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The first step in forming a 501(c)(3) charity in Florida is to file your Articles of Incorporation. This tutorial will help you through the nine procedures necessary to submit the Articles of Incorporation and formally establish a nonprofit in Florida.

Starting Over

You must submit the Not for Profit Articles of Incorporation in Florida to form a domestic nonprofit company. This tutorial covers every step you need to take to properly complete this paperwork and get started on the path to founding a Florida charity.

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit; Step 2: Confirm Your Mailing Address (es)
Step 3: Describe the Purpose of Your Nonprofit Step 4: Outline Your Policy for Appointing Directors
Step 5: Form Your First Board of Directors
Step 6: Select a Registered Agent.
Step 7: Enter Your Incorporator Data
Step 8: Include Any Extra Attachments
Step 9: Documents for Formation

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit

The first step in completing the Florida Not for Profit Articles of Incorporation is to provide the name of your organisation in article one of the paperwork. If you haven’t yet decided on a name for your charity, these are the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit in Florida:

The name of your company must be distinct from any other name on record in the state of Florida, including any reserved names.
Your company’s name must include the words “corporation,” “incorporated,” “Corporation,” or “Inc.”
Your company’s name cannot include any terms that indicate it is associated with a government entity.
The words “company” or “Co” are not permitted in the name of your corporation.

Look for the Availability of Your Name
Following the selection of prospective names — preferably, at least four or five — it’s essential to check their availability in your state. You may do this by completing the four suggested searches listed below.

Florida Corporation Lookup
A nonprofit corporation must have a distinct name in order to operate in Florida. You can easily check if your desired name is available by using the Florida Business Entity Search tool.

Domain Name Lookup
We highly advise you to additionally check to see whether your company name is accessible as a web domain (URL). Even if you don’t intend to construct a company website right away, you should purchase the domain name to prevent others from gaining it. It’s a completely free search.

Federal Trademark Lookup
Using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System, you may quickly see whether your preferred charity name has already been trademarked. Even if you do not intend to create your charity right immediately, this is essential.

You may register for a trademark for your organisation after you have confirmed that no one else has previously trademarked your selected name.

Search the Web and Social Media
A good social media presence can help you reach out to prospective funders as well as customers who will employ your services. As a result, before registering your preferred name, check the web and prominent social media platforms for it to confirm it is accessible on all platforms where you want to advertise your group.

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Step 2: Double-check Your Mailing Address (es)

Enter the street address of your nonprofit’s main office in article two. If your organization’s postal address differs from its street address, provide it as well.

Step 3: Describe the Purpose of Your Nonprofit

Describe your nonprofit’s organisational mission in article three of the formation document. To be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, its objective must incorporate one or more of the following characteristics:

Public safety testing
promoting amateur sports competition on a national and worldwide scale
Preventing animal/child cruelty

Step 4: Outline Your Director Appointment Policy

Describe how your organisation will elect and select its board of directors in article four.

Step 5: Give your name Your Founding Board of Directors

In Florida, you must list at least three board directors on your Articles of Incorporation, along with their postal addresses. Follow these guidelines while creating your nonprofit’s inaugural board of directors:

Prefixes such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” should be avoided.
Use lineage titles if relevant.
If appropriate, use titles such as “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”

Step 6: Select a Registered Agent.

In Florida, the Articles of Incorporation must be filed with a registered agent. This position may be filled by either a person or a company. A registered agent’s duties include receiving and sending service of process paperwork for the company as well as acting as the entity’s point of contact.

Your non-profit organisation cannot act as its own registered agent.

Article six requires you to submit the name and street address of your selected registered agent.

Before you submit this formation paperwork with the state, your registered agent must sign it either physically or electronically.

Step 7: Enter Your Incorporator Data

The incorporator must sign the formation instrument and indicate their postal address in article seven.

Step 8: Include Any Extra Attachments

To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, you must incorporate certain extra provisions in your Articles of Incorporation regarding asset distribution upon dissolution.

Here is what you need to know in order to properly share this information:

Outline the Asset Distribution Upon Dissolution
Describe how the assets of the nonprofit company will be allocated if it is dissolved. Use an attachment if more space is required.

To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, your organisation must only disperse its assets to recognised, tax-exempt causes upon dissolution. Refer to the sixth section of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) proposed wording for corporations and organisations for further information on the requirements of dissolution and 501(c)(3) status.

Step 9: Documents for Formation

In Florida, you may submit your Articles of Incorporation online or by mail.

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