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New York Nonprofit Lawyer

Whether you are an established not-for-profit organization or forming a new charitable organization, Lawyer For Business of Buffalo can assist with your legal needs. From formation to claiming tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status or even dissolution, our nonprofit attorneys offer comprehensive legal services across the state of New York for nonprofit organizations large and small.

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Whether you are an established not-for-profit organization or forming a new charitable organization, Lawyer For Business of Buffalo can assist with your legal needs. From formation to claiming tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status or even dissolution, our nonprofit attorneys offer comprehensive legal services across the state of New York for nonprofit organizations large and small.

Supporting Nonprofit Organizations Across New York State

lawyer for nonprofits

The nonprofit lawyers at Lawyer For Business have extensive experience and a deep understanding of New York nonprofit law, corporate law, and tax law to help not-for-profit agencies achieve their mission.

We understand a nonprofit organization's challenges and work to address them. Our nonprofit organization attorneys work with smaller groups, like local synagogues and churches, as well as larger companies, like healthcare organizations with multiple locations.

As your not-for-profit attorney, we walk beside you at every stage of your agency’s development with the in-depth legal support you need to ensure that your organization is compliant with all operating regulations and tax laws. Your attorney for nonprofit organizations will:

  • Recommend the right insurance coverage;
  • Prepare documents like trust and member agreements and bylaws;
  • Obtain government approval for the operation;
  • Advise you on the best corporate structure for your mission and size;
  • Apply for tax-exempt status;
  • Represent you in transactions and grant allocations.

Lawyer For Business also counsels New York businesses about charitable giving and the regulations governing business donations to not-for-profit agencies.

Our focus includes the intricacies of private foundations, restricted funds, endowments, and charitable trusts. We also help NGOs and NPOs seeking to operate in New York state.

Legal Services Provided by Our Nonprofit Lawyers

nonprofit lawyer

Andrea A. Willis, Esq., the attorney for nonprofits at Lawyer For Business, provides legal support and counsel for tax-exempt, non-governmental, and nonprofit agencies operating in New York and internationally. She advises nonprofit clients on all legal matters pertaining to their funding, organizational structure, and tax status.

Her extensive experience as a business attorney and focus on nonprofit operations benefit clients seeking legal advice they can trust. Lawyer For Business operates out of Buffalo but represents clients in cities across New York State. We are committed to the highest ethical standards and efficiency.

The following are some of the services Lawyer For Business provides:

Non-for-Profit Organizations We Help in New York State

501c3 lawyer

At Lawyer For Business, a Buffalo attorney for a non-profit organization can assist with all New York non-profit organizations, such as:

  • Agricultural commissions
  • Animal rescue organizations
  • Charities
  • Churches
  • Condo associations
  • Cooperatives
  • Credit unions
  • Educational institutions
  • Firefighters
  • Foundations
  • Government entities
  • Homeowners’ associations
  • Hospitals
  • Joint powers authorities
  • Mobile home tenants’ associations
  • Mosques
  • Professional associations
  • Religious organizations
  • Service clubs
  • Sport clubs
  • Synagogues
  • Trade associations
  • 501(c)(2) corporations holding property for tax-exempt organizations
  • 501(c)(3) charitable organizations
  • 501(c)(4) civic organizations
  • 501(c)(5) labor organizations
  • 501(c)(6) professional, business, trade associations, chambers of commerce
  • 501(c)(7) social and recreational clubs
  • 501(c)(8) employee associations and fraternal organizations
  • 51(c)(9) — see 501(c)(8)
  • 501(c)(10) — see 501(c)(8)

If you are the leader of any of these non-profit organizations in New York, Lawyer For Business has you covered.

Our Nonprofit Experience

Lawyer For Business has extensive experience forming, advising, and managing compliance for nonprofit organizations. We use our knowledge and experience to solve complex cases, including:

A Join Nonprofit Organization and For-Profit Business

A client approached Lawyer For Business about simultaneously forming a nonprofit and a business to support it. We developed a cohesive strategy to establish two separate legal entities that were just separate and distinct enough to comply with New York and U.S. tax laws. This way, the for-profit LLC could sell products and donate to the nonprofit, supercharging its fundraising early in its lifecycle.

lawyer for nonprofit agencies

The lead attorney at Lawyer For Business, Andrea (Tarshus) Willis, is the founder of the nonprofit organization Boss BeCause. This organization helps kids fighting or recovering from life-threatening illnesses, helping them start their own businesses or nonprofit organizations. These kids then provide products or services to other kids facing health issues.

Why Choose Lawyer For Business for Your Nonprofit Organization?

Nonprofit clients of Lawyer For Business rely on the shrewd insight the legal team at Lawyer For Business provides. As attorneys 501(c)3, we carefully ensure that each client is tax-compliant and retains their state and federal status. Our clients include NGO and NPO organizations from all over the world that chose to operate in New York.

