Creating a nonprofit in Missouri

Many small community groups and organizations are doing great work all over the state of Missouri. Sometimes they struggle to decide whether or not to formally incorporate. For some groups it is an easy choice, and for others it is not. This project was designed to help groups as they decide whether or not to formally incorporate and to guide them through the process should they decide to create a 501(c)(3) corporation.

There are three components to this project designed to provide access to most of the resources necessary to successfully establish a nonprofit corporation.

Part 1: “Creating a 501(c)(3) Foundation Resource Guide” by Stephen Jeanetta, published by Associated Electric Cooperatives, is a workbook written to take the reader step-by-step through the incorporation process.

The workbook has been divided into three segments to make the files smaller for downloading.

Segment 1: Cover and Index (PDF)
Segment 2: Overview and Bylaws (PDF)
Segment 3: State and Federal Applications (PDF)

Part 2: Incorporation forms

To incorporate in the state of Missouri and with the IRS, the necessary forms for not-for-profits can be found at Here is a list of some of the forms you may need:

  1. Articles of Incorporation for a Nonprofit Corporation
  2. IRS Employer Identification Number application (SS4 Form) can be obtained by going to SS4 Form (PDF) on the IRS website. Instructions provided by the IRS can be found at SS4 instructions (PDF).
  3. IRS 501(c)(3) Application (Form 1023) can be obtained by going to the 1023 application (PDF) on the IRS website. Instructions provided by the IRS can be found at 1023 instructions (PDF).
  4. Application to pay the filing fee for a 501(c)(3) corporation (Form 8718) can be found by going to the Form 8718 (PDF) on the IRS website.

Part 3: Keeping your organization tax exempt

The IRS has developed a series of online workshops designed to help you keep your organization in compliance with the federal tax laws governing 501(c)(3) corporations. The program is available on the IRS Stay Exempt website.