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 under section 501(c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code, a labor organization must have the characteristics of an organization described in that section, and not have earnings that inure to the benefit of any member. An organization should also apply for an employer identification number, even if it does not have employees.