NEED ADVICE (Business)
Ok. I would like some serious advice...guidance if you will...on what I may or may not need to begin a small, family run non profit operation.
Do I need a business license to operate?
Would I need a business license to have items donated from companies?
Would I need a tax exemption number to get said donations?
How do I get a tax exemption number?
Ok...here's what I want to do...in a nutsell.
I want start off small. Maybe down the road have clothes, coats etc. But for now...I want to provide sneakers/boots to children in my county. I live in an area of 20,000 or so and the avg income here is approx. $24,000.
Anyway...while I am an admitted a$$...I have a thing about kids having decent shoes. Not expensive $150 shoes....but decent, new sneakers. One of the greatest feelings as a kid was showing up first day of school with a new pair of sneakers...all clean and perfect.
So...I want to see about getting a few stores (JC Penney, Kohls, Walmart, Kmart, Payless, Target etc) to donate atleast 50 pairs of sneakers a year. For them, it's a tax write off. For a kid from a poor family, it's not only something he needs...but a little self esteem as well.
Once I have the commitment from the stores I will talk to my county and find a place to give out the shoes. I'd love to eventually be able to do this atleast twice a year...at the end of Aug. for the start of the school year and in Dec. for Christmas.
Two things are a given....
1) My target is grammar school kids. Sorry adults and high schoolers. I want to help the yoingers ones who can't get jobs to help themselves.
2) Non profit means NON PROFIT! Not one penny changes hands. Not for gas money, no salaries...nothing! I feel so many non profit organizations are full of crap with their CEO's driving BMW's and living in $450,000 homes etc.
So..there it is. This is something I have wanted to do since I was 9. Life took many twists and turns and I have just recently gotten back to remembering who I wanted to he when I was little. I just want to help where I can and give to those that need.
Advice welcome. Nay sayers, please remember I asked for advice not negative comments.
I would suggest you start with your city/county tax office or tax collector as to any fees or permits or business license needed. As far as tax-exempt status I believe you will need a lawyer to assist in filing for federal tax exemption.
A noble endeavor, I hope it works out for you.
450k? Wow thats a cheap house around here! Lol 1.5 mil is what those non profiters live in around these parts!
On a serious note, the best thing you could do is check with you state's dept of licensing and L&I to get the info you need. Go on there websites or even give them a call.That sounds like one heck of an idea and kudos to you for being so considerate of the kids. I remember how much i loved going shoe shopping before school started!
Thanks. Will begin checking their websites tomorrow. Baby steps. Might take a little time to get organized but I really want this to work out.
1. Yes you will need a permit, and to be a non-profit you'll need to file with the IRS to gain 501(3)-c status so the donators can write off their donations.
2. You will need a business permit.
3. You will have costs, some costs, and getting donations to cover those is fine as long as you report and show how all monies taken in are given out or spent to give out the donations. Regardless of whether you think you will no cash changing hands, you will have costs and you will need to record and report those costs to justify your non-profit status with the IRS which is unavoidable because the folks that donate to you will need the incentive of a write-off and .... well, hopefully, you get the picture: this quickly requires at least some accounting, and associated with that is some costs.
Start with the county, as suggested above, do a little web research on the filing info needed for the IRS, come up with a fictitious name, and get the ball rolling. God bless, I hope it works out for you.
Sounds like a good thing, check your state tax commission, register your enterprise go to the IRS and get an individual tax number ITN.
You are ready to start.
Develop a thick skin, you are going to need it, the best way to get enemies is to start anything, haters are everywhere. Don't let them discourage you.
best wishes and i hope you are very successfull...its certainly a noble endeavor ...
Like others have said, you will need all sorts of proper licenses, in no small part because the large corporations you are planning on targeting won't get any tax benefit unless they are donating to an actual not for profit organization. The first thing I would suggest that you do, simply because it's a great way to help get your head around everything you will be undertaking, is to write a business plan. You can find some examples and lots of good information about writing one all over the internet, and I'm sure you can get some specific pointers for 'non-profit' business plans and how one would compare to a 'for profit' business. The time spent doing it will really help you get organized and focused, I promise.
The other benefit to this would be the credibility factor. Since you will have little else when you actually get started, it will illustrate your dedication and seriousness to your cause, and you will get much farther with any business, large or small, by ensuring that they see how serious you are taking your idea. Big businesses see all sorts of requests like yours, so as sad as it is to say, you really should think about how you can separate yourself from others. Providing them a copy of your business plan with backup documentation of the demographics and need for your non-profit and you'll have a much better chance to get cooperation.
I guess the bottom line I'm trying to get across is if you display a 'casual' mindset when looking for financial (donations of goods, cash, a loan, or whatever) consideration from any business, then you will be treated casually, and that's probably not going to work for you.
Good luck with this project, it sounds like it is needed and would be a very good cause; and there is really no better cause than kids!
Great Work, It sounds like a great idea I hope you get plenty of support from cummunity : )
Some info on starting a non-profit here: http://www.snpo.org/resources/startup.php
I helped a group set up a non-profit in my past life. Everything is easy except for getting the 501(c)3 status. If you can get that behind you then you will be on the 1 yard line ready to punch into the end zone.
Best of luck to you.
You might also want to consider having the shoe companies make the donations: Nike, Adidas, etc. They might just jump on something like this, and since you'd be dealing directly with the manufacturer you wouldn't have to wait on some corporate approval for a local franchise, i.e. approval from Bentonville, AR for a Wal-Mart in Tennessee to make a donation.
I wonder if there might be an existing 501(c)(3) in your area (or even on a state level) that you could persuade to partner on this project, acting as a "fiscal agent". That would certainly get you rolling much faster, since you could utilize the existing non-profit's tax-exempt status.
Wow. Alot of useful posts this morning. Seriously, that you everyone. I 'm literally jotting down notes from all of your advice.