Step 1) Give your Kentucky Non-Profit a Name

Choose a Business NameIt is explicitly specified that your Kentucky Non-Profit name should be uniquely your own and should not resemble any other organization’s name in the Kentucky Secretary of State database.

Also, the Non-Profit name should have any of these words: ‘Corporation’, ‘Company’, ‘Incorporated’ or any of its corresponding abbreviations. An additional rule to this case though is to never straightaway precede the ‘Company’ or ‘Co.’ word by ‘and’ or ‘&’.

When forming a Non-Profit in Kentucky, always first check the Non-Profit name you have selected in this business name search database.


Step 2) Select the Initial Officers and Directors of your Kentucky Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsWhen starting a Kentucky Non-Profit, you need a set of officers and directors to help you decide on crucial matters of your organization.

Since the initial meeting with shareholders has not yet been set, you are to elect your own set of Kentucky Non-Profit officers and directors. By Kentucky law, you are required to have at least three directors to incorporate your Non-Profit.


Step 3) Select a Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentAs a legal requirement, you should hire a Registered Agent officially registered to operate in the state of Kentucky.

This Kentucky Registered Agent is in-charge of accepting all legal paperwork and notifications from the state on behalf of your Non-Profit. It is then the responsibility of the Registered Agent in Kentucky to forward these documents to you.

Aside from the state qualifications that the Registered Agent should meet, she/he should also be reliable and trustworthy. That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get a Kentucky Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate your Non-Profit with IncFile.


Step 4) File the Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCTo officially register your Kentucky Non-Profit, you have to file for a Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State. Basic information about your Non-Profit should be provided on the form.

It is important to read the instructions on the form before filling it out to ensure that every entry is correct. In addition to the standard form, you are to include languages that meet the requirements of the IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption status. The following statements should also be included in your application for tax exemption:


Step 5) Have a Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsAn initial meeting should be your responsibility to set up together with the elected initial board of directors. In this meeting, several key issues with regard to your Non-Profit should be discussed:

As soon as the meeting ends, a minutes of the meeting should be prepared to be signed by the attendees.


Step 6) Keep a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsWith the mountain load of documents you have in your hand, from your Kentucky Non-Profit registration documents to requirements for business licenses and permits to tax exemptions documentations, you need a single organizer to file these documents.

This is the very purpose of a Corporate Records Binder. This binder is available on Amazon or can be bought at the local office supply shop.


Step 7) Apply for an EIN for Your Kentucky Non-Profit

Get an EIN for Your LLCA Non-Profit Employer Identification Number is important when you process business licenses and comply with tax exemptions.

Monitoring of your tax returns also require an EIN so you must apply for one. Basically, most facets of business operations of a Non-Profit require an EIN. A Kentucky Non-Profit EIN can be obtained without any cost at the IRS website.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountWhile starting a Kentucky Non-Profit, it’s important to keep your business and personal bank accounts separate. This keeps your personal liability at a minimum and makes tax time much more simple.

For a close up look at the best places to open a business checking account for your Non-Profit, look around at your local banks to compare rates.


Step 9) Apply for Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesFiling a Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation does not immediately qualify your business for tax exemptions. As such there are steps you need in terms of Kentucky Non-Profit tax registration to enjoy an exempt status. This step will guide you in registering for Non-Profit taxes exemption.

  1. Apply for Federal Tax Exemption by Filing Form 1023.

The Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or IRS Form 1023 should be filed to enjoy a federal tax exemption status.

Note that this form is a lengthy one and includes a lot of information you have to fill out. To be sure that you do not make an error in the entries, take the time to look through the instructions provided in the actual form as well. When you have done filling it out, review your form just to be 100% sure.

An alternative to the Form 1023 is the Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or IRS Form 1023-EZ. However, this form can only be used if you qualify for the specific criteria: (1) a yearly gross receipt not more $50,000; (2) total assets not to exceed $250,000. This form is offered as an alternative because it is relatively shorter and simpler as compared to Form 1023.

  1. Process your Kentucky tax exemptions.

As soon as the federal tax exemption for your Kentucky Non-Profit has been submitted, you can now file for Kentucky state tax exemptions. The taxes you might be exempted from are varied so make sure to note these down. Alternatively, you can visit the Department of Revenue Kentucky website to give clearer instructions on Kentucky tax exemptions.

  1. Additional state reports and registration obligations.

For requirements on fundraising activities and other related Non-Profit Organization activities, you may be required to submit additional reports and forms. You can check with the Attorney General of Kentucky for these said reports and requirements.


Step 10) Handle Your Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesThe next step to starting a business in Kentucky is to take care of the license, permit, and regulations your business will need to adhere to. Depending on your location and type of business, requirements will vary.

To learn more, visit Kentucky One Stop. To have professionals handle all the research on your behalf while you focus on starting a business, look into this reliable package.


To-Do After Starting a Kentucky Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of Kentucky. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are a few additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Write a Solid Plan for Your Organization

Write a Business PlanWhen you start a business, you always have some sort of game plan. This game plan however should be put into writing to get a more concrete view of how you will operate your Non-Profit. You can do this by writing a solid business plan to serve as your guide both in the short-term and long-term operations of your Non-Profit.

Take Action: Register to our free planning course or use a business planning software. Both will help you define your customers, refine your business idea, and set goals for the future.


2) Build a Professional Website

Build a Business WebsiteTo be able to compete with existing businesses, you need to have a professional website to build trust with your potential customers. Rather than spending thousands on a custom design or learning how to code, look into WordPress.

WordPress is a great free platform that helps you start and customizable a website for your Kentucky Non-Profit.


3) Continue Learning & Stay Inspired

How to Start a BusinessStarting a Non-Profit in Kentucky isn’t easy. It will take time, patience, and persistence on your part so that you’re able to whether storms and keep moving forward. As a final step to bringing your idea to life and moving forward, we highly recommend subscribing to our entrepreneur interviews.

Every week we send out a newsletter that dives in and figure out what makes successful entrepreneurs tick. It’s totally free and extremely inspiring.

Take Action: Follow our free entrepreneur updates here.

Note to our readers that this article is only an informational guide and is not legal advice. Seek the advice of a local professionals if you have any questions.

Need Help Forming Your Organization?

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