Nonprofit Start-Up Resources
Nonprofit Organization 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt Process
Determine if you are ready to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
- Review the Nonprofit Start-up Checklist
- Start Up for Success: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Planning, Founding and Initiating a New 501(c)(3) Nonprofit
- The Workbook was developed to provide information that is focused on guiding you through your own process and informed by what you need to know about nonprofits, the 501(c)(3) legal structure and the process of incorporation. Click here to purchase your copy.
Incorporate your nonprofit organization in the State of Colorado.
- Develop Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation for your organization.
- Register your nonprofit in the State of Colorado at the Secretary of State website.
Apply for your Organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service.
- You can obtain an EIN online through the IRS website for free after completing a series of prompted questions.
Determine whether you must file IRS Form 1023 (Application for Recognition of Exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) OR if you are eligible to file IRS Form 1023-EZ (the streamlined application).
- To determine your eligibility to submit the streamlined application, complete the Form 1023-EZ Eligibility Worksheet in the Instructions for Form 1023-EZ.
Obtain and complete a paper version of IRS Form 1023 OR complete IRS Form 1023 online (using the interactive guide) OR, if eligible, complete IRS Form 1023-EZ online. Complete your Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and all necessary attachments.
File the Form 1023, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and necessary attachments with the Internal Revenue Service.
- The application fee is either $400 or $850 depending on your estimated annual organizational budget size.
- The review and IRS approval process can take anywhere between 6 months and 18 months.
Form 1023 Assistance
CRC is pleased to provide information about area providers who help groups complete IRS Form 1023. This list has been provided to assist you in filling out paperwork required to start a nonprofit organization. Community Resource Center (CRC) does not assume responsibility for referrals. We also do not provide consulting services for any paperwork. Some organizations in the area that do offer this kind of consulting service include:
- Board Source: Starting a Nonprofit Organization
- Impact Hub Boulder: Various event offerings related to starting a nonprofit
- Emily Davis Consulting: Office Hours for Your Nonprofit Startup
- City and County of Denver: Charitable and Religious Exemption Tax Guide
- Colorado Attorneys for the Arts: Help arts oriented organizations through 501(c)3 process
- State of Colorado: Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofits
- State of Colorado: Attorney General Charitable Giving Oversight
- Internal Revenue Service: Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status
- Internal Revenue Service: Stay Exempt: Internal Revenue Service Tax Basics for Exempt Organizations
- Internal Revenue Service: FAQ – Form 1023