How to Start a Nonprofit in Georgia


One of the most rewarding things you can do is create a nonprofit organization that helps others. This can be a great way to give back, but it’s also a lot of work. You’ll need to file the proper paperwork and make sure your organization is complying with all regulations. If you want to know how to start a nonprofit in Georgia, keep reading!

Find a Cause you Care About

  • What is a cause?

A cause is a reason for action. You could care about any number of causes—the environment, education, the arts, etc.—and those reasons will inform how you approach your nonprofit’s mission and goals.

  • Why should you care about causes?

The best nonprofits are founded by people who care deeply about something. They have an emotional connection to their work that makes their efforts stronger than they would be otherwise. An emotional connection also helps attract helpful volunteers who want to get involved with the organization because they share its values and vision.

  • How do I find a cause?

It may seem obvious that you should start with yourself. What are some issues or problems facing society today that bother you personally or emotionally? These can be anything from poverty to climate change or homelessness—or even something more personal like youth violence in your neighborhood (if it’s an issue where someone close to you was involved).

Name your nonprofit.

Your nonprofit’s name should be short, easy to remember, unique, creative, and not offensive. It should also be easy to pronounce and spell. Do not use the name of a person or organization.

Create Bylaws

The next step is to create bylaws for your nonprofit organization. This is the set of rules that governs how your organization will operate and handle its day-to-day business, so it’s important that they’re legally binding and drafted in plain language to be easily understood by everyone involved in the nonprofit.

Bylaws are legal documents, so make sure they’re approved by the board of directors before any physical copies are made. Once approved, these documents should be available on either a website or otherwise publically accessible (such as with an attachment at meetings).

Fill out the Articles of Incorporation Form (Form 1023EZ)

To start a nonprofit in Georgia, you will need to fill out an Articles of Incorporation Form (Form 1023EZ). This form asks for basic information about your nonprofit, such as its name and location.

The first step is to fill out all of the personal information on both pages. In section 1 of page 2, check whether or not there are any changes from your initial application form (the one you filled out when applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status).

Obtain an EIN

To start a nonprofit, you need to obtain an EIN. An EIN is a nine-digit number—the first two digits are always 46 and the last four numbers are unique to your organization. You will use this number throughout your business life, so it’s important that you get it right!

Obtain a Georgia Business License

First, you will need to apply for a Georgia business license. You can do this by completing Form GT-40B and following the directions outlined in Section 3 of the document. Once you have completed the application, you will need to pay your $50 fee by credit card or personal check through our online system (no cash or money orders). If paying by credit card, be sure that your chosen payment method has been authorized before submitting your application.

Once we receive all the required information from you and process it successfully, we will issue a certificate of authority within five days of receipt.


There are many steps involved in starting a nonprofit, and it requires a lot of work. It’s not for the faint of heart—but if you’re determined and willing to put in the time and effort necessary to get your organization off the ground, you can make it happen!


We hope this guide has helped you understand how to start a nonprofit in Georgia. If you have any questions, please contact us! We’re always happy to help.

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