How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in Nashville, Tennessee

Starting a nonprofit organization in Nashville, Tennessee can be a complex process. To ensure that your organization is compliant with all state and federal regulations, it is important to understand the requirements and steps involved. This article will provide an overview of the process, from obtaining an employer identification number to filing the articles of association with the Business Services Division of the Tennessee Secretary of State. The first step in creating a nonprofit organization in Tennessee is to obtain an employer identification number (EIN).

This can be done by completing the IRS Form SS-4 and submitting it online to the Internal Revenue Service. After obtaining an EIN, you must then apply for federal tax exemption or category 501 (c) (tax-exempt) under the Internal Revenue Code. In addition to federal tax exemption, nonprofit organizations in Tennessee must also apply for sales tax exemption. To do this, you must complete and submit Form RV-F1306901 to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

The forms should be sent to the following addresses:

  • Tennessee Department of State Corporate Statements 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue 6th Floor Nashville, TN 37243-1102
  • Tennessee Department of Revenue Taxpayer Services Division Andrew Jackson Office Building 500 Deaderick Street Nashville, TN 37242
  • Tennessee Department of State Charitable Requests 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue 6th Floor Nashville, TN 37243
  • Tennessee Department of State Corporate Documents 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue 6th Floor, William R.

    Snodgrass Tower Nashville, TN 37243

  • Internal Revenue Ogden, UT 84201-0027
  • Tennessee Department of State Charitable Applications Division 312 Rosa L. Snodgrass Tower Nashville, TN 37243-0308
  • Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development 220 French Landing Drive Nashville, TN 37243
Once you have completed all the necessary forms and applications, you must then create a constitution or articles of association for your nonprofit organization. This document should include statements that your nonprofit organization will not engage in activities unrelated to its exempt purposes or to prohibited political or legislative activities. It is important to keep these documents securely in your not-for-profit record kit.

The next step is to choose a name for your nonprofit organization in Tennessee. This name should reflect the image and brand of your organization and should be carefully considered. After selecting a name, you must then complete the constitution form or template and file the articles of association with the Business Services Division of the Tennessee Secretary of State. Creating a nonprofit organization can take anywhere from two weeks to three months, depending on how quickly you can complete all the necessary forms and comply with relevant state and federal laws.

Applying for 501 (c) tax exemption may seem like a daunting task but it has many benefits for your organization. Once your nonprofit organization has been established, there are certain annual filing requirements that must be met in order to remain compliant with state and federal regulations. Additionally, if your nonprofit organization has employees, there are certain employment applications that must be completed. Hurwit & Associates offers comprehensive compliance and reporting services to nonprofit organizations and charitable fundraisers.

Organizations considering this method of funding their unemployment insurance obligations should check with the appropriate state office that manages unemployment insurance in that state. Tennessee nonprofit organizations have successfully provided services to families living in poverty, protected the environment, and connected people and businesses within their communities. Adding your nonprofit organization to the tens of thousands of organizations already established will allow you to make a difference in your community. Finally, Tennessee nonprofit corporations that have received their determination letter from the IRS do not need to submit an application for a state income tax exemption.