The first question is whether or not to incorporate. To answer this question, however, other questions should be addressed.
- Does the church or ministry understand the legal risks to the Board members or Trustees if it does not incorporate?
- If so, is the Board of Directors/Trustees comfortable with the risk?
- Does the church or ministry plan to own property or enter into legal agreements in its own name or is it comfortable with one or more members of the Board of Directors/Trustees or congregation signing personally for such matters?
- Not the least of these questions is this, what is the church or ministry’s theological position on incorporating?
Because there have already been many theological and technical articles written on this topic and because Christian Community Credit Union cannot give legal advice, we will not attempt to lay out a legal case for incorporating or not incorporating. Instead, we provide links to the following articles that should serve as a starting point. As with all legal matters, an attorney, experienced with church or ministry non-profit legal matters, should be consulted.
- Should Churches Incorporate and Seek IRS Recognition of 501(c)(3) Status?
- Church Incorporation: Right or Wrong?
As your church or ministry considers whether or not to incorporate, it may be useful to seek out advice from other like churches or ministries that are where you envision your church or ministry to be someday. Often, they have wrestled through many of the same issues you are wrestling through now and can provide timely advice. This two pronged approach, legal counsel and ecclesiastical counsel, can prove to be extremely valuable.
Other Useful Links
Following are other links that may be useful in your search.
Christian Community Credit Union is not a law office and the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. Christian Community Credit Union is providing the information and links contained herein only as a convenience to you. Sites listed as hypertext links herein are not under the control of Christian Community Credit Union. Christian Community Credit Union can make no representation concerning the quality, safety or suitability of the content of these sites nor can the fact that Christian Community Credit Union has included any such link serve as an endorsement or approval by Christian Community Credit Union of any of those sites. Christian Community Credit Union assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein.