Start A Not-For-Profit Now

Should You Start A Not-For-Profit?

Do you want your small business to operate as a nonprofit or for-profit? It’s a huge decision. Start by asking yourself about your goals for your business. Is your main to make money? Then you should start a for-profit business. But if you want your business to donate profits and services to the public, consider starting a nonprofit business. Nonprofit businesses typically have a detailed purpose that focuses on benefiting society rather than making money for owners or stockholders. Unlike for-profit businesses, nonprofit companies do not share any profits with owners or shareholders.

Nonprofit businesses use any surplus of money to serve and enrich the community, instead of the owners and executives. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage for your small business. Securing investors without the incentive of earning a consistent profit may make it hard to obtain multiple investors. Instead, look for funding from donations, grants, and sponsorships. In contrast, your for-profit business would receive funding from loans, investors, and revenue from sales.


One disadvantage of a for-profit business is the amount of paperwork required. For-profit businesses must complete detailed balance sheets and income statements regularly to confirm profitability. Nonprofits must create a Statement of Financial Position to outline their assets and a Statement of Activities to show total revenue after expenses.

But nonprofits have their disadvantages, too. One common disadvantage involves public scrutiny. How will you feel if your nonprofit receives criticism for how well you handle administrative expenses and how well you use income to help your business complete its mission. And how do you define success and raise money to keep going? The success of for-profit businesses is based on how much money the business makes for owners and founders, whether shares of the company are privately held or publicly traded. For your nonprofit business, generating enough revenue to be stay afloat can be difficult at first. You must find ways to ensure your revenue is consistently more than your expenses while serving the public. Aside from performing your mission, the success of your nonprofit business stems from the satisfaction you receive from serving a noble cause.

“If your focus is bringing together like-minded people in order to serve a need in your community, consider starting a not-for-profit organization. It’s a great will to give back while sharpening business and entrepreneurial skills”  

How Do I Start My Not-For-Profit?

The steps to start a nonprofit business or a for-profit business are similar. You have to create a great idea, produce a business plan, and secure funding. To start a nonprofit business, you also have to develop a solid mission, incorporate the organization, and file tax exemptions. Unlike for-profit businesses, the mission for your nonprofit is extremely important to the success of your small business. 

The mission helps influence public opinion and draws in potential donors. Nonprofit business must track all revenue sources to maintain the business’s accountability. Your small business must prove consistently that all revenue the organization generates is used solely to fulfill the company’s mission. How Do I Start My Not-For-Profit?

Get Help And Support 

If you’d like advice or insight regarding not-for-profit organizations, or starting your own not-for-profit entity, visit:


Disclaimer: Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.


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