UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center

Guide: Start a Business  Part Eight

Start a Nonprofit

So you want to start a nonprofit in Missouri. Although you might draw some parallels between starting a for-profit business and a not-for-profit organization, nonprofits have special considerations involving management (board of directors), tax exemption, finances, proposal writing, forms to file and more.

Following these steps can help you form your nonprofit organization in Missouri. If you’d prefer chatting with a human who can create your free (yep, totally, 100 percent free) custom step-by-step guide that outlines your next steps, give us a call at 866-870-6500 or tell us what you need help with here.

Who will control your organization?

One of the basic differences between nonprofits and for-profits is who controls it.

Successfully creating a nonprofit is a lot harder than founding a successful for-profit because the organizers have to bring many people together. A nonprofit will generally need a governing body of volunteer directors who will have broad oversight of the paid staff and the power to hire and fire them.

Confirm the need for your organization

Similar to what you’d do with market research for a for-profit business, do some market research to see if your community or region needs this type of organization and/or if the market is saturated with similar organizations. Does someone already provide this service and is there need for another similar organization or an organization of this type? Do you fill a particular niche or meet a need in a way that others in your service area don’t?

Tax Exemption

Most organizations will at least want to be exempt from paying income tax on the money they take in. Charitable organizations will also want donations to be deductible on their donors’ tax returns. The general forms for articles of incorporation from the offices of Secretary of State don’t necessarily say what you need for the tax exemption you want. The secretaries also don’t provide by-laws or conflicts of interest policies.

The IRS has guidelines that outline the different types of tax exemptions.

> > > Not sure what you need to do? Feeling like you could use some help? We got you. Just give us a call at 866-870-6500 or reach out to us online about what you need, and we’ll outline your next steps and connect you with help in Missouri (for free) so you can do this thing.

File the certificate or articles of incorporation

Although you can legally establish an unincorporated organization, it’s hard to obtain tax-exempt status. And it’s tough to receive grants when your organization is unincorporated.

Usually, you file the articles of incorporation with the secretary of state or the attorney general’s office in your state. In Missouri, you’ll file with the Secretary of State, but other states might be different.

- Register your business in Missouri - Cost is $25 to file articles of incorporation

Establish your organization’s board of directors and the organization’s incorporators

Missouri requires any nonprofit organization to have at least three directors. A president, secretary and treasurer have to be on the board for incorporation.

The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership has resource materials and classes to help organizations develop their boards.

Develop vision and mission statements

The vision statement outlines the organization’s reason for existence, while the mission statement identifies how the organization will accomplish the vision.

Establish bylaws

Missouri require certain statements in an organization’s bylaws. See the above links for guidance.

Get an employer identification number (EIN)

Organizations must apply for an EIN through the IRS to apply for tax-exempt status, to make required form 990 filings and to pay payroll taxes for employees. Learn more about EIN's from IRS.gov. But just because you have an EIN, doesn’t mean you organization is tax-exempt.

Open a bank account

You should also make sure your financial procedures, checks, and balances are in order and defined for your organization. If financial management isn’t your forte, find an expert who can help.

Apply for federal tax exemption

Section 26 USC 501 lists organizations that might qualify for tax-exempt status. Those organizations that meet the requirements in section 501(c)(3) may qualify for both exemption of income and deductibility of donations. See form 1023 and instructions at www.IRS.gov, as well as IRS Publication 557.

- View IRS requirements for exemption

- Fill out the IRS Exemption Application

Legal counsel is recommended for completing Form 1023. Be sure to look for someone with nonprofit expertise, and know that you can find low-cost or pro bono services through Legal Aid or a local law firm.

MOSourceLink can help connect you with local experts and low-cost or free help that can guide you with starting your nonprofit. Call us at 866-870-6500 or tell us what you need here, and we’ll outline your next steps.

Follow state and local nonprofit regulations

Sales Tax Exemption

Make sure you know your state rules and regulations on sales tax. In Missouri, the Department of Revenue grants sales/use tax exemption.

Charitable Solicitation Registration

Missouri requires you to register before you solicit donations. You can register with the State’s Attorney General office.

