Non-Profit Start-Up Help in San Jose, CA

Launching a non-profit organization has never been easy; after all, you have to deal with 4 different government agencies, using forms and applications you’ve probably never seen. In fact, if you happen to check the wrong box on some forms, you might be forced into the wrong category, which can take forever to correct. But even after you set up your non-profit, you’ll need guidance to deal with ongoing compliance and tax filings.

All this could be overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-timer. Fortunately our company—Non-Profit-World—has been guiding non-profits for 30+ years. We have mastered the ins and outs of non-profit start-up, compliance, and tax filing.

Non-Profit Start-up Help in San Jose, CA

Josh Wagner, the founder of Non-Profit-World, has a 100% success rate with non-profit start-ups . . . for 34 years running. He periodically teaches non-profit start-up and compliance at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. He will hold your hand and show you the dos and don’ts of the non-profit sector to help you avoid costly errors.

Non-Profit Start-up

Even before considering the amount needed, you need to develop core values and a draft of what you hope to establish. After that, research and create a budget plus ways to raise the cash if the available amount is insufficient—even if it is through fundraisers.

Non-Profit Registration

The registration process depends on whether the non-profit organization is a public charity, private foundation, or a private operating foundation. But generally, after naming your start-up, you need to form a board to help draft bylaws and then file your incorporation paperwork.


In California (unlike most states), state tax exemption must be separately applied for; it’s not automatic with federal exemption. Use Form 3500 or 3500A to apply to the Calif. Franchise Tax Board. And use Form 1023 or 1023-EZ to apply to the IRS (must be completed online). We will help you with these forms.

Non-Profit Incorporation

Your Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Calif. Secretary of State in Sacramento and, once stamped by them, become the “birth certificate” of your corporation, indicating that your corporation has now come into existence. Filing fees start at around $30, and incorporation currently takes 2-3 weeks (faster using the new “BizFile” feature).

Non-Profit Compliance in San Jose, CA

The federal and state laws regulate the operations of non-profits to ensure they operate within the confines of the set measures. That ensures they do not abuse the freedom accorded to them for inappropriate engagements such as abusing their tax exemption freedom.


Bylaws are the internal rules of your organization, such as: what are your primary purposes; how many board members do you have, how long are their terms, and when do they meet; what are the officers’ duties; what is your fiscal year; and do you have voting members beyond your board. Non-Profit-World will help you craft effective Bylaws.

Non-Profit Compliance

Most California non-profits have to report to three agencies annually (the IRS, and the Calif. Attorney General and Calif. Franchise Tax Board); and one agency every two years (the Calif. Secretary of State). Failure to report to these agencies on time will jeopardize your compliance, which can be complex and expensive to remedy.

Government Compliance

California’s non-profits are allowed to conduct bingo and similar “gaming” activities, but these activities are strictly regulated by the Attorney General. You must first get permission to conduct these activities and then report back to the AG once a year after they’ve been conducted.

Education on Non-Profit Restrictions

There are several “forms” services out there that claim to help non-profits get started. But we’ve spent many hours correcting the mistakes made by these “forms mills.” Our service goes way beyond filling out forms. We pride ourselves in providing our clients with comprehensive guidance and education on the non-profit sector.

Further Consultations

Once you use our services, we become your lifetime ally in the non-profit sector. We’re available to answer questions, file returns, assist you with compliance issues, and provide referrals to other services.

Non-Profit Tax Filing in San Jose, CA

Federal and state returns are required every year for most organizations, even if they’re very small or inactive. We can help you determine which forms to file and when to file them. Non-profits have a high degree of visibility: their tax returns are public information. Therefore you want to make sure your non-profit returns are handled by someone with experience and integrity.

Do you need help getting your Non-Profit going in San Jose, CA?

We will get your non-profit up and running quickly. We have over 30 years of industry experience, training and coaching. We’re confident you’ll have a positive experience using our services.

Non-Profit Start-up FAQs

After reading the above information, you may still have some questions. Here are some of the questions we receive regularly.

  • What types of non-profits can you help with?
    We can help with the set-up of charities, schools, churches, educational organizations, private (family) foundations, professional associations, social clubs, and almost any other kind of non-profit available. Our team is well-versed with all the details you need to set up and run your organization smoothly.
  • Can you help with tax preparation?
    YES. Apart from offering one-on-one assistance with filing tax returns, we offer advice, guidance and ways to prepare before it’s time to file.
  • Do you provide education throughout the entire process?
    YES, we do. Our founder has coached and trained non-profit start-ups at Cabrillo College and other venues throughout the Bay Area for over 30 years.
  • Why Register as a Non-Profit?
    There are a number of advantages to operating as a non-profit: state and federal tax exemption, access to grants, deductibility of donations, limited liability, perpetual existence, and good will from the public.

Points of Interest & Activities in San Jose, CA

In San Jose there are many areas you can visit to have fun with your family and friends. Here are our top five:

Cathedral Basilica of St Joseph

This is the oldest non-mission parish in California, serving the people of San Jose for nearly 200 years. In 1990 it completed a massive restoration, including structural reinforcements, new stained glass windows, and a new plaza constructed behind the cathedral.

Almaden Quicksilver County Park

The park encompasses 4,163 acres; during early spring it offers one of the most spectacular wildflower displays in the region. It is impressive with its natural diversity and is a landmark of California history.

Municipal Rose Garden

With rolling green lawns and colorful showy blooms, it is named “America’s Best Rose Garden.” Hardly a day passes when some species is not in full bloom, with more than 3,500 plantings and 189 varieties featured.

Children’s Discovery Museum

At this wonderful facility, children find joy in play and discovery, and the world finds a champion for nurturing a sense of wonder. The museum is committed to creativity through the arts, science learning, and environmental stewardship.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

This is home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in western North America. It also features workshops on such topics as Hieroglyphics and Mummification.