501c6 Group Exemption Program Overview

See also Resources for Tax-exempt Groups

AMIBA is approved by the IRS to grant our qualified US affiliates 501(c)(6) status under AMIBA’s umbrella instead of your having to go through the IRS. Why should you take advantage of this opportunity?

Save money — a lot of it The current cost of applying to the IRS for 501c6 status is $850 for most organizations ($400 only for those planning to operate on budgets of less than $10,000 for four straight years). AMIBA charges a one-time fee of $75 for affiliated organizations to cover a portion of our administration costs. When your staff time is factored in, this benefit alone will likely save your group more than the cost of AMIBA affiliation! (much more if you need to contract legal help).

  • Avoid delays, stress and uncertainty AMIBA and the IRS agreed on the requirements for affiliates to be recognized as tax-exempt under 501c6, so applying via our 501c6 Group Exemption Program eliminates your guesswork, volleying materials with the IRS, and the long wait times (often months for each volley). AMIBA must update our exempt group list annually and tell the IRS which affiliates will gain tax exemption under it, both new and continuing.You work directly with AMIBA, not the IRS and since we employ a rolling deadline, we attend to your application promptly upon receipt. Once we have approved your application, you are granted tax-exempt status. This often occurs within days.

This is an opt-in program. Those affiliates wishing to apply must be organized and operate in accordance with the IBA model, have incorporated within 15 months of application, along with other requirements. We use a rolling application process, and successful applications received by August 1 each year will be included in that year’s update to the IRS.

“Thank you so much for your amazing assistance and making this easier than I had imagined it would be. You’re awesome!”
— Dianne Woodruff, Wyandotte IBA


Affiliate eligibility requirements:

  • Have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Be based in the United States
  • Be incorporated as a non-profit organization or association with your respective State government a) within 15 months of applying to the Group Exemption Program, or b) have submitted the IRS form 990 annually since incorporating.
  • Be organized and operate according to AMIBA’s recommended protocol in the areas of:
    • Public education about the greater overall value local businesses often can provide as well as the vital economic, social and cultural role they play in the community.
    • Cooperative promotion, advertising, purchasing and other activities to help local businesses gain economies of scale and compete more effectively.
    • Creating a strong voice and advocacy group for local independent businesses in their local government and media while engaging citizens in guiding the future of their community.
  • Have adopted a fiscal year of January 1 – December 31 (change will require bylaws amendment by your board)
  • Be an AMIBA affiliate in good standing

Learn more or apply:

Program details & FAQs

Application (pdf) for AMIBA affiliates

*See our special instruction to help you complete the IRS Schedule C for the 990

Keeping your tax-exempt status through AMIBA’s Group Exemption program -(doc) – including what’s required for your annual update to AMIBA



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