Our Non-profit Lawyers Want You to Succeed
Starting and forming a non-profit corporation can be complicated. So our Montgomery County and Bucks County non-profit lawyers recognize that proper legal counsel is essential during the formation of any startup, especially a non-profit. In addition, careful documentation and strategic efficiencies are crucial to supporting a non-profit's success. See below for more information on how to form a non-profit organization.
Experienced Non-Profit Lawyers
Our non-profit lawyers are active both as representatives of non-profits and in service to non-profits. So, they recognize these organizations play a crucial role in our community. Our lawyers have worked alongside numerous non-profit entities:
International Ministries | King of Prussia, PA
Baruch S. Blumberg Institute | Doylestown, PA
Bucks County Biotechnology Center, Inc. | Doylestown, PA
Bucks County SPCA | Lahaska, PA
Center for Loss and Bereavement | Skippack, PA
Habitat for Humanity MontDelco | Norristown, PA
HDC MidAtlantic | Lancaster, PA
Hepatitis B Foundation | Doylestown, PA
Housing Visions | Bristol, PA
HumanGood | Lafayette Hill, PA
Inglis House | Philadelphia, PA
KenCrest | Blue Bell, PA
Knights of Columbus Council 5494 – Fr. Gallen Council | Warminster, PA
Laurel House | East Norriton, PA
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society | Rye Brook, NY
Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP) | Norristown, PA
Mission Kids | East Norriton, PA
Support Center for Child Advocates | Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Baptist Association | Philadelphia, PA
Willow Grove Community Development Corporation | Willow Grove, PA
How do you start a non-profit?
Our non-profit lawyers use their expertise to address potential issues and craft long-term strategies during the formation process. For example, we start by working with your non-profit on critical concerns relating to board setup, bylaws, and governing documents. That includes drafting document retention policies, a conflict of interest policy, whistleblower policies, etc. In addition, our non-profit lawyers assist you with structuring fiscal sponsorship arrangements and applying for non-profit recognition by the Internal Revenue Service and the state. So our lawyers work with you at each step of the journey.
Any person starting a non-profit in Pennsylvania needs to be aware of the legal requirements for operating a non-profit. The legal requirements for formation and operation of a non-profit corporation are similar to those of a for-profit corporation. However, the significant difference is the no-profit motivation. As a result, the revenues of a non-profit must go to the non-profit mission.
Proper Structuring of a Non-Profit
When starting, the critical thing that any founder (or founders) of a non-profit must never forget is that the non-profit must be structured like a business. Appropriate structuring requires directors and officers (president, treasurer, secretary), formal bylaws that address corporate structure, and meetings. In addition, upon formation, all corporate actions must be recorded, especially if there is a plan to seek federal income tax exemption. Finally, Pennsylvania non-profits must also satisfy Pennsylvania's requirements for Charitable Organizations, especially if they intend to solicit funds from the public.
Once the idea for the non-profit comes to fruition, the founder needs to determine, if will it have members, how membership will be determined, and how those members will choose the Board of Directors. In addition, if it will not have members, it must be decided how the Board of Directors will select their successors to determine the and how and to satisfy the required corporate formalities.
The keys for a successful non-profit: know your mission, know the laws for compliance, make a plan for organization including compliance for the future, and assemble a team for support.
Our Non-profit Lawyers Provide a Range of Legal Services
Once a non-profit forms, our attorneys will continue to work with your organization and its financial and tax professionals to insure ongoing compliance with federal and state non-profit laws. As a result, non-profit lawyers at High Swartz provide a full range of services to assist with the continued success of each non-profit it serves including:
- Non-profit Organization
- IRS 1023-1024 Submission and representation
- Formation documentation drafting (policy guidance)
- Board meetings
- Tax assessment advice and appeals
- Non-profit Litigation
- Maintenance of non-profit 501(c)(3) status
- Planned giving and tax-exempt financing
- Zoning, land use, sale, and acquisition and leasing of real estate
Need Legal Support for Your Nonprofit Organization?
If you operate a non-profit business or are looking to form one, talk with one of the non-profit lawyers in our Norristown and Doylestown, PA law offices today.