a non-profit since it formalizes your entity’s existence and allows the state to recognize the organization’s business.

6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Once a legal entity is formed, you can apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

This unique identifier is like a social security number for your organization and allows your nonprofit to open bank accounts and conduct financial transactions.

The IRS also requires an EIN to process an application for tax exemption.

7. Establish Internal Policies and Procedures

While generally not required for tax exemption purposes, developing internal policies and procedures that govern the day-to-day operations of your non-profit can help you stay organized.

This may include financial management, conflict-of-interest policies, record-keeping practices, and guidelines for program implementation.

Donors also tend to reward organizations with good internal governance, so they know where their money is going!

Speak with an Experienced Texas Non-Profit Organization Lawyer Today

Creating your own non-profit organization in Texas can give you the flexibility and resources to impact your community.

Reach out to the team at The Zimmerman Law Firm to discuss ways we can help you structure the entity and handle the tax exemption request process.

Our legal team is skilled in all types of legal entity formation throughout Texas and has more than 85 years of combined experience. Call or contact us online today.

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Michael Zimmerman

Michael was born in Houston, Texas. His education at Baylor and Texas State Universities earned him a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. His major was in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He finished his legal education at Texas Southern University in 1990, earning a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1990.

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