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Establishing a Nonprofit Organization

Follow state and local nonprofit regulations

Once you receive tax-exempt status from the federal government, it is likely that you will need to file separately for state and local tax exemptions. Most states and many localities require nonprofits to register with the Charities Registration Bureau of the state or locality where they'll be fundraising. If your organization plans to fundraise actively in several states, you may need to register in each state in which you will be soliciting from the public.

Nonprofit organizations that are exempt under Section 501(c)(3) may qualify for exemption from state sales tax as well as from property taxes (if property is owned). Check with your State Department of Finance or Taxation to secure the necessary forms. For property tax exemption, apply to your local (county, town, or city) tax assessor's office. Your organization also may qualify for a nonprofit bulk-mailing permit, which would dramatically reduce your cost for third-class bulk mailings. You can obtain a permit by applying to the main office of your local post office.

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