FAQ’s about Church Start-Up

Yes, your ministry should incorporate. The liability issues surrounding an unincorporated association should cause each church to realize that they expose not only the pastor, but also the members of the church to individual liability if they are not incorporated as a non-profit corporation. Learn more about liability for un-incorporation here.
If your ministry is a non-profit corporation, the answer is “yes,” you will need by-laws. If you are an unincorporated association, or your church was formed decades ago, you will have a church constitution.
No, you do not need both a church constitution and by-laws. Many churches had both because they were formed as an un-incorporated association, but later incorporated under the laws of the state they were in. Now as a new church, you do not need both a church constitution and by-laws, but you are required to have by-laws as a non-profit. It is possible to incorporate the language of a traditional church constitution within the by-laws.
Yes, not only does your mission statement keep you focused, but it is necessary to help communicate your vision and mission in any application for a 501(c)(3) application.
Yes, your church needs a separate EIN number for your church.
Yes, not only does it give you certainty because you have the determination from the IRS, you and any person who may donate to your ministry has assurance that the donations will be received tax free and the giver will receive the donation as a tax deduction.
Renting a space can be easy, but there may be some additional requirements, such as general liability insurance. The facility wants to know you have adequate protection if an accident were to occur during the time you are using the facility.
Your ministry needs at least two types of insurance 1.) General Liability Insurance: This insurance affords the protection you need to limit your liability. 2.) Every ministry that has property needs Property and Casualty Insurance to protect against loss because of fire or other types of loss.
Each year you need to provide giving letters to anyone who has given more than $600.00 per calendar year. You can keep track of donations with a simple program like QuickBooks, or other church management software.
For each donation your ministry receives, you will need to record the donation and issue a yearly giving letter. You can use any method of tracking donations, from a simple spreadsheet such as Excel or Numbers to QuickBooks or another church management program.
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