There are a number of people out there that want to apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS. These are normally charitable minded folks starting a charity and want to be able to collect donations or apply for grants on behalf of the charitable organization. Many people have heard that the IRS now has a streamlined 501(c)(3) application process that costs a fraction of the traditional application.
While it's true this streamlined application may save you money, beware. The traditional application process involved a lot of thought on the part of the organizers and made an organization really think about what they were doing, their annual projections and every detail. If your organization intends to apply for grants, some grantors do not like the streamlined app because the organization has not been as thoroughly vetted
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.