Church Incorporation? Does our church need to be incorporated?

by Kathy Butler
(Corning, Arkansas)

I do not know if our church is incorporated or not.

We affiliate in fellowship with an organization that is now wanting us to send them our articles of incorporation and bylaws. We have our bylaws.

Do we need to be incorporated, if so how do we go about it?

What does it mean to be incorporated and are there any tax forms we have to file throughout the year being incorporated?

We give our pastor who does not get a salary a 1099-MISC each year and file the 1096 with the IRS but other than that we don't file any IRS forms.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks

Comments for Church Incorporation? Does our church need to be incorporated?

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Jun 30, 2015
by: Lewis in NC

You didn't talk about the size of your church, but in all likelihood it does need to be incorporated.

I am not an attorney, but if/when your church becomes incorporated this will take the legal weight of the church off the backs of individual leaders and founders of the church and places that weight on the church itself. The church will be looked at as its own entity.

Why don't you "google" how to incorporate a church in the state of Arkansas? That might help you get started.

Now to the matter of a 1099 Misc. to report the pay to your pastor, the pastor would be treated as an employee of the church and should receive a W-2 form to report his pay. Read more under "Minister Taxes" at the tab to the left of this website.

Hope this is helpful.

Jun 30, 2015
by: EM

You can probably search in Your State on website for Incorporation filing.

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Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Church Accounting FAQs.

If you want to DIY your payroll, I highly recommend you look at using Gusto! It is very user friendly and their support is awesome! Plus they know how to set up and maintain payrolls for churches and nonprofit organizations.

Note: I am a "partner" of Gusto, but as I have told you before ... I never recommend anything that we or our clients have not tried and love =)

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