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Forming a Tax-Exempt Entity: State and 501(c) Considerations

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will guide advisers and individuals through the process of forming a tax-exempt entity (TEO). Our panel of experts will explain the process of establishing a nonprofit organization, including preparing the formation documents, selecting the appropriate entity type, state considerations, and obtaining tax-exempt status.


Obtaining nonprofit and tax-exempt status isn't a clear-cut process. Many initial concerns when forming a nonprofit organization are the same concerns of any start-up small business; incorporating, preparing by-laws, and applying for an EIN. There are other steps in establishing a TEO that are unique but crucial, such as identifying the organization's purpose, creating a three-year budget, and applying for tax-exempt status. Taking the right steps upfront can expedite the process and help the organization avoid bumps along the way.

Although almost everyone is familiar with 501(c)(3) organizations, there are over 25 additional subsections for other categories of tax-exempt organizations under 501(c). The type of organization formed dictates the form used to apply for tax-exempt status, the nature of its activity, and the annual filings required.

The IRS isn't the only authority to consider when managing a TEO. States impose annual filing, reporting, and registration requirements on nonprofit entities. Also, gaining nonprofit status doesn't mean the organization cannot engage in activities for a profit. What UBTI and fundraising concerns need to be considered upfront? Once an organization obtains TE status, there are annual filing requirements and must not dos to keep the coveted status.

Listen as our panel of experts guides you through the process of forming a nonprofit entity and obtaining tax-exempt status, including initial planning opportunities and missteps to avoid its loss.



  1. State Considerations
    1. Incorporating
    2. Bylaws
    3. Policies
    4. Annual Reports
    5. Registration
  2. Federal (IRS) Considerations
    1. EIN
    2. Types of 501(c) organizations
    3. Tax-exempt application
      1. Forms 1023 and 1024
    4. UBIT
      1. Annual reports
      2. Operational requirements
    5. Maintaining 501(c) status
      1. Lobbying and political activity
      2. Private inurement
      3. Annual filing requirements
        1. 990 and 990-PF
        2. Disclosures


The panel will review these and other essential issues:

  • Initial steps when forming a tax-exempt entity
  • The most common of the 501(c) entities
  • Annual filing requirements for tax-exempt entities
  • State considerations to obtain and maintain state status
  • Planning opportunities for ongoing operations


Collins, Bobbie
Bobbie J. Collins

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

Ms. Collins assists clients with a variety of business transactions, with a focus on taxation, real estate and...  |  Read More

Lo Bianco, Laura
Laura A. Lo Bianco

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

Ms. Lo Bianco brings over 20 years of experience to her role as a partner in the firm’s Business Transactions...  |  Read More

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CPE credit is not available on downloads.