Property Tax Exemption

If the organization owns property, check with the local tax assessor’s office for the right forms.

Bulk Mail Permit

Do this at the main branch of your local post office; it will help reduce some costs with any direct mail campaigns.

Get funding

The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership has a series of fundraising courses to help teach common techniques on how to raise financial support for nonprofit organizations.

File your taxes

Most organizations with gross receipts over $25,000 must file IRS Form 990. Organizations with gross receipts less than $25,000 have to file an e-postcard, Form 990-N, again with a few exceptions.

File an annual report

Learn how to: File an Annual Report in Missouri

Get help creating a nonprofit in Missouri

These resources can help you create your nonprofit and guide you on what you’ll need to do to stay compliant:

- The Foundation Center's Establishing a Nonprofit Organization Tutorial

- IRS Tax Information for Charities & Other Nonprofits

- Missouri Secretary of State’s Office

- Free Nonprofit Micro eMBA (non-degree training modules to learn the basics of starting a nonprofit)

You may also need the following Resource Partners as you create your nonprofit. Head over to The Resource Navigator to further filter your search by business industry, zip code/city/distance and/or specific need—or just give us a call at 866-870-6500 and we’ll make your Personal Action Plan of next-step resources for free.

 

Blue Hills Contractor Incubator

The purpose of the Blue Hills Contractor Incubator is to serve as a trusted source for guidance and resources for small and medium contracting firms in the Kansas City region by providing office space, training opportunities, and relationships that assist in developing and executing sustainable business practices that lead to overall community economic development.

Central Exchange

Central Exchange is a preeminent membership organization in the Kansas City area which provides the venue and voice for women seeking to reach their full personal and professional potential.

Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce

The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce is the principal voice of business, whose mission is to promote, develop and support its membership in order to foster a sustainable, prosperous business environment and a high quality, livable community.

City of Albany

The City of Albany is committed to providing support and opportunity to entrepreneurs and business start-ups as well as established business expansion and retention services.

Craig School of Business - Center for Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurship exists to train, mentor and support entrepreneurs. Our staff will provide one-on-one business coaching and connect clients to needed programs and resources.

Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Located on the campus of SE MO State University, the Innovation Center provides easy access to many services needed by start-up businesses such as business counseling, training, and access to US SBA programs and services.

Grace Hill Women's Business Center

Business development program with a focus on training and counseling for entrepreneurs to start and expand their business.

Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission

Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission is a quasi-governmental agency serving as the liaison between local government and State and Federal Agencies. Our organization serves the 7 counties of: Bates, Benton, Cedar, Henry, Hickory, St. Clair and Vernon, as well as the communities within those counties. We connect communities to opportunities through community and economic development.

Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments

Serving Camden, Laclede, Miller and Morgan counties, working together to help provide the necessary resources to help build strong communities within our region.

Marceline IDA

The Marceline IDA works with start-ups and existing industries wanting to expand. We also have a working plan to assist existing businesses as requested.

Meramec Regional Planning Commission

A voluntary council of governments serving the Meramec Region (Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties.) We help local governments, businesses and nonprofits solve problems.

Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC)

Mid-America TAAC assists domestic manufacturers negatively impacted by import competition by providing cost share grant funding to implement improvement projects to make a business more globally competitive.

Missouri Arts Council

The Missouri Arts Council supports the arts that strengthen the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of our state.

Missouri Women's Business Center

The Missouri Women’s Business Center (MoWBC) provides resources, support and networks for women seeking to start or grow their own businesses. We specialize in free one-on-one counseling and training for local entrepreneurs.

Nodaway County Economic Development

Nodaway County Economic Development provides services to the businesses and communities of Nodaway County. NCED manages two low interest / no interest revolving loan funds to assist startup businesses with equipment and building improvements.

Nonprofit Connect

Nonprofit Connect links the nonprofit community to education, resources and networking so organizations can more effectively achieve their missions.

Nonprofit Missouri

Nonprofit Missouri provides professional development, advocacy and research to Missouri's nonprofit sector.

North Central Missouri Development Alliance

To foster economic growth and development for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in the North Central Missouri region.

Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation

NWMEF is a not-for-profit organization providing free and confidential business coaching services. Our mission is to help people transform their dreams into successful businesses.

Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments

A regional organization offering a variety of programming, products and services to member governments in Atchison, Holt, Gentry, Nodaway and Worth counties in northwest Missouri.

Saint Louis University Center for Entrepreneurship

The goal of Saint Louis University’s Entrepreneurship Center is to help entrepreneurs combine their business passion with the planning skills taught in a world-class institution, to produce high-performing organizations. Our mission is: to deliver and develop world-class entrepreneurship education for all.

SCORE - Kansas City

The Kansas City SCORE Chapter is comprised of more than 70 volunteers who provide free mentoring and workshops to entrepreneurs. Volunteers are professionals with time-tested knowledge and experience in almost every industry.

Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship

We aim to inspire and develop Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis.

Small Business & Technology Development Center - Cape Girardeau County Extension

Missouri's Extension Centers are part of the MO SBTDC network and provide consulting services in marketing, finance, management and technology development at little or no cost to the business.

South Central Ozark Council of Governments

SCOCOG is designated Economic Development District serving southern Missouri. Our eight member staff has collectively over 80 years of experience working with local communities seeking funding sources to meet their ever challenging needs as well as small business in the start-up or expansion phases with low interest loans.

St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce

The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce provides business assistance, networking opportunities & other services related to growing businesses in St. Joseph, Mo.

St. Louis Agency on Training & Employment (SLATE)

St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) Missouri Career Center is here to help you with small business resources OR employment training needs, whether you are a business or job seeker.

St. Louis County Library

The St. Louis County Library provides free resources to help start and grow your business. Book a Librarian for one-on-one time at the Headquarters branch to find information for business plans, choose a store site, create marketing lists, find demographics, and more.

St. Louis Development Corp.

The St. Louis Development Corp. offers programs and services to the small business owner.

St. Louis Public Library

St. Louis Public Library's 16 locations, including Central Library's subject specialists, help entrepreneurs find information related to day-to-day operations and long-term needs using a wide variety of resources.

St. Louis University School of Law Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic

The ECD Clinic provides transactional representation to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, community groups, and small businesses.

St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts

St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants provides free legal and accounting assistance and offers a wide variety of affordable educational programs.

Support Kansas City, Inc

Support Kansas City provides business and administrative services to nonprofit organizations, empowering nonprofits to focus on their missions.

UMSL Accelerate - University of Missouri-St. Louis

UMSL Accelerate is the innovation and entrepreneurial resource for students, faculty and the community. Our vision is to serve as a catalyst for developing our students, faculty and community to inspire entrepreneurship and innovation. Our mission is to foster a community of thought leaders by providing a vibrant ecosystem to Educate (curriculum), Innovate (co-curriculum), and Collaborate (community programming).

University of Missouri - School of Law - Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (ELC)

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (ELC) provides legal assistance to take startups from concept to capitalization. The ELC is a course where upper level law students get hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced, licensed attorney.

University of Missouri Extension of Miller County

Extension programs include Agriculture and Environment, Youth and Family, Health and Safety and Business and Community. Our Ag Business Specialist and 4H specialists are available to answer questions from 8-4 Monday through Thursday.

University of Missouri Kansas City - AUPD - Urban Planning + Design

Urban Planning + Design is an accredited undergraduate professional program in urban planning. We are a studio-based program with an emphasis on physical planning and community engagement.

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership

The mission of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (MCNL) is to enhance the performance and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector through high quality community-oriented education, applied research, problem solving and service..

University of Missouri-Kansas City--Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation is a projects-based course in which interdisciplinary teams of Law, MBA, Engineering and sometimes other students collaborate on the development of a business plan for a startup venture. The innovation the student teams work with are brought to the course by Project Providers who "pitch" their innovations to the students and faculty.

Urban Empowerment Development Corporation

uEDC Mission: uEDC is a community development corporation dedicated to empowering people to impact their community.

Veterans Business Resource Center

Free assistance to honorably discharged veterans, transitioning military and military families with preparations to self-employment or business expansion.
Remember if you need help, give us a call at 866-870-6500 or send us a message. We can guide you through the next steps you need to take to start your business.

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