HOW TO CREATE A BOOSTER CLUB IN TENNESSEE

While there are a number of general rules regarding how a booster club is to be set up, the actual process of how to create a booster club varies by state in the United States, including Tennessee. In different areas of the U.S., state policies and market size dictate how school systems are run which, in turn, change the way you might set up your booster club. To help our friends in Tennessee, we here at Booostr have put together  the basic process and legal information around what it takes to create a booster club in Tennessee.

 

DOES YOUR BOOSTER CLUB SERVE A PURPOSE?

Take a moment to consider if there’s a true need for you to start a Tennessee booster club. Be sure to also take stock of whether another booster clubs may exist in your area. If, in your research, you have found a Tennessee booster club already active in your area supporting the activity you are interested in, you might want to join and support that booster club.

 

NAME YOUR TENNESSEE BOOSTER CLUB AND REGISTER AS A NON-PROFIT         

Under Tennessee state law, you need to register your booster club as a non-profit. This will allow your Tennessee booster club creation to have a solid organizational foundation, falling under section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or IRS. As a registered non-profit, your booster club will be granted tax-exemption as long as you reserve the name of your booster club. This can be done by checking Tennessee’s online business name database. This system will also allow you to search and find Tennessee booster club’s active in your area. To make sure your booster club name is available; you can also call the Division of Business Services at the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office. Finally, you can review the Secretary of State’s website, which has further business name availability guidelines with additional information about name requirements and distinguish-ability.

FILE A CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION FOR YOUR TENNESSEE BOOSTER CLUB

The Next step in creating a booster club in Tennessee, is filing a certificate of incorporation, or a certificate of existence, with the Tennessee Secretary of State. This certificate outlines the purpose of your club while also acting as proof of existence for the booster club itself.  The document will ask you to fill out vital information such as the name of your booster club, the address and zip code of the booster club, the county in which the club is located, the names and addresses of the directors and officers, and much more. You can request a certificate of existence from the Tennessee Secretary of State office at the link below:

https://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/CertOfExistenceInstr.aspx

 

FILL OUT YOUR TENNESSEE BOOSTER CLUB’S ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

After being registered as a non-profit organization, your Tennessee booster club will most likely be labeled as an LLC, or limited liability company. As you start a Tennessee booster club, being labeled an LLC simply means that members of the organization cannot be held personally responsible for any debts or liabilities of the booster club itself. As an LLC, you will have to fill out the required Articles of Organization which act as a file of sorts that outlines basic information about your organization. Information you’ll need to provide in these articles includes things such as your booster club’s name, purpose, and period of duration. You can find the link to the Articles of Organization form below:

https://sos.tn.gov/products/business-services/articles-organization-ss-4270

 

APPLY FOR YOUR FEDERAL EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN)

In order to identify any businesses or organizations active in the United States, it’s necessary for to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number. Regardless of whether or not an organization is a non-profit, all businesses or, in this case, booster clubs that have employees need to apply for an EIN.

In order to continue with your Tennessee booster club creation, proceed with the submission on link below:

Internal Revenue Service
http://www.irs.gov/

*Note that the IRS website is only available during certain hours, so try to ensure that you print the EIN before closing your session.

 

ENSURE YOUR BOOSTER CLUB OBTAINS U.S. &TENNESSEE TAX EXEMPTION

While the steps above have outlined the main steps of getting your booster club listed as a non-profit in order to achieve tax exempt status, there are a few more documents that need filling out before that tax exemption is ensured. To start a booster club in Tennessee, complete the tasks listed below to secure your Tennessee booster club’s status as a tax exempt organization.

  • Contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-4933 to obtain the document “Tax-Exempt Status for your Organization,” otherwise known as Publication 557. The IRS will send your booster club the necessary documents and the accompanying package, “Application for Recognition of Exemption.”
  • In order to be exempt from sales and use tax, Tennessee booster clubs should contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue to see how to apply for exemption.
  • Apply for a Federal income tax exemption. Going beyond state level tax exemption can help save you money and avoid legal problems down the road. Submit the form linked below to the IRS. We’ve included a link to instructions on how to fill out this specific document.

 

Mail the documents to the address listed in the instructions linked above. The turnaround for the documents can range between 3 to 6 months, so be patient! The IRS will send back a determination letter that will officially recognize your booster club’s status as a tax exempt organization.

 

ORGANIZE AND REGULATE YOUR TENNESSEE BOOSTER CLUB

After filling out all of the necessary paperwork for your Tennessee booster club, be sure to keep everything organized. Buying a book or binder to keep all important documents or files can be useful for making sure everything is in one place. To create a Tennessee booster club can be a long and sometimes strenuous process, so the more organized you are, the smoother the better. After everything has been filled out and filed, hash out some bylaws and objectives for your booster club. Recruit volunteers and assign office positions so the effort and responsibility within the club is evenly spread throughout the members. Open a bank account specifically for your booster club to avoid financial confusion. Plan meetings and take minutes in order to keep track of the progress your booster club is making as you begin organizing and participating in events. After you start your Tennessee booster club. Getting the word out to the community and to online audiences is imperative for people finding your Tennessee booster club!

 

MAINTAIN YOUR BOOSTER CLUB’S TENNESSEE NON-PROFIT REQUIREMENTS

While it’s quite common for non-profits to be exempt from taxes in Tennessee, there are regulations that booster clubs and other organizations need to abide by in order to keep their tax-exempt status. Booster clubs have to be organized in a manner that ensures it benefits all participants equally. Additionally, your booster club has to avoid cooperative fundraising, a system that tends to give higher financial benefits to volunteers based on how much they contribute to the club. The IRS views cooperative fundraising as a private benefit, meaning that if your booster club takes part in it, you may not be granted tax-exempt status. Finally, in order to create a Tennessee booster club, participants and volunteers for the club have to be selected based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria. All volunteers and participants have to be allowed to participate in club activities regardless of parent participation in fundraising and events.

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