Starting a nonprofit in Arkansas

Starting a nonprofit in Arkansas is governed by the Arkanasas nonprofit corporation Act,1993.

Eligibility to start a nonprofit in Arkansas

1) The Proposed Nonprofit must have a registered address of Arkansas. This may or may not be the same as the place where the nonprofit conducts its business.

2)The nonprofit must have a resident agent based out Arkansas on whom all notices and demands on behalf of the nonprofit organization could be served.

3) The minimum number of directors required to start a nonprofit corporation in Arkansas is three. There is no upper cap on the number of directors.

4) The organization may or may not have membership provisions.

Documents required for Incorporating a nonprofit in Arizona

1)Articles of Incorporation: Under the provisions of the Arkansas Nonprofit corporation Act,the articles of incorporation must include the name of the proposed organization, the name and address of the corporation’s
incorporators; the name and address of the corporation’s first registered agent, a membership clause which clearly specifies whether or not the organization will have members; and a dissolution clause that explains how the organization’s assets will be distributed if it is dissolved.

The Articles might also have other clauses as deemed fit by the board of the proposed organization. Other typical clauses include 1) the organization’s purpose, 2) the names and addresses of the initial directors on board, and
provisions related to the administration and  governance of the nonprofit organization.

Additonally, if a nonprofit organization wishes to obtain tax exempt status, relevant IRS clauses should also be inserted into the Articles of Incorporation.

The articles also must specify whether the proposed organization is a public benefit, mutual benefit or religious organization.

Click here to download a sample Artciles of Incorporation for Arizona Nonprofit.

b)Bylaws – The Arkansas laws do not mandate any specific clauses or terms for drafting the organization bylaws. However the bylaws should not conflict with any of the clauses of the Articles of Incorporation.

The bylaws must include policies that would govern the day to day affairs of the nonprofit orgnization.

When drafting the articles or the bylaws, it is important to keep in mind that the Act does not allow the directors term of office to be more than 6 years.

Where to File for Incorporation – The above documents, duly signed by all the incorporators must be submitted to Corporations division of the Arkansas department of Secretary of State at -

Business/Commercial Services Division
1401 West Capitol, Ste., 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

Upon incorporation, the nonprofit organization comes into formal legal existance in Arkansas.

Time required - The incorporation exercise can be completed in as less as a day’s time, provided all formalities are properly executed.

Full legal text: Most of the important provisions for nonprofit incorporation have been discussed here. However if one want to access the complete and original Nonprofit Corporations Act of Arkansas, the can asses it under the Arkansas business and commercial law title 4 subtitle 3 chapter 33.

Conclusion

Having successfuly filed the articles with the secreatry of state of Arkansas, a nonprofit organization comes into a formal legal existance.

The process of starting a nonpofit corporation in Arkansas is easy and can also completed without availing the services of a lawyer.

However, if one wishes to simplify the process further one can seek the services of professional service providers or attroneys to Incorporate their nonprofit organization.

There are literally hundreds of such service providers. (You can search local service providers  on the net). Some examples include – http://www.activefilings.com, http://www.bizfilings.com (not to be construed as endorsements of their services – discretion advised when dealing)

Even in that case, it is advisable to first prepare your documents and then approach a lawyer for discussion or ratification. This will not only lower the fees payable to the lawyer but will also ensure that you take informed decisions and understand the rationale behind clauses that would eventually govern your day to day affairs in the nonprofit organization.

nonprofits for dummies
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If you are planning to explore the development sector or want to start a nonprofit organization, we recommend:
"Step by Step Nonprofit for Newbies" - A complete nonprofit reference handbook.
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About the Author:


Adrian B. Bennett is an attorney and nonprofit consultant by profession. He provides development sector legal services in areas of formation of nonprofit organizations, choice of entity, tax exemption, private foundation tax law, corporate governance and advocacy. He serves as a legal adviser to several non profit organizations in and around Florida.

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