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The first step in forming a 501(c)(3) charity in Georgia is to file your Articles of Incorporation. This article will help you through the eight procedures necessary to submit the Articles of Incorporation in Georgia to formally create a nonprofit.

Starting Over

To create a domestic nonprofit company in Georgia, you must design your own Articles of Incorporation and submit them together with a completed Transmittal Information Form. This tutorial covers every step you need to take to properly complete your formation paperwork and get started on the path to founding a Georgia charity.

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit; Step 2: Disclose Your Nonprofit Statement
Step 3: Select a Registered Agent.
Step 4: Confirm any additional members
Step 5: Provide the address of your nonprofit’s main office. Step 6: Include any other attachments.
Step 7: List Your Incorporator Details
Step 8: Documents for Formation

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit

The first step in preparing the Georgia Articles of Incorporation is to include the name of your organisation in article one. If you haven’t yet decided on a name for your organisation, below are the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit in Georgia:

Your nonprofit’s name must be distinct from any other name on file in Georgia, including any reserved names.
The terms “corporation,” “incorporated,” “business,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of one of those phrases must appear in the name of your nonprofit.
The name of your NGO must be fewer than 80 characters long.
Without explicit permission from the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, your nonprofit’s name cannot contain terms like “bank” or “banking.”
Without formal permission from the state’s Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, your nonprofit’s name cannot contain terms like “insurance,” “fidelity,” or “assurance.”

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.

Georgia Corporation Lookup
A nonprofit company must have a distinct name in order to exist in Georgia. You may quickly verify whether your desired name is available by utilising the Georgia Business 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.

Step 2: Make Your Nonprofit Statement Public.

The following language must appear in your Articles of Incorporation: “The organisation is constituted in accordance with the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code.”

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Step 3: Select a Registered Agent.

In Georgia, the Articles of Incorporation must be filed with a registered agent. This position can be filled by an individual, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC). 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.

This section’s requirements include:

Your company cannot act as its own registered agent.
The registered agent’s address cannot be a P.O. Box address.
Before you submit the formation paperwork with the state, your registered agent must sign it.

Step 4: Confirm any additional members

Include one of the following phrases to confirm whether or not your nonprofit will have members:

“There will be shareholders in the company.”
“There will be no members in the company.”

Step 5: Include the address of your nonprofit’s main office.

Include the postal address for your nonprofit’s main office. If you don’t have a physical address, you may provide a P.O. Box address or the address of your registered agent in this box.

Step 6: Include Any Extra Attachments

To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, your nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation must contain certain additional declarations about the disposition of assets upon dissolution, its board of directors, and its mission.

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.

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.

Name Your Company’s Board of Directors
Name your original board of directors and their addresses. To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, you must identify at least three directors. Include an attachment with the names and addresses of each additional director if you have more than three to mention.

Follow these recommendations when naming your first 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.”
Read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Georgia article for a comprehensive guide on creating your nonprofit’s board of directors.

List the Purpose of Your Nonprofit
To be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, your organization’s mission 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 7: List Your Incorporator Details

Each incorporator, or person who fills out and submits the Articles of Incorporation, must sign the paper and provide their postal address.

Step 8: Documents for Formation

In Georgia, you may submit your Articles of Incorporation online, via mail, or in person.

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