Q: What happens if you don't file a notice of incorporation when starting a nonprofit?
First and foremost, if you are planning on operating a non-profit organization or not-for profit corporation you must file the incorporation documents with the Georgia Secretary of State's Office or your the equivalent in you state. Additionally, you will need to file for the non-profit designation with the IRS via Form 1023 or Form 1023EZ. Just because you claim to be non-profit, does not mean you are and you can only labeled as one through the proper recognition by the IRS.
Failure to do so will expose you to unnecessary legal risks that include the following: making serious business mistakes, personal liability exposure, adverse tax consequences, business and securities law liability, criminal liability, and high legal and attorney fees to have a law firm fix the legal mess that you created.
It is highly recommended you consult with a business attorney. There is no remedy for bad information and do it yourself legal representation can result in disaster!
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