Forming a Florida NonProfit Organization

When forming a Florida Nonprofit Organization (NPO), you should prepare yourself with as much information as possible. To help get you started we've gathered some information to assist you with registering and organizing a Nonprofit Corporation in Florida.

Select from the options below to learn more about Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs) in Florida:

1: Get Started with Online Application Services

Online application assistance can simplify and streamline the process for many Florida business-related services, including: forming a limited liability company or a limited partnership, starting an S-Corp or a C-Corp or registering intellectual property and nonprofit organizations. In addition to the free forms and general instructions available from different business organizations, you will receive a comprehensive License Checklist & Forms Packet specific to your needs, fast answers to tough questions and prompt service from a friendly staff.

2: Via your state department

If you prefer to access additional material on Florida business services, visit a state-specific online resource for extra support regarding future business ventures.

Florida Nonprofit Corporations

A Nonprofit Organization (NPO) in Florida or in any state is also called a not-for-profit corporation. Florida Nonprofit Corporations are created according to Florida state law. Like for-profit corporations, nonprofit corporations in Florida must file a statement of corporate purpose with the Secretary of State and pay a fee, create articles of incorporation, conduct regular meetings, and fulfill other obligations to achieve and maintain corporate status.

Incorporating an (NPO) or Nonprofit Organization in Florida

When incorporating your Florida nonprofit business, you'll first have to check availability of the name through Florida's Division of Corporation's database, which you can find at All Florida nonprofit corporation names must be unique. You cannot choose a name that's been used before. Then, develop your bylaws. Your bylaws should include basic operational guidelines, administrative standards and a board of directors. Next, download the Florida NPO Articles of Incorporation form. This application will have to be completed with information like; corporation name, principle address of the nonprofit business, bylaw information like directors and purpose of the corporation, name and address of all directors or officers, registered agent, name, address and signature. (You can find more information on Articles of Incorporation for Florida as well as the forms by downloading the Florida Nonprofit License Checklist & Forms Packet).

The next step to take to incorporate your NPO in Florida should be to submit document 501(c) (3) for tax-exempt status with the IRSalong with the filing fee. Then obtain and submit the Application for Consumer's Certificate of Exemption, also called (Form DR-5), from the Florida Department of Revenue. By doing this it will keep you as a Florida Nonprofit Corporation, from paying sales tax for business supplies and purchases. To learn more, as well as download the forms, check out the Florida Nonprofit Easy Guide.

Florida Nonprofit Corporation Taxes

A nonprofit status may make your Florida Corporation eligible for certain benefits, like state sales, property and income tax exemptions. Note: The corporate status doesn't automatically grant exemption from federal income tax. To be tax exempt, most Florida organizations must apply for recognition of exemption from the Internal Revenue Service to obtain a ruling or determination letter recognizing tax exemption.

Tax Exemptions for a Nonprofit Business in Florida

Some tax exemptions for a Florida Nonprofit Corporation include categories such as; charitable, educational, or religious organizations which list under section 501(c)(3). They're considered the most favorable status because donations to 501(c) (3) organizations are tax deductible. To be exempt under that section, your Florida NPO must apply within 27 months after the end of the month in which it was created. You can visit the IRS dedicated link to nonprofit businesses at,

Although certain types of nonprofit organizations in Florida are not required to apply for recognition of tax exemptions, many do so in order to clarify their tax status. A user fee must accompany a tax exemption application. The IRS will not process an application until the user fee is paid.

Remember, that with a nonprofit corporation in Florida or any state, you will need to register as a corporation first, and then apply for your 501(c) (3) tax status to reap the benefits of being a nonprofit. For more information as well as Florida nonprofit business tax forms, download the Florida Nonprofit Easy Guide.

NOTE: The IRS states very clearly that ALL companies are required to keep records of all employment taxes for a minimum of four years. To view some good record keeping tips check out,

Frequently Asked Questions-- Florida Non Profit Corporations

  1. What is the difference between a Florida Nonprofit and a For-profit Corporation?
  2. Florida Nonprofit Corporations differ from Florida Profit-driven Corporations in several respects. The most basic difference is that nonprofit corporations in Florida cannot operate for profit. Meaning, they cannot distribute corporate income to shareholders. The funds acquired by nonprofit corporations in Florida must stay within the corporate accounts to pay for reasonable salaries, expenses, and the activities of the corporation. Florida Nonprofit Corporations are exempt from the income taxes that affect other corporations but only if they conduct business exclusively for the benefit of the general public. To learn more, download the Florida Nonprofit Easy Guide.

  3. Can Nonprofit Organizations in Florida qualify for a business grant?
  4. The answer is yes. There are some Nonprofit Organizations in Florida that may qualify for business grants. To learn more just visit the Florida Department of State website at,

  5. Is there a difference between "nonprofit like" and "business like" businesses in Florida?
  6. The answer is YES and NO. Running a Florida Nonprofit Organization requires being focused on your company's mission as well as paying attention to issues that occur every day, like taxes, payroll and finding a good accountant. Neither is easy. Both can be satisfying.

  7. Where does the money come from for a Nonprofit Corporation in FL?
  8. Most nonprofit businesses in Florida or any state are really small. Many NPOs are entirely volunteer projects sustained by the energy and enthusiasm of a group of supporters and have no employees at all.

    There are some, not many, which are large and employ hundreds or thousands of workers. Larger nonprofit organizations, like in Florida, generally receive revenue from their provided services. Nonprofit business managers have to strike a balance between program service revenue and support that comes from other sources, such as contracting with government agencies and fundraising. You can learn more about fundraising and finances for NPOs at, and you can also get more information on fundraising and finances from the Florida Nonprofit Easy Guide.

  9. What can go wrong with a Nonprofit Company in Florida? And what to do about it?
  10. Leaders that are scoundrels, crooked contractors or dishonest employees can take advantage of nonprofit organizations in Florida or any state. They can not only damage but also destroy their capacity to serve the mission. Bad people of this sort are particularly popular in NPOs, because the losses are not personal; they touch the people served, the volunteers, the honest employees, the donors and more.

To learn more, download the new Business License Checklist & Forms Packet to assist you with the Florida Nonprofit process, as well as offer you helpful information on popular Nonprofit topics.

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