“Curated Content for Changemakers”


Service-minded people are often intimidated about starting their own nonprofit. While it is true the launching and running a nonprofit organization is a lot of work, the steps involved are not all that complicated and should bot require hiring an outside professional.

Here are the basic steps involved in starting your own nonprofit organization in South Carolina.
Keep in mind that each state has different laws so the procedure may be different in other states. For more information, visit the SC Secretary of State.

  • Decide on a name for your organization
  • Register your new name with the SC Secretary of State.
  • Acquire a local business license if required.
  • Gather and elect a Board of Directors with officers. In SC. the minimum is 3 members.
  • Complete and file your Articles of Incorporation with the SC Secretary of State.
  • Develop and adopt bylaws for your organization.
  • Acquire an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS (Form SS4).
  • File for 501c3 tax exemption status from the IRS.
  • Take minutes for all of your board meetings (at least one meeting required per year).

In addition to these start-up tasks, you will also need to:

For a wealth of detailed information on starting and managing your new nonprofit,
including sample bylaws, baord member job descriptions and more, please visit:

For help with your 501c3 application, try: