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Helping Good People Do Good Things:

A brief introduction to the Law Firm For Non-Profits®

Legal Services

The Law Firm for Non-Profits provides a full range of legal services for non-profit organizations. Non-profits are governed by four bodies of law that are unique to them, in addition to laws that regulate all enterprises. We focus on the nuances of tax-exemption, non-profit corporation law, board member liability, and revenue generation. Please visit the pages below to learn more:

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

Our Main areas of Service

For more than two decades, The Law Firm for Non-Profits’ Quick Launch Service has helped non-profits get up and running quickly, smoothly, economically and legally. We are the most experienced and capable law firm for preparing successful IRS exemption applications.

If you desire/plan/hope to start and operate a non-profit, you must remember that:

  • Simply incorporating as a non-profit corporation is not enough;
  • Except in limited situations, you must apply for and obtain recognition of your tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); and
  • Charitable non-profits (e.g., 501(c)(3) organizations) must comply with state registration requirements to solicit and receive charitable donations.

We specialize in securing tax-exempt status quickly and economically for groups like yours. Nationally renowned law and accounting firms rely on us to handle tax-exemption work for their clients. To date, we have successfully submitted about 1,000 applications for 501(c)(3) status without a denial. *

Our Quick Launch Service includes everything you’ll need to establish your organization and obtain tax-exemption from the IRS. You pay one low fee for a complete package prepared and submitted by the nation’s top exemption application expert and your organization set-up to operate as a legal, tax-exempt entity. Our Quick Launch Service is simple, fast and effective.

Hand your worries to us. As your trusted advisors, we’ll establish your legal foundation so that you can focus on building your non-profit into the successful organization you know it can be.

Located and licensed in California, The Law Firm for Non-Profits services non-profits across the U.S. and overseas. If you are starting a non-profit, you owe it to yourself, your board of directors and your organization to do it right with our Quick Launch Service.

*Of course, we cannot guarantee that this will always be the case.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

A non-profit’s board members (e.g., its directors, trustees, elders, etc.) are legally responsible for everything the nonprofit does. State law strictly controls how boards conduct their affairs and set high standards for board member conduct. Failure to satisfy these legal standards (i.e., board members’ “fiduciary duty”) can result in personal liability to directors and state government takeover of the non-profit. The law protects them from liability when board members act in an ethical and accountable manner.

At The Law Firm for Non-Profits, we strive to ensure that board members always act in compliance with their fiduciary duty. We train them and give them the tools to excel. Among those tools are a non-profit’s bylaws. Great bylaws help educate board members about their duties and serve as an instruction manual for board conduct. We have helped thousands of non-profits understand and improve their bylaws.

We support and guide boards and their members in the full range of their legal duties and accountability issues, including:

  • Understanding and complying with board member duty and liability;
  • Addressing, as appropriate, potential self-dealing, conflicts of interest and non-profit insider transactions;
  • Updating and revising bylaws;
  • Instruction on proper board procedures such as elections, notices of meetings and the preparation of meeting minutes;
  • Establishing and complying with best practices;
  • Drafting the full range of board and corporate procedures;
  • Addressing complaints filed against a board or individual directors;
  • Meeting legally mandated public disclosure requirements;
  • Handling and resolving board disputes and disruptive board members; and
  • Holding board and staff members to the highest levels of accountability.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

While revenue-generating activities (vs. donated income) are increasingly critical, non-profits must comply with complex IRS regulations to avoid income tax on that revenue (so-called unrelated business income) and the loss of tax-exemption that such activity can result in. We are experts in working with non-profits to develop earned income that avoids taxation and otherwise complies with IRS regulations.

We support and guide non-profits in a wide range of revenue-generating areas, including:

  • Monetizing assets and programs;
  • Royalty and rental payments;
  • Setting up income-generating activity to avoid or minimize unrelated business income tax;
  • Creation of for-profit subsidiaries;
  • Commercial activities;
  • Charity auctions, raffles, sweepstakes, and gaming (e.g., casino nights”); and
  • Creation of hybrid non-profit/for-profit business structures to optimize mission driven social enterprises.”

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

We believe that non-profits are entrepreneurial businesses. They grow and succeed by creating and taking advantage of strategic opportunities for growth and expansion. With our business expertise (our managing attorney has an M.B.A. in addition to a law degree) and knowledge of the non-profit business” world, we deliver legal solutions that are practical and facilitate their success.

Many opportunities for non-profits develop organically”  that is, they arise naturally as the organization grows and achieves successes. The opportunities may take the form of new services and lines of business,” or through joint ventures and other collaborations with both non-profits and for-profits.

Every transaction, new service and opportunity a non-profit enters into must comply with multiple tax, corporation and charity laws. Failure to comply results in tax penalties and even revocation of tax-exemption. At The Law Firm for Non-Profits, we guide clients to ensure they meet such requirements.

We support and advise non-profits in the wide range of non-profits’ business transactions that are regulated by the IRS and states’ Attorneys General, including:

  • Consideration and approval of executive compensation arrangements and transactions with board members (all of which are deemed unlawful if not approval per statutory requirements);
  • Mergers (whether with non-profits or for-profits);
  • Sales of assets;
  • Conversions of non-profits to for-profits and vice-versa;
  • Establishment of for-profit subsidiaries;
  • Legally compliant joint ventures with for-profit businesses;
  • Corporate sponsorships;
  • Donor-advised funds;
  • Fiscal sponsorships; and
  • Arranging and developing strategic alliances.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

Private foundations must comply with a broad set of laws and regulations governing almost every aspect of their operations, including grant-making. With our expert knowledge of these myriad rules, we guide the activities of our foundation clients so they can realize their objectives while avoiding violations of self-dealing, taxable expenditures, qualifying distributions, jeopardizing investments and other regulations.

We support and advise non-profits in a wide range of private foundation and grant-making areas, including:

  • Grant-making policies and procedures, including grant agreements;
  • Private operating foundations;
  • Grant-making to foreign organizations;
  • Grant-making to entities that are not public charities;
  • Program-related investments;
  • Avoiding and minimizing private foundation excise penalties;
  • Major donor issues; and
  • Scholarships, prizes and grants to individuals.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

The scariest thing a non-profit will ever face is an IRS or Attorney General audit. This can be avoided with good counsel guiding non-profit boards and executives in complying with the law. The Law Firm for Non-Profits helps clients wade through the quagmire of laws affecting non-profits so that you can avoid trouble with the IRS and California state Attorney General.

Put simply, we work with non-profits to help them avoid being the targets of state and federal regulators. In the rare case that it happens to a firm client  or if your organization is unlucky enough to be audited  we remove the terror of an audit and get the work done. We have successfully handled dozens of audits and other regulatory investigations over the last three decades.

We support and guide non-profits in a wide range of regulatory matters overseen by the IRS and states’ Attorneys General, including:

  • Audits;
  • Tax return reviews;
  • Dissolutions and insolvencies;
  • Property tax exemptions;
  • Charitable solicitation and fundraising registrations across the U.S.;
  • Meeting public support tests;
  • Corporate sponsorships; and
  • Permissible lobbying activity and political activity.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.

U.S. non-profit organizations that operate outside the country must comply with additional laws imposed by Congress and the IRS.

A rarity in the industry, we have extensive experience with private foundations and other non-profits that make grants overseas and engage in cross-border work. From simple” grant-making involving non-U.S. entities to having operations overseas and everything in between, we can help you protect your international activities.

We support and guide non-profits in a wide range of international areas, including:

  • Federal requirements for grant-making to overseas organizations;
  • “Friends of” organizations to support foreign non-profits;
  • Expenditure responsibility and foreign equivalency requirements for grants to foreign charities;
  • Risk management for U.S. charities operating overseas; and
  • Compliance with U.S. Treasury Department anti-terrorism guidelines (including the USA Patriot Act).

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your non-profit thrive.