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Life Cycle of a Social Welfare Organization - Starting Out

The first stage in the life cycle of any organization is its creation. A nonprofit organization may be created as a corporation, a trust, or an unincorporated association. Any of these entities may qualify for exemption. Note, however, that a partnership generally may not qualify.

To qualify for exemption as a social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4), an organization must be organized exclusively for purposes described in that section. This means, among other things, that the organization must have organizing documents. Most organizations also adopt by-laws.  An organization should also apply for an employer identification number, even if it does not have employees.


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 30-Apr-2013