If you do not qualify under 501(c)(3), you may still be eligible for tax-exempt status under a different IRS code section. Other sections that may apply to your nonprofit include:
- Labor and agricultural organizations: 501(c)(5)
- Business leagues: 501(c)(6)
- Social and recreational clubs: 501(c)(7)
- Fraternal benefit societies: 501(c)(8)
- Credit unions: 501(c)(14)
- Farmer's cooperatives: 501(c)(16) and 521(a)
You can certainly prepare the 501(c)(3) application on your own. However, the application is complicated and can be tedious and time-consuming. The IRS estimates it takes 30 hours for a first-time 501(c)(3) applicant to complete the paperwork.