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Can My Business Be a Nonprofit?

Feb 26, 2014

Get presentation slides (pdf, 417 KB)

We have been getting a lot of questions along these lines:

- I want to start a business selling widgets and donate 50-100% of proceeds to charity and/or for every widget sold, donate a widget to a developing country. Can/Should I form a nonprofit org?

- I have a business that does XYZ services. I want to spend half of my time providing XYZ services to (name disadvantaged group here, e.g., seniors, low income, etc.). Can/Should I form a nonprofit org?

- I want to start a business that employs disabled veterans. Can/Should I form a nonprofit org?

- I'm making a film, art, educational software, invention, etc. with some commercial potential. Can it qualify for fiscal sponsorship?

Each of these scenarios seemingly could fit within either a for-profit or a nonprofit model. So, what ARE the essential questions (and answers) you should ask yourself to decide if you should form a for-profit (albeit with social purposes), nonprofit, a nonprofit that is highly entrepreneurial, or some other type of organization?

This webinar will provide answers and guidance on how to decide which route is best for your own goals and needs. See also Benoit Wirz's slideshow, which summarizes the decision-making process very well.

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Erin Bradrick

Erin Bradrick is Senior Counsel at NEO Law Group and a contributor to the Nonprofit Law Blog. Now in her seventh year of practice, Erin focuses on corporate and tax matters for nonprofit and exempt organizations. Prior to joining NEO Law Group, Erin was a litigation associate with the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where she worked on a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters, including antitrust actions, foreign sovereign debt disputes, and securities litigation. 

Erin, a graduate of UCLA, summa cum laude in Women's Studies and Political Science, and Yale Law School, where she was Submissions Director and Symposium Coordinator of the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, is admitted to practice law in the states of California and New York. You can follow Erin on Twitter at @ErinBradrick.