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Who says we have to leave starting businesses to adults?

1. Develop Your Business Idea

What is the mission of your business? Who is the target market? What is its name? Before you can gather support and make your business official, you have to understand the core idea and what it is going to do once established.

2. Gather Initial Support

Start talking to your classmates, teachers, community members. Recruit people that are just as passionate about the idea as you and work together to make it real.

3. Create Articles of Incorporation

This will make you a business in the eyes of the state and establish your legal identity. Find out how here: https://goo.gl/Wqzj2s.

4. Write Bylaws

These help you guide the actions of your business. It regulates aspects, such as the Board of Directors, the purpose, and membership. Find a template for non-profit bylaws here: http://goo.gl/h6HPBs.


5. File the Necessary Forms

Next you have to file with the IRS. This means you have to fill out the SS-4 form to get an Employer Identification Number, and the 1023 form to get 501(c)(3) status. With these, all donations are tax-deductible. Find out more about filing with the IRS here: http://goo.gl/sk7cSs.

7. Start Fundraising

Once you have a business, you need money to run it. You can ask for donations from community members, businesses, and foundations. Grants are also a good way to raise funds. Here is an Oregon-only grant program: http://goo.gl/jHGQLh.

8. Publicize Your Business

For your non-profit to be successful you need people to use the services! This means advertising it around your community, in schools, and/or in churches. Don’t forget to use social media! Here are some do’s and don’ts for using social media as a business: http://goo.gl/4vzCze.

9. Launch Your Business!

Last (but certainly not least) launch your business! You have your product or service, the correct paperwork, support, and funding; all that’s left is starting. If you’ve made it this far, there is obviously a need for what you are offering to your community, so don’t wait another minute!

Grace - Non-profit blog - FBLA Project