If there is a similar non profit to the one i want to start but in a differnt state like california if im in new york does it matter? Do i have to worry about being sued if i want to do something along the same lines but it be my own how does this work? Or am i good to do my own thing under my own name?
You must understand that this organization is not "yours". If truly a non-profit, it must qualify for the public good, a charitable cause, or a social operation for the cause of many, like a homeowner's association. That said, the confusion of name might be a serious concern, because nowadays, fundraising and non-profit efforts are very boldly advertized across state lines. You do not want confusion! With these two thoughts in the forefront, I strongly suggest that getting your IRS approval and thereafter a brand for this unique entity will be much better accomplished using a name that will not bring needless confusion---- even across the continental 48 states. Good luck on your worthwhile efforts.
This commentary does not result in any attorney/client relationship nor constitute legal advice as to a particular fact situation or status of a reader. Consult and retain legal counsel in the State of Michigan for pursuit of such a relationship.
I don’t think there’s an issue as long as your organization is clearly distinct from the other
The name must be different. Close but different won’t cut it. It must be a unique name to identify your non profit Vs the other
Disclaimer: Attorney answers and comments to questions are for general purposes only and DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. Call an attorney for a free consultation.
LEGAL STATUS: If you are just planning to charter a non-profit corporation in the state of New York, the general rules regarding choosing an available name apply (see the rules below).
TAX FREE STATUS: Chartering a non-profit corporation is relatively easy; applying for IRS tax-free status for the non-profit is a completely different process governed by very different rules. Hire a lawyer.
CHOOSING A NAME: If you are concerned about the name you want being available, that question can best be answered by the state in which you are trying to charter the non-profit. Most states do not allow anyone to charter any corporation or LLC using the same name (or any very similar name) because it causes unnecessary confusion--and can also violate a trademark or copyright. Most states now allow you to ask about an available name(s) before you try to charter a corporation or LLC.
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