If you are looking to start a new booster club in Florida, you have certainly found the right place! Here at Booostr we are excited to get you the information you need about starting your new booster club. Throughout this article you will find all of the sites and legal references you will need, making this process much less intimidating. This guide is a step-by-step process on how successfully get your booster club up and running with the most reliable and up to date information out there.
The first and one of the most important steps is creating a name for your new booster! In order to avoid choosing a name that is already in use by another organization, we suggest starting with a list of 10-15 potential names. You’ll want you name to be unique and inform your audience about who your club is and what you are here to do. Once you have compiled a list, you can now consult the Florida Division of Corporations website to access a corporate search engine that has the names of organizations (including booster clubs) registered in the state of Florida. If you find a name that hasn’t already been taken, you can now reserve that name. This prevents another nonprofit or business from registering under your chosen name while you continue to prepare the necessary legal documentation.
Who is your booster club? What are its values? The main focus of your Florida booster club mission statement is to define who the organization is, why it exists, and who benefits from the existence of the organization. Your mission statement is a great opportunity to team up with your affiliated Florida school’s mission. Any supporter, volunteer or student should clearly understand the basics reasons the club exists after reading this short succinct summary.
Your Florida booster club bylaws contain the rules and procedures your booster club corporation will follow. Your bylaws do not need to be filed with the state of Florida but are important as they are your internal organizational operating manual. Before you file your articles of incorporation, you’ll need to have bylaws that insure your club is operating correctly under Florida law.
Now it’s time to choose the leaders of your new Florida booster club. States differ on the required amount of board members. We suggest you club choose three members, to keep it small. With such a small board the decision-making process will be much more efficient, which is especially important in these early stages. Once you have established the board of directors, they will then vote to determine who will be the club officers.
As an officer of a booster club, it is their duty to oversee many of the day to day activities regarding the club. Because of this responsibility, it is important to appoint club officers who will take care of the booster club and assure that everything is managed professionally. You want to make sure that your club officers are appointed based on their expertise, interaction with parents and kids and their focus on the development and growth of the club. Creating a strong group of leaders now will help further down the road.
Making it through your first meeting can be difficult, but things should start falling into place. The first task of the meeting should be to approve the bylaws that should contain information about the rules and procedures of your organization. Once the bylaws have been approved, the group needs to determine the best accounting period and tax year would be best for the club. Your club’s fiscal year should coincide with the club’s activity season and if possible, the school’s fiscal year. It’s also at this point that you need to nominate your club officers for board approval. Finally, if your organization is ready, your board can approve the opening of the booster club business bank account and approve any initial transactions.
Once all of your booster’s state level paperwork is complete, you will want to file for your Employer Identification Number. You can access all of the forms necessary for this process on the IRS website. You might be thinking why would I need an EIN? Well, most states require on in order for your club to open a bank account. Be sure to keep all of your documents in order because they will need to be approved by the state of Florida and copies will be needed by the IRS.
Stay on the IRS website, you’re going to need it. In the IRS website you will find all of the information you will need to know regarding becoming a non-profit on the federal level. You will also find all of the forms you need to complete in order to be recognized on the state level. The IRS also provides tax information for nonprofits, which will be helpful if you should decide to make your booster club a tax exempt organization.
Although it is not necessary, we suggest you apply to become tax-exempt and save some money. Becoming tax-exempt is a great way for your club and its members to save money. Tax-exemption means that your club is excluded from most sales tax and any donations or purchases made through a tax-exempt organization can be written off on personal and business taxes. It’s a win win win for everyone involved! Once again, all of the information you need is on the IRS website. The basic step-by-step process listed on the site is as follows: Apply for EIN (Employee Identification Number), Complete and submit the IRS Form 1023, Once the IRS Form 1023 has been approved, you will be eligible for tax-exemption in Florida.
The last step needed to complete your new Florida booster club, is a bank account. With a bank account it becomes much easier to keep your finances organized. Without a bank account it can be much easier for potential theft within the club. Opening a bank account will decrease the potential for mismanagement of funds and maintain the trust of donors and supporters. An added bonus of opening a bank account is that your club will now be able to hold online fundraisers. Opening a Florida booster club bank account is critical to more easily collect donations, manage finances and in the long run, it will be much easier for future management to take over.
See? It wasn’t all that hard. You did it! You are the proud new owner of a Florida booster club. Now that your club is all set, there are a few things to keep in mind. It is important to keep up with current Florida law, regarding booster club management. You also need to stay on top of yearly fees and dues that need to be paid to the state in order to maintain your good legal standing. Finally, don’t forget to keep checking in on Booostr for more help managing, marketing or fundraising ideas for your booster club!