How to Apply for 501(c)(3)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on December 14, 2022

Applying for 501(c)(3)

To apply for 501(c)(3) status:

  • Choose a name
  • File articles of incorporation
  • Apply for federal (IRS form 1023/1023-EZ) and state tax exemption
  • Draft bylaws
  • Appoint directors
  • Hold a board meeting (at least once per year)
  • Obtain licenses and permits

How to Apply for 501(c)(3) FAQs

What is a 501(c)(3) organization?

A 501(c)(3) organization is a non-profit organization with tax exempt status that is dedicated to the general well-being of society.

How Do You Apply for 501(c)(3)?

To apply for 501(c)(3) status, you will need to file form 1023, draft bylaws, and appoint a board of directors.

Is a 501(c)(3) organization tax exempt?

A 501(c)(3) organization is tax exempt so long as it remains true to its stated mission and remains compliant with the IRS.

What does 501(c)(3) mean?

501(c)(3) is the internal revenue code (IRC) section for organizations with tax exempt status. 501(c)(3) falls under internal revenue code 501(c).

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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