The Florida Bar

Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Law

December 13, 2022

A nonprofit organization is one that carries out a religious, scientific, charitable, literary, or educational purpose. Unlike a for-profit corporation, a nonprofit corporation is not required to pay taxes on its profits. Only profits related to the nonprofit’s purpose and regular services are not subject to taxes. Other than the tax difference, nonprofit corporations must follow corporate formalities just like for-profit corporations.

Maintaining Tax-Exempt Status

To maintain its tax-exempt status, a nonprofit organization must abide by certain rules:

  • Nonprofits are not allowed to receive “substantial” profits from activities that don’t relate to the nonprofit’s purpose.
  • A nonprofit is not allowed to distribute its profits to officers, directors, or members.
  • Nonprofits have limitations on their non-business activities.
  • Nonprofits can only be involved in a limited amount of political lobbying.

Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or substitute for the advice of a lawyer.