Denver, CO asked in Business Law for Florida

Q: I have a 501(c)3 registered in the state of Indiana. I need to move to Florida . How difficult is it to transfer.

I don't have anyone to become an agent to receive mail etc. The organization's bank acct is also in Indiana. What would be the cost and difficulty to make the transfer of the organization from IN to FL? Any other suggestions?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer

A: You basically have two choices. The first option is to start a new not for profit in Florida and wrap up the Indiana nonprofit. The second option is to leave the Indiana nonprofit in place and to file paperwork with the Florida to operate as a "foreign not for profit" in Florida. Which option is right for you will be an individualized decision based on your particular circumstances.

The first option would involve establishing a new corporation, getting a new EIN, applying for a new 501(c)(3) status, and (possibly) establishing the new not for profit as a successor organization. Wrapping up in Indiana requires that the old nonprofit has to comply with its "dissolution clause" in its articles of incorporation, obtain the agreement of the board of directors or the members (if there are members), and file articles of dissolution with the state. In addition to these requirements, you would lose the continuity that comes from having an established track record, a history that is searchable in online databases, etc. Because you are opening a new corporation, you would need a new bank account in Florida and a new registered agent for service of process.

The second option involves the hassle of retaining a registered agent in Indiana even though you will have moved, which might cost you an annual service charge (unless you have a friend or relative in Indiana who is willing to take that on.) And you might need to open a new bank account in Florida once you have registered with the Florida Department of State as a foreign not for profit.

Which option is right for your organization depends on the details of your particular circumstances. What do your other board members think? What do your members think? How much property do you have? Do you rely on people (like donors) who value your long-established presence in a particular mission? Do your articles of incorporation allow you to transfer the assets to any new 501(c)(3), or is there something more restrictive in the dissolution clause? What do your bylaws say? These are just some of the individualized questions that will affect the right choice for your organization.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.