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January