Forming a Nonprofit Corporation in Georgia

Here are the steps to form a nonprofit corporation in Georgia. You should read this page in conjunction with the general section on forming a nonprofit corporation, which has additional steps listed that are applicable to all states. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with:

1. Choose a business name and check for availability

  • Your nonprofit's name may not be the same as, or deceptively similar to, other corporate names on file with the Secretary of State (limited exceptions apply).
  • The name must contain either "corporation," "incorporated," "limited," "company," or their abbreviations.
  • Reserve your nonprofit corporation's name through the online Name Reservation system.

2. Recruit and/or appoint directors

  • You must have at least one director, age eighteen or older, for your nonprofit corporation.
  • Directors do not have to reside within Georgia, nor do they have to be of a certain age.

3. Incorporate your Nonprofit Organization

You should read the general section on forming a nonprofit corporation in tandem with the steps outlined here.

a. Prepare and file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State

  • The filing fee is $100.
  • When filing your articles of incorporation, you must also submit a Transmittal Information Form. This form certifies that you are filing articles of incorporation and will fulfill the publishing requirement explained in the next step.
b. Publish a notice of intent to incorporate
  • Under Georgia law, you must publish a notice of intent to incorporate in a local newspaper.
  • Send $40 to the newspaper within a day of filing your articles of incorporation.
  • For more information on what the publication should look like, refer to the Secretary of State's Filing Procedures Guide.
c. Create the bylaws
  • There are no set criteria for the content of bylaws, but they typically set forth internal rules and procedures.
  • You are not required to file bylaws with the Secretary of State, but you must keep a copy at the nonprofit corporation's principal place of business.
d. Hold an organizational meeting
e. Create a Records Book
  • You will need a records book to store important documents concerning your nonprofit corporation.

4. Get your Employer Identification Number

Whenever you hire an employee in Georgia, you must inform both the IRS and the state of Georgia.

a. Federal
  • Request an Employer Identification Number ("EIN") from the IRS. This can be done via an online application.
  • The IRS details all of the necessary steps to complete, including verifying work eligibility and withholding allowances certificates, in Hiring Employees.
b. State

5. Register with the state of Georgia

a. Georgia Secretary of State
  • If your nonprofit corporation will accept and/or solicit donations you must register with the the Secretary of State Charitable Organizations department.
b. Office of Secretary of State


6. Apply for tax exemptions

All business entities are taxed in a variety of different ways. Once you've incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, you can start applying for tax exemptions.

a. Federal
  • The IRS lists a series of questions to help you determine whether your organization is eligible for federal tax exemption.
b. State
  • After you have received your tax exempt determination letter from the IRS, apply for state income tax exemption using Form 3605.
c. Local


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