Back to Basics
What are some good resources that I should read if I’m thinking of setting up a nonprofit in CA? Where can I find step-by-step guides to incorporation and tax exemption? Where can I find trustworthy information online?
My response to these commonly-asked questions may surprise you, because there’s nothing special, sexy, or creative to it. These are my absolute go-to resources:
- Internal Revenue Service: Charities & Other Nonprofits
- California Franchise Tax Board: Exempt Organizations
- California Secretary of State: Business Entities
- California Attorney General’s Office: Charities
For one reason or another, I'm on these sites daily. They're bookmarked in my browser. They're the ones I tell all of my clients and prospective clients to read and reread.
Let’s start with the IRS. If you’re not bored to tears just thinking about visiting the IRS website, then you’ve already ahead of the game. And way ahead of most entrepreneurs when it comes to self-educating, asking informed questions, and innovating. The Service has taken great care to keep its site updated and accessible, including publishing guides on all sorts of entrepreneurial topics, from Charitable Contributions, to Starting a Business and Keeping Records, to Unrelated Business Income.
What’s so great about these sites? Everything published on them – every example, instruction, FAQ, deadline, filing threshold, address – is TRUE. Because the government said so. You can be confident in relying on information on these sites, much more so than on any other information provider, lawyer blog (even this one), forum post, etc.
Another reason to love these sites? They can save you a lot in legal fees.