Comment: It all depends ...

(See in situ)

It all depends ...

... on what you want to do and how you want to operate.

There is no such thing as "corporation OR non-profit." The non-profit thing is IN ADDITION TO a corporation or other entity.

Basically, if you want to be involved in political things (such as lobbying or supporting candidates), then the traditional 501c(3) non-profit is OUT because they are for charity and cannot do political activities (if they do, they lose non-profit status).

You will probably want to first form an organization, either a corporation or a trust. Probably a corporation if you want a lot of people involved. You file articles of incorporation as a non-profit corporation with your state. That forms the corporation but does NOT give you non-profit status.

For non-profit status, you then file form 1024 with the IRS. Your corporation can take donations, charge membership fees, but NOT "engage in business." The donations and fees are NOT tax deductible, but the income is tax-free (unless you get into doing business or making certain investments).

The primary purpose must be for something other than politics, but it can engage in political activities.

For SERIOUS political activities, you then form within your non-profit corp. a PAC (Political Action Committee) or a Super PAC. This is where you give money to candidates (PAC) or run ads and do other activities on behalf of candidates but not giving money directly to them (Super PAC). There is also a Hybrid PAC.

Here's a company that does this stuff for people and can give you some info about what is what: