Follow these procedures to establish a charity in Pennsylvania and get 501(c)(3) status:

Step 1: Give Your Pennsylvania Nonprofit a Name
Step 2: Select Your Registered Agent

Step 3: Choose Your Board Members & Officers
Step 4 Adopt Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest Policy
Step 5: Submit your Articles of Incorporation.
Step 6: Obtain an EIN
Step 7: Apply for 501(c)(3) status (3)

It is simple to establish a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation in Pennsylvania.
To establish a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organisation in Pennsylvania, you must first establish a nonprofit under Pennsylvania law and then apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status.

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Step 1: Give Your Pennsylvania Nonprofit a Name

The first and most crucial step in establishing your nonprofit company is deciding on a name. Make sure your name meets Pennsylvania naming regulations and is readily searchable by prospective members and contributors.

1. Follow the naming conventions:

The name you choose for your company must include:

Be distinct from all other Pennsylvania-registered companies.
In no way should you indicate that your company is part of a government agency.
Make no inference that your organisation is a public utility.
Include no words, phrases, or expressions that might be deemed objectionable.
Use no words or phrases linked with any kind of financial institution, such as ‘bank and trust,’ ‘bank,’ ‘trust,’ or ‘trust company.’
Use no words or phrases connected with educational institutions, such as ‘university,’ ‘college,’ or’seminary.’
Make no implication that your firm is an insurance company. You also cannot use any insurance-related terminology or phrases, such as ‘casualty,’ ‘annuity,’ ‘insurance,’ and so on.
Avoid using terminology or phrases associated with certain professions, such as ‘public accountant,’ ‘certified public accountant,’ ‘architect,”surveyor,’ ‘engineer,’ ‘pharmacist,’ ‘homoeopathy,’ and so on.
Use of words or phrases linked with the Young Men’s Christian Association is prohibited (YMCA). You may also not use language that might lead the public to believe your group is affiliated with the state YMCA unless state YMCA laws are followed.

2. Does the name exist in Pennsylvania? Check the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website for a Business Entity Search to ensure that the name you choose isn’t already in use.

3. Is the URL accessible? We propose that you investigate if your company’s name is accessible as a web domain. Even if you don’t intend to create a company website right away, you may wish to purchase the URL to prevent others from doing so.

Step 2: Select a Pennsylvania Registered Agent.

Your charity is required to choose a registered agent in Pennsylvania.

What exactly is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or corporate organisation that accepts vital legal papers on your behalf. Consider your registered agent to be your company’s point of contact with the state.

Who is eligible to be a Registered Agent? A registered agent must be a Pennsylvania resident or a company, such as a registered agent service, that is permitted to do business in Pennsylvania. You may choose someone from your organisation, even yourself.

Step 3: Choose your Directors and Officers

A board of directors is made up of an organization’s directors. This board of directors is in charge of managing the nonprofit’s activities.

Officers are the president, secretary, and other members of a nonprofit who have specific roles and authority.

In Pennsylvania, your nonprofit’s organisational structure MUST include:

At least three independent directors A president A secretary
A treasury official

Step 4 Adopt Bylaws and a Conflict of Interest Policy

Your organisation must have the following two papers in order to apply for 501(c)(3) status:


Policy regarding conflicts of interest
What exactly are bylaws? Bylaws are the guidelines that outline the nonprofit’s operational processes.

What is the definition of a Conflict of Interest Policy? A Conflict of Interest Policy is a set of guidelines put in place to guarantee that any decisions made by the board of directors or officials benefit the organisation rather than individual members.

Step 5: Submit the Articles of Incorporation to the State of Pennsylvania.

You must submit the Articles of Incorporation with the State of Pennsylvania to register your nonprofit.

To guarantee that your organisation is qualified to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, you must expressly declare the following in the Articles of Incorporation:

1. Function:

To be eligible for 501(c)(3) status, the organization’s purpose must be expressly confined to one or more of the following:

2. Decomposition:

You must indicate exactly what the organization’s assets will be used for and what will happen to the assets if the organisation is disbanded.

To be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, your organization’s assets must only be utilised for purposes authorised by Section 501(c) (3).

Step 6: Obtain an EIN

What exactly is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is used to identify a commercial organisation, such as your nonprofit company. It is basically your company’s social security number.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is necessary for the following activities:

To establish a commercial bank account for the firm
In terms of federal and state taxation
To recruit workers for the firm
How can I get an EIN? After founding the firm, the business owner obtains an EIN from the IRS (free of charge). This may be done online or in the mail. For additional information, see our EIN Lookup guide.

Step 7: Apply for 501(c)(3) Status Prior to applying for 501(c)(3) status, a charity must,

Elect at least three independent directors. File the Articles of Incorporation with the necessary conditions (As covered in Step 5)
Adopt the bylaws as well as the conflict of interest policy.
Do you have an EIN?
Once these four qualifications have been completed, your organisation may file Form-1023 online to petition for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

If your application is granted, the IRS will issue you a letter confirming that your organisation is tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3).

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