Are you looking to start a nonprofit organization in Dallas, Texas? Thanks to the availability of resources and support from the local government, Dallas is an ideal place to launch your business. But before diving into the venture, there are a few important steps to take in order to ensure its success and remain compliant with the law. Specifically, you’ll need to select your entity type, obtain your tax identifier, register with the Secretary of State, take care of any additional filings, and most importantly, enlist the guidance of experienced business lawyers. In this article, we'll outline the legal steps and considerations for successfully forming a nonprofit in Dallas.

What Is a Nonprofit Organization?

A nonprofit organization is an entity that is formed for the purpose of providing quality services to a specific population or to the community at large. Nonprofits exist to carry out beneficial activities, and they don’t generate profits for their owners or shareholders. Since they’re not designed to make money, non-profits are subject to specific restrictions that set them apart from corporations or limited liability companies.

Choosing a Nonprofit Structure in Dallas

The most common nonprofit entity type is the unincorporated association, which is a loosely structured business organization with no legal documents or formal organization. While it may be the simplest and cheapest structure, it doesn't provide the alternative for fundraising or legal protection that incorporating does.

The most popular type of nonprofit corporation is a 501(c)(3) organization, which is a tax-exempt entity that can accept donations, establish a corporate board, and involve a larger number of members. It also has the potential to increase the legitimacy of the organization among its members, the public, and potential donors. To form a 501(c)(3) organization in Dallas, you must file Form 1023 with the IRS.

Applying for a Taxpayer Identification Number

Once you’ve determined the type of entity, the next stage is to obtain a taxpayer identification number, or TIN. A TIN is used to track tax-related transactions, and the required forms can be filed online or with the IRS.

Registering with the Secretary of State

The next step is to register your entity with the Texas Secretary of State. You will need to provide the entity’s name, type, and purpose. If you intend to leave open the possibility of accepting donations, you should also consider filing a charitable organization registration form.

Other Required Filings

Depending on the type and size of your nonprofit, you may also need to file additional forms and obtain permits. Additionally, you will be required to seek recognition by the IRS, obtain any necessary licenses or permits, and register for a variety of taxes.

Enlist Legal Guidance

Given the complexity of nonprofit law in Dallas, it’s critical to seek the guidance of experienced business lawyers. Try taking advantage of the network of experienced lawyers at UpCounsel. Whether you need a one-time consult or an entire freelance legal department, UpCounsel’s network of experienced lawyers has you covered. From small businesses to the Fortune 1000, groundbreaking companies of all sizes trust UpCounsel and its attorney community to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services. Access to high quality attorneys on demand, Business attorneys have an average of 14 years of experience, Profiles of our online attorneys display client ratings and reviews of recent work.


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