Here are just a few of the reasons why Lawyer For Business is the ideal 501(c)(3) lawyer near me for your nonprofit legal counsel:

As your legal advisor, we work only for you and your organization. We value integrity in the legal profession and are scrupulous about any conflicts of interest.

When shopping for the right nonprofit legal counsel, it’s crucial to find a firm whose interests align only with yours — and not with the other side of the fence.

Partner with a Nonprofit Legal Advocate!

Advocate for change with the help of our New York nonprofit lawyer. We're committed to your nonprofit's success and mission.

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Formation of Nonprofit Legal Entities

Advise on the proper formation of legal entities, including charitable trusts, unincorporated associations, and corporations, with insight into the advantages and disadvantages of each structure. Oversee entity formation and guide the process.

Prepare charters for nonprofit organizations and file appropriate documents with the federal and New York state governments. Obtain an Employment Identification Number from the IRS and apply for tax-exempt status. Advise on the formation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Nonprofit Corporate Governance

Prepare the documents for a nonprofit organization’s internal affairs, including corporate bylaws and operating guidelines. Prepare or review other policies, such as:

  • Document retention policy;
  • Whistle-blower policy;
  • Conflict of interest policy.

Complete risk management assessments and counsel the board on potential issues, including anti-takeover strategies. Provide fiduciary advice. Review organization best practices for the legality and potential compliance concerns.

Nonprofit Charitable Registrations

Oversee the registration for the entity’s 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status, which are required for the charitable organization to solicit charitable contributions.

Nonprofit Tax Exemptions — 501(c)(3) and Others

501(c)(3) attorneys review the nonprofit client’s charter and bylaws to ensure each meets the requirements of the state of New York and the federal government for the operation of tax-exempt organizations. Counsel on permissible activity and advise against prohibited activities that could risk a nonprofit organization’s tax status. Prepare all tax exemption forms required by the IRS as well as state sales and property tax forms and franchise or other tax exemption requirements as required.

Compliance with Nonprofit and 501(c)(3) Law

501(c)(3) lawyers ensure legal compliance of tax-exempt organizations operating in New York with regard to:

  • Private inurement;
  • Public support requirements for public charities;
  • Executive compensation;
  • Excess benefits transactions;
  • Lobbying or advocacy;
  • Charitable solicitation and fundraising;
  • Corporate fiscal sponsorship;
  • Management of conflict of interests;
  • Unrelated business income tax (UBIT) activities.

If you have questions about compliance, just ask!

Nonprofit Contracts and Agreements: Review, Drafting, and Negotiation

Negotiate and prepare contracts and other agreements; review and provide counsel on agreements and contracts presented to the client. Ensure that all contracts are compliant with New York tax-exempt organization requirements. Review enforceability of internal contracts and provide counsel on said agreements.

Draft contracts to address specific operating concerns and provide advice to ensure the client receives favorable terms when signing contracts with another agency.

Nonprofit Outside General Counsel

The nonprofit organization lawyers give legal advice on all transactions by the client. Provide ongoing general counsel advice, develop client policies, and define corporate procedures and operating programs, including employment agreements.

Offer strategic counsel to the agency’s board of directors as needed or in board meetings. Evaluate outside counsel and oversee all work done by the agency’s legal affiliates.

Nonprofit Reorganizations and Dissolutions

Oversee any mergers, acquisitions of other entities, or dissolution of the not-for-profit agency and provide ongoing legal advice to ensure all contractual obligations are met. Provide legal advice on special rules for dissolution as per New York laws and any asset transfers under the New York Religious Corporation Law and/or the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.

Choose an experienced New York nonprofit attorney to handle your affairs so you can focus on your mission! Reach out to Lawyer For Business today.

We are one of a handful of nonprofit lawyers in the country;

We have deep knowledge of New York and federal tax laws for nonprofits;

We have established dozens of nonprofit organizations across New York.

Build a Strong Legal Foundation for Your Nonprofit!
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Launch and run your nonprofit confidently with our experienced New York attorney. Start making a lasting impact today.
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🌐 New York Nonprofit Lawyer | 501(c)(3) Attorney in NY

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Packages 

  • Gold Legal Plan
    $1,500/month*
    • Recurring 1-hour monthly meeting to perform legal audit, discuss concerns, create plan
    • Up-front, flat-fee pricing for legal entity formation and trademark filing
    • Review of up to 2 commercial documents
    • Priority turnarounds, typically 1-3 days
  • Diamond Legal Plan
    $4,000/month*
    • Recurring 1-hour monthly meeting to perform legal audit, discuss concerns, create plan
    • Up-front, flat-fee pricing for legal entity formation and trademark filing
    • Review of up to 2 commercial documents
    • Priority turnarounds, typically 1-3 days
    • Review of up to 5 contracts or commercial leases
    • Bi-weekly 30-minute client conference to discuss legal concerns and create plan
  • On-Demand General Counsel
    $7,500/month*
    • Recurring 1-hour monthly meeting to perform legal audit, discuss concerns, create plan
    • Up-front, flat-fee pricing for legal entity formation and trademark filing
    • Review of up to 2 commercial documents
    • Priority turnarounds, typically 1-3 days
    • Review of up to 5 contracts or commercial leases
    • Bi-weekly 30-minute client conference to discuss legal concerns and create plan
    • Review and revise up to 10 contracts or commercial leases
    • Weekly 30-minute client conference to discuss legal concerns and create plan
    • Unlimited emails with a New York State licensed attorney
    • Dedicated phone line for priority calling

*12-month annual commitment required for pricing shown. Month-to-month pricing available at additional charge of 20%. Cancel at any time. 30 days’ notice required to cancel month-to-month plans.

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Contact Your Nonprofit Lawyer Today!

Does your nonprofit organization need dedicated, focused legal representation to address your nonprofit operating status? Lawyer For Business, an experienced New York business law firm, has the experience and insight to ensure your organization is compliant so you can focus on your mission and goals. Contact us today to learn more!

Average response time: 1 business day

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FAQs About New York LLC

How many board members do a charitable corporation have to have?

New York charitable corporations must have a minimum of three board members. The law does not set a maximum number of board members.

What are the requirements for obtaining and maintaining 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in New York State?

In New York, you obtain tax-exempt status by forming a nonprofit organization, then filing forms to request exemptions from local and state taxes, including:

  • State corporate franchise tax
  • State sales tax
  • Local corporation tax
  • Local property tax

You must also file a request for a corporate income tax exemption with the IRS.

You will maintain your tax-exempt status by preparing statements of:

  • Activities
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Receipts
  • Disbursements

You must file these statements with each agency that granted a tax exemption.

What legal steps are involved in the application process for 501(c)(3) status in NYS?

The IRS outlines several major steps to forming a 501(c)(3), including:

  • Form a corporation, trust, or association with an exempt purpose and a dissolution provision in the organizing documents;
  • Obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN);
  • Gather past, current, and future financial information, and determine which IRS request form to use;
  • File the request for recognition as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, including the organizing documents and financial information.

The most critical legal step in the 501(c)(3) application process is the drafting of compliant organizing documents and bylaws.

What compliance and governance issues should nonprofits in NYS be aware of, and how can a nonprofit lawyer help address them?

Your nonprofit lawyer will prepare a governance plan to ensure you comply with IRS and NYS tax laws and avoid common violations like:

Private Benefit/Inurement

Nonprofits cannot confer private benefits to individuals or use their assets and revenue to benefit insiders.

Lobbying

Nonprofits cannot expend substantial efforts on political lobbying.

Political Activity

Nonprofits cannot campaign for or against political candidates at any level.

Unrelated Business Income

Nonprofits cannot earn substantial income from activities unrelated to their purposes.

Reporting Failures

Nonprofits must report activities and financial status annually.

Deviation from Its Purpose

Nonprofits must inform the IRS before they alter their purposes.

What types of contracts and agreements should nonprofit organizations in NYS have in place, and how can a nonprofit lawyer assist with their drafting and negotiation?

Nonprofits use contracts the same way for-profits do. Some contracts your nonprofit might need include:

  • Annual funding agreements;
  • Planned giving agreements;
  • Liability waivers for volunteers;
  • Insurance contracts;
  • Employment and independent contractor agreements;
  • Leases and property purchase agreements;
  • Sponsorships;
  • Vendor agreements;
  • Nondisclosure and non-competition agreements.

In many cases, a nonprofit's contract will look the same as a for-profit's contract. But in some cases, the scope of the agreement will need to be tailored to maintain compliance with the organization's tax-exempt status.

What are the specific fundraising and charitable solicitation regulations that nonprofits in NYS need to comply with?

Your lawyer will draft fundraising policies to ensure fundraisers do not violate NYS or IRS tax regulations. Some issues you should bear in mind include:

Unrelated Business Income

Fundraising activities might relate directly to the exempt purpose, such as a 5K to benefit heart disease research. Or they might only benefit the exempt purpose through the money they generate, like a car wash to benefit a local orchestra. Fundraising that only indirectly benefits the charity could jeopardize its tax-exempt status as unrelated business income.

Donor Receipts

The nonprofit should strongly consider operating fundraising activities rather than paying someone else to do it. This allows donors to receive clear receipts from the organization for donations.

Gambling

If your fundraising includes gambling, you must report it to the IRS and NYS on Form CHAR500.