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A nonprofit business organization sounds like a paradox, but that’s exactly what a 501(c)(6) is. If you have a league that exists to make conditions better in at least one line of business, your institution might qualify to be a 501(c)(6) nonprofit. And if you need help growing your nonprofit business organization, you’ve come to the right place.


There is a wide range of what types of business leagues fall under the 501(c)(6) umbrella, and they’re also all allowed to directly participate in politics, so this is a great option to do good for people in commerce on a wide scale.

What Is a 501(c)(6) Organization?

Section 501c6 of the Internal Revenue Code covers business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, boards of trade, and professional football leagues. Any of these can fit 501(c)(6) requirements so long as they do not operate for profit and no part of the net earnings goes to benefit a solitary shareholder.

A “business league” is defined as a company of people who have a common business interest and whose purpose is to promote that interest without engaging in regular for-profit business. This includes trade associations and professional associations.

Examples of a 501(c)(6) nonprofit include the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Beer Institute, and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association.

Group of colleagues at a 501c6 nonprofit business organization
Two people working on white board notes for their 501c6 nonprofit business

501(c)(6) Requirements

A 501c6 organization can promote their industry’s products, but they cannot advertise for a specific member. For instance, the California Milk Processor Board has 501c6 status and was perfectly within their rights to launch their famous “Got Milk?” campaign. But they would not have been allowed to promote just one farm’s dairy.

Like 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(5)s, a 501c6 can engage in lobbying for legislation that aids its mission as much as they’d like. And unlike a 501(c)(3), they can also directly support or oppose candidates for political office. However, the latter cannot compromise the majority of their activities; no more than 49% of their resources can go towards it.

Your Growth Partner for 501(c)(6) Nonprofit Operations Management

If you’d like to promote a line of business yourself with a 501c6 organization, you’ll have to file a Form 1024 with the IRS, and in each subsequent year, submit a Form 990. Be sure to fill out each form as completely as you can and attach all necessary documents as the IRS can reject the form and revoke tax-exempt status.

Instead of trying to figure it out yourself, get help from the professionals at BryteBridge Nonprofit Services. We don’t just teach you what to do, we help you do it as well, so you can feel confident that these all-important forms are getting done correctly every time. That’s why over 30,000 people have trusted us for help with their nonprofit operations and their growth.

Let us help you help others. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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