New York has a statute that anyone starting a nonprofit should read. It is located at NY. NPC. Law Section 405.
The statute states, among other things, that a certificate of incorporation must be filed with the New York Department of State. Thereafter, the non-profit corporation must hold an organizational meeting to elect directors, adopt by-laws and transact other business, such as authorizing a bank account to be opened; the execution of agreements; and appointing officers. Under certain circumstances, there may also be a requirement to register with the office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau.
It is important to note that in addition to all this, the corporation must also apply to the federal (as opposed to state) government for 501(c)(3) status. This is done through a 1023 form supplied by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). See http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96109,00.html. This is important to allow donors to deduct their donations.
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