Q: I'm wanting to start a non profit to help spay/neuter/vaccinate dogs locally. Can Justia help with the paperwork?
I am currently the only person willing to solicit donations for our local pound to get the animals in good health and get them adopted out. City does not provide any assistance other than an Animal Control officer and a place to put the dogs. I solicit for food, blankets and monetary donations for their vetting. I am wanting to become a 501(c)(3) but am confused about the paperwork to start and all paperwork required once it is set up. Can Justia help or know of someone who could help? Thanks!
A: Congrats on the work you are trying to do. Before setting up a 501(c)(3), please consider that running a nonprofit will involve a lot of tax accounting work each year as you make your annual tax reports to the IRS. An attorney can certainly help you with the formation of the nonprofit corporation and drafting of bylaws, but you may want to consult with a CPA about maintaining your tax accounting as you will need to keep track of donations and avoid activities that could require the nonprofit to pay taxes, such as for unrelated business income tax. This could be quite a bit of administrative work for one person that would detract from your fundraising goals. If your accounting books are not maintained properly, it could be more of a headache than expected. Consider if it might be easier to affiliate yourself under an established nonprofit and still accomplish the goals that you want to accomplish. Best wishes to you!
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