NON PROFIT TYPES
The most common structure for a non profit entity which is not a charity in Australia is an Australian company, limited by Guarantee. This means that any profit made is reinvested back into the business, and no tax is paid on it. There are no directors fees or profit distributions. This structure generally can be used where a community bicycle workshop is not part of a larger organisation.
501c3 is an IRS designation. It means you count as a non-profit, and donations are tax-deductible. 501c3 status also means your organization doesn't pay federal income tax. There are other 501c designations, but anything other than 501c3 is less common for community bike shops. An activist organization might have a 501c4 branch so they could focus more on political work.
Incorporating as a non profit on a state level is a separate step that is done before filing with the IRS.
What kind of business structure do you want? Most community bike shops in the USA are either cooperatives or collectives. These are a little different from each other.
The bike co-op that I've been to did plenty of education but legally they seemed more oriented to being able to provide discounts for their members. I'd really love to hear why so many organizations choose collectives over co-ops, it's been a long time and I'm forgetting the details at the moment. Maybe for tax purposes.... --Angel York (talk) 21:58, 8 March 2016 (PST)