[hackerspaces] LLC to non-profit - who's done it?

Mike Outmesguine mikeout at gmail.com
Thu Aug 19 07:40:29 CEST 2010

As I recall, for the IRS*, it's something like 26 months from the last
day of the month of incorporation. If you file before that deadline,
your non-profit tax status is retroactive to the date of

On the other hand, if you file after that deadline, your non-profit
tax status starts (I think) from the date of the filing.

You can still file years after you form up, but if you file early you
get the benefits back to day 1.

Good idea to talk to a lawyer and accountant familiar with non-profits
about ongoing corporate and tax responsibilities to keep your
non-profit status. A major concern for us is the additional paperwork
and overhead to stay legit.


*State rules on filing time lines may differ. Check your local listings.

On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 5:53 PM, John Duksta <john at duksta.org> wrote:
> IANAL, but I seem to remember from a conversation with an attorney friend that once you organize into an LLC, it starts a clock ticking (18? 27? months... something like that) for you to get your non-profit status. I also think if you've started as a for-profit organization, at least in the eyes of your state's attorney general and the IRS, you're stuck as such, despite how you run your organization internally.
> If you have intention of going non-profit, you should probably get headed in that direction, otherwise you'll probably have to dissolve the current organization and start from scratch anew.
> Find yourself a friendly geek attorney and accountant to help you out. Search your network of friends, someone's got to know someone that can help you all navigate the waters.
> -j
> On Aug 18, 2010, at 4:37 AM, dosman wrote:
>> I would like to know of hackerspaces which started as a for-profit entity and either attempted or successfully converted to a non-profit later in life? (US based).
>> I understand the reasons to go straight to non-profit rather than start as an LLC, but that only works for groups with enough man-power and money up front to do that. Our space is now an LLC operating internally as a non-profit for lack of better wording. Our intent is to keep the door to conversion open for use down the road, if things fall apart the loss of financial investment to the founders is minimized. Yea it will cost more money to convert, but if we've been operating successfully then there will be cash reserves stockpiled and earmarked for the conversion, no additional burden on founders and members. No money? No worries, we keep on trucking as-is or close the doors.
>> I've heard a rumor of a space that was very successful as an LLC and then dissolved and disbanded for good when they went to become a non-profit. Fact or fiction?
>> Thanks,
>> -dosman
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