Non-profit lawyer and client shaking hands

The Necessity of Attorney Guidance in Starting a Non-Profit

Deborah Hubbs, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC  Dec. 5, 2023

Embarking on the journey to start a non-profit organization is both an exciting and challenging venture. It's a chance for you to make a significant difference in your local and global communities, but it also means dealing with a host of legal requirements.

As an attorney based in Houston, Texas, I am here to guide you through this process. My mission is to help you establish your non-profit organization while ensuring full compliance with all legal mandates. Contact me at Deborah Hubbs, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC if you are considering starting a non-profit anywhere throughout Harris County, Montgomery County, or Fort Bend County. 

The Basics of Non-Profits 

Non-profit organizations are unique entities that operate tax-free while providing benefits to the general public. These organizations can serve various purposes, whether they are charitable, educational, literary, religious, or scientific in nature. For instance, your non-profit could aim to support the homeless population in your local community, offering services such as food donations, shelter, or healthcare. It's essential to fully understand the non-profit landscape before diving into the legalities. 

Setting up a non-profit requires strict adherence to the legal framework outlined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state laws. One crucial step is securing 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS. This status allows your non-profit to operate without paying taxes, provided it meets certain stipulations set for non-profit organizations. Additionally, our state of Texas may have specific regulations and filing requirements for non-profits. 

Your Attorney's Role in Non-Profit Formation 

One of the key aspects of my role is assisting you in determining the most suitable legal structure for your non-profit. This involves carefully considering factors such as your organization's goals, activities, and long-term aspirations. Whether it's incorporating as a corporation or another business entity with tax-exempt status, I will work closely with you to choose the best option that aligns with your vision and objectives.

In addition to helping you navigate the legal hurdles, I will also assist with drafting and filing all the necessary documents. This includes preparing accurate and comprehensive articles of incorporation and bylaws that comply with the relevant regulations and reflect the unique nature of your non-profit. I understand the importance of these documents as they provide the framework for your organization's governance and operations. 

With my experience and attention to detail, you can trust that I will guide you through every step of the process, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements and regulations. My goal is to empower you with the knowledge and resources needed to establish a successful and impactful non-profit organization.

Don't let the intricacies of forming a non-profit overwhelm you. Contact me today and let's start building a solid legal foundation for your non-profit's future success. 

Navigating Tax-Exempt Status 

Achieving tax-exempt status is a vital component of non-profit formation. I assist in completing the IRS Form 1023 or the more straightforward online version, Form 1023-EZ, to apply for this status. My guidance ensures that your non-profit meets eligibility requirements and that all necessary information is accurately provided. Maintaining tax-exempt status and complying with ongoing reporting and filing obligations also fall within my purview. 

Drafting Essential Non-Profit Documents 

Properly drafted non-profit documents are the backbone of your organization's smooth operation. I assist in drafting articles of incorporation, which define your non-profit's purpose and structure. I also help in creating bylaws that set the standards for electing directors and officers, holding meetings, and voting on issues. These documents provide a legal framework for your non-profit's governance and operations. 

Mitigating Legal Risks 

Non-profits face various legal risks, including potential lawsuits and compliance issues. As a business attorney, it's my responsibility to identify and minimize these risks. I review contracts, agreements, and policies to ensure they are legally sound and protect your organization's interests.

I also provide guidance on intellectual property protection, employment matters, and other legal considerations specific to non-profits. 

Seek Legal Guidance You Can Trust 

Starting a non-profit is a significant endeavor, and it's crucial to have trusted legal guidance. With over 20 years of experience helping both for-profit and non-profit businesses get started and operate smoothly, I am committed to providing reliable legal counsel to you, too.

If you're in the Greater Houston Area, Harris County, Montgomery County, or Fort Bend County, Texas, I am here to help. By seeking my guidance in starting a non-profit, you can ensure compliance with legal requirements, mitigate risks, and establish a solid foundation for your organization's success. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation and make your non-profit dream a reality.