Careful attention should be given to the process of filing for tax exemption.  Legal consultation is recommended to ensure the proper steps are followed. However, initially your organization will need to:

  1. Select a name: The name of your nonprofit organization will need to comply with the state’s corporate filing office. Yours cannot have the same name as an existing organization. Words such as federal, national, United States, and reserve are usually not allowed.  Regulations change from time to time, so it is important that you work with the state’s corporate filing office to ensure accuracy.  
  2. Create and file your Articles of Incorporation with the state (What are these?)
  3. Create bylaws (What are these?)
  4. Apply for exemption status with the IRS.

The IRS website offers many downloadable publications to guide the process. Publication 557 “Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization” and Package 1023 “Application for Recognition of Exemption” might be useful to your efforts. 

Visit the IRS home page at