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How to Start a Nonprofit in Oklahoma

Posted by Jonathan Krems | Oct 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

In this week's Freedom Friday blog and e-mail newsletter, I want to address an issue that came up this week with a prospective client, and that is “How do I start a nonprofit in Oklahoma?”  Starting nonprofits is actually a frequently asked question with my law firm, Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC.  We actually have multiple nonprofit clients, and so in this week's Freedom Friday blog and e-mail newsletter, I want to share three keys to starting non-profits in Oklahoma.

1.  Define Your Purpose

The first key to forming a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma is to define your purpose.  A prospective client once contacted me and asked what the steps would be to start a nonprofit.  I asked her what kind or nonprofit she wanted to start, but then the more important question of WHY she wanted to start the nonprofit.  When you apply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for either 501(c)(3) status you must state a charitable purpose, or 501(c)(4) status for advocacy organizations, you must state a proper purpose on your organization.  From the very beginning of the process of forming a nonprofit organization, you must define your purpose.

2.  Choose Your Directors and Incorporators

The second key to forming a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma is to choose your directors and incorporators.  In Oklahoma, the Secretary of State requires you to name at least one initial director or trustee, and then requires you to name at least three incorporators who are coming together to form the nonprofit corporation.  Unlike for-profit corporations, you cannot form a nonprofit corporation in Oklahoma as a single person, you must have a group of at least three people involved to form your nonprofit.

3.  Apply with the IRS

The third key to forming a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma is to apply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  At Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, we have two different types of nonprofit organization clients.  One is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit client, and the other is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit client.  Each of these require a different application with the IRS with which we can assist our clients.  One common misconception is that 501(c)(3) is NOT an actual business entity structure.  You have to form your nonprofit corporation with the State of Oklahoma FIRST, create your bylaws, get your EIN number, and get your business bank account, and THEN apply to the IRS for that 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) tax exempt status that you're looking for.

At Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, we help our clients form both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporations.  If you're interested in scheduling a FREE strategy session to start a nonprofit organization, or for your small business, please e-mail me at [email protected]

For more information about Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, please visit our website at

About the Author

Jonathan Krems

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Attorney of Liberty Legal Solutions, LLC, a law firm dedicated to building, protecting, and defending the business and personal interests of our clients in Oklahoma.  Jonathan's primary practice areas are business law, contracts and agreements, business liti...


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