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Non-Profit Pre-Formation Checklist

Organizational Tasks

  •  Select name. Check with Secretary of State on availability of name and reserve it with Secretary of State. See Corp C §201(c).
  • Obtain approval, if necessary, from appropriate licensing board for use of fictitious business name.
  • Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
  • Prepare By-Laws
  • File a Statement by Domestic Nonprofit Corporation with the Secretary of State
  • Register the corporation with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts
  • Register the corporation with the Secretary of State’s Political Reform Division, if lobbying or employing a lobbyist is intended or if the corporation meets the definition of “Committee” in Govt. Code  §82013


Federal Tax Registrations& Exemptions

  • Obtain an FEIN from Internal Revenue Service
  • Obtain Federal Tax Exemption

Registration to Do Business in California for Foreign Entities

  • Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation
  • Registration of Foreign Limited Partnership (Form LP5)
  • Application for Registration
  • Register as a charity in any jurisdiction other than California where the nonprofit will solicit charitable contributions either by mail, electronic mail, on a website, or by telephone, as required by the jurisdiction.


Employment Development Department Registration

  • Registration Form for Commercial Employers (EDD Form DE1)
  • Registration Form for Agricultural Employers (EDD Form DE1 AG)
  • Report of New Employee(s) for certain industries (EDD Form DE-34)


Immigration and Naturalization Service

  •  Employment Eligibility Verification (INS Form I9)


City Licenses and Registrations

  •  Various forms available from city business license office
  • Seller’s Permit –  If required, obtain a seller’s permit from the Board of Equalization – California Seller’s Permit Application—Individuals/Partnerships/Corporations/Organizations (Regular or Temporary): Form BOE-400-SPA
  • Obtain other licenses and permits as necessary from state and local authorities to perform specific acts of businesses or professions or solicitation of funds
  • Obtain nonprofit mailing permit, if desired


Other Taxes

  •   Notify California Franchise Board of IRS Tax Exemption


Securities Filings

  • Ascertain whether issuance of memberships is exempt under state and federal securities laws and, if not, apply for state qualification with the Commissioner of Corporations and federal registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission


Involved in Construction, Reconstruction, Planning and Zoning

  • Various forms available from local planning departments


Getting Legal Help

AXIS Legal Counsel’s Business and Corporations Practice provides legal advice to numerous businesses with a wide range of business matters. Axis  represent small, medium-sized, and large business clients with a wide variety of business and corporate law matters. We represent early-stage companies as well as established businesses on a wide variety of business law matters, ranging from contracts and transactions, intellectual property, labor/employment law, business financing, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, insurance, business succession planning, and general advice and counsel.  For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent your business in connection with any legal matter, contact [email protected] or call (213) 403-0100 for a confidential consultation.


Our Business & Corporations Practice 

Labor & Employment Practice Areas

  • Corporate Law
  • Small Business
  • Contracts & Agreements
  • Labor & Employment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Shareholders
  • Directors and Officers
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Business Sales
  • Business Disputes
  • Securities Law
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Agreements
  • HR Policies and Procedures
  • Independent Contractors
  • Wage & Hour Compliance
  • Paid Sick Leave Compliance
  • Executive Compensation Agreements
  • Stock Option Agreements
  • Minimum Wage & Overtime Compliance
  • FLSA Compliance
  • California Industrial Wage Order Compliance



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Have we counseled businesses like yours? All the time.

We have represented a variety of business clients in numerous industries across multiple disciplines and practice matters. Here are some of the highlights.