Starting a non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia can be a challenging endeavor. But with the right information and guidance, it can be done quickly and easily. The first step is to come up with a name for your organization. This should be done carefully, as it will be used for all official documents and communications.
Once you have chosen a name, you must prepare and file the Articles of Incorporation. This is a legal document that outlines the purpose of your organization and its structure. It must be filed with the Secretary of State in Georgia. After filing the Articles of Incorporation, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
This is a 9-digit number that is permanently associated with your organization and is required for all organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit. The next step is to apply for tax exemption from the IRS and the state of Georgia. To do this, you must submit an IRS Form 990-N (postcard) or Form 990-EZ (long form). You must also include specific text in your organizational documents if you wish to apply for tax exemption.
Additionally, you must create statutes that comply with Georgia law and contain the rules and procedures that your company will follow to hold meetings, elect officers and directors, and carry out other corporate procedures required in Georgia. Once your application has been approved, your organization will automatically be exempt from Georgia corporate tax. However, you will still be responsible for Georgia's sales and use tax unless your type of organization is on the list of exempt organizations. All changes to the organization's registration statement must be verified and signed by an authorized executive officer of the organization.
Finally, charitable organization registrations in Georgia are valid for twenty-four (24) months from the date they are approved. If you wish to withdraw your registration as a charitable organization, you must submit a withdrawal form.