• Advocacy, Advice

Basic Steps for Creating a Not-For-Profit Organization in New York State

(Art Credit: Sisi Recht)

Let's cut to the chase, you are interested in forming a Not-For-Profit organization in New York State and you're not sure where to begin. Here is your basic checklist with additional resources.

  1. Draft a business plan.
  2. Draft and file the Certificate of Incorporation with the New York Department of State (Fee: $75.00 +$25.00 for expedited handling).
  3. Draft and adopt the bylaws (and applicable policies related to conflicts of interest, records retention and destruction, whistleblowers, and investments). Here are sample bylaws to give you a sense of what they entail; consult an attorney for up-to-date information and guidance specific to your needs.
  4. Draft and submit an application for an Employer Identification Number.
  5. Draft and submit an application for tax-exempt status with the IRS (Fee: $275.00 for form 1023-EZ).
  6. Draft and submit registration with the New York State Attorney General.
  7. Draft and submit applications for tax-exempt status with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (sales tax exemption) and, if appropriate, the New York City Department of Finance (property tax exemption).

Additional Resources:


The information in this guide is not legal advice and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The guide highlights some essential steps; it does not cover all the related laws and regulations. The guide was last updated on May 5, 2022, and some of the information may have since changed. If you have a legal issue, you should not rely on this information and instead speak to an attorney.

Daniel F. Pepitone Daniel F. Pepitone is an attorney who helps the self-employed and small businesses with contract negotiation, copyright and trademark registration and enforcement, disability insurance, and more.