Among the benefits of running a nonprofit corporation--one that operates for a purpose other than making profit, usually for scientific, religious or charity reasons--is exemption from state and federal taxes. While some specifics vary from state to state--each state sets parameters for the exemptions nonprofit owners receive from its taxes--you may no longer claim federal tax exemption if your corporate mission ceases to involve charity or research and must re-file your "Articles of Incorporation" (the legal documents you file with your state to officially establish your company as a business entity) as a for-profit corporation.
Register your desired name with your state's Secretary of State office or State Corporation Commission. Because nonprofit and for-profit corporations exist as separate types of entities, it's possible that the name you use for your nonprofit might not be available for a for-profit company. Perform a search via your Secretary of State's/SCC's website (or by calling their office) and then pay the required fee to reserve the name.
Revise your existing articles of incorporation to reflect your new status. Delete the "Statement of Purpose" that explains for which charitable, scientific or religious reason you were claiming nonprofit status. Remove any language that contains the term "nonprofit." Mail the articles--along with the required filing fee-to your Secretary of State's office/SCC or submit them online if the website gives you the option.
Dissolve your nonprofit corporation once you've received your operating certificate for your for-profit corporation. File a "Dissolution Request" with your Secretary of State's office/SCC indicating that your nonprofit will cease operation. If you still have assets tied up in the nonprofit, consult your Secretary of State's office or State Corporation Commission to see whether you can transfer them to your for-profit corporation. In some cases, your articles of incorporation may have included a stipulation that you must donate the financial remnants of your company to another nonprofit within your field in the event that yours dissolves for any reason.
Robert Schrader is a writer, photographer, world traveler and creator of the award-winning blog Leave Your Daily Hell. When he's not out globetrotting, you can find him in beautiful Austin, TX, where he lives with his partner.