Our comprehensive startup guide walks you through all the essential steps you need to take to make your group a successful independent entity! The PTO Startup Toolkit includes information on how to get organized, incorporating your group, applying for nonprofit status, writing bylaws (and sample bylaws), and filing for tax-exempt status with the IRS, including a step-by-step guide to completing IRS Form 1023.
PTO Today Plus Members: Download the PTO Startup Toolkit and all additional resources directly from the File Exchange. Learn more about Plus.
Section 1: Getting Started
Section 2: Getting Organized and Obtaining an EIN
- A Note about Switching From PTA to PTO
- Getting Your EIN
- Filling Out Form SS-4
Section 3: Incorporation: Becoming a Legal Entity
- Incorporating, Step by Step
- What Are Articles of Incorporation?
Section 4: Your Bylaws
- Bylaws, Step by Step
- Final Steps
Section 5: Applying for Tax-Exempt Status (IRS Form 1023)
- Why Become an Official 501(c)(3) Organization?
- How Can Your Group Become Official?
- Form 1023, Line by Line
- Schedules (Additional Forms)
- Form 1023 Checklist
Section 6: Financial First Steps
- Opening a Bank Account
- Keeping the Books
- Obtaining Licenses and Permits
Section 7: Great Work by Great Groups
Appendix A: Are You Covered?
The following Startup Tools are included within the updated toolkit or linked to as a separate customizable file in the toolkit; they can also be downloaded individually from the File Exchange.