Nonprofit Formation and Compliance

Tax-exempt organizations serve many purposes, and we can help you obtain and maintain the exemption and structure that best suits your mission.

The non-profit world is larger than ever, and Culhane Meadows attorneys have an extremely nuanced understanding of the issues that federal and state regulations can pose for tax-exempt organization of various types.  We work with both new and established non-profits and can help with the legal and tax issues an organization may face at every point in its life cycle, from start-up organizational and exemption work (after considering alternatives to non-profit status) through governance changes, guidance on avoiding the excess benefits, private inurement and other regulatory prohibitions, and domestic and international grant-making and operational issues.

Culhane Meadows helps our tax-exempt clients stay in compliance with all federal and state regulatory requirements in a cost effective and practical manner.  We regularly:

  • Advise and implement formation of public and private non-profit corporations, including US “Friends” organizations that support non-US charitable causes.
  • Help clients apply to the IRS and the states for recognition of tax-exempt status, including with respect to income taxes, property taxes and sales and use taxes.
  • Advise on domestic and international grant-making issues.
  • Advise on charitable solicitation and fundraising compliance.
  • Structure mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures of non-profits.
  • Advise on the creation of complex structures involving both for-profit and not-for-profit entities, including for-profit subsidiaries.
  • Represent clients in state and federal audits and appeals on compensation and excess benefit issues.
  • Counsel on developing planned giving programs.
  • Obtain reinstatement of tax-exempt status following automatic revocation.
  • Address nonprofit corporate governance issues, including with respect to fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest, committee powers and responsibilities, indemnification and insurance.
  • Counsel on avoiding forfeiture of tax-exempt status, intermediate sanctions and self-dealing violations as a result of transactions with related parties.
  • Advise on restrictions on campaigning, advocacy and lobbying.
  • Structure US and international program-related investments, private equity and hedge fund investments.
  • Plan to avoid or minimize unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) and private foundation excise taxes.
  • Advise on endowment fund issues.
  • Advise on compliance with federal and state dissolution requirements.


Our clients include Section 501(c)(3) public charities and private foundations, Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations and Section 501(c)(6) business leagues and trade organizations of varying size.  We also represent 501(c)(7) social clubs and various other less common exempt organizations.  When employee, real estate, intellectual property, information technology or litigation issues arise, our partners are ready to help.

Culhane Meadows attorneys have decades of extensive experience with a variety of tax-exempt organizations, together with a deep understanding of the operational issues that are likely to arise and the concerns of both individual donors and grant recipients.  This often enables us to proactively help our clients avoid issues that could otherwise result in unfavorable attention from the IRS or state regulators.

*Culhane Meadows is ranked by U.S. News/Best Law Firms in Technology Law, Bankruptcy/Reorganization Law, and Information Technology Law. This website and the communications herein may be considered attorney advertising. Previous results are not a guarantee of future outcome. This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information herein is not intended to create an attorney-client or similar relationship. Until you establish such a relationship and receive an engagement letter, you have not hired a Culhane Meadows attorney nor become a client of the firm. Whether you are a new or existing client of the firm, Culhane Meadows must determine that there is no conflict of interest and that it is willing and otherwise able to accept the new engagement before representing you on a new matter. Only if and after Culhane Meadows has informed you it is willing and able to accept your new matter should you send the firm any information or documents that you consider private or confidential. Such information will not be treated as private, confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure until Culhane Meadows has communicated in writing that it is willing and able to accept your new matter and provide you with legal counsel. Whether you need legal services and which lawyer or law firm you select are important decisions that should not be based on this website alone.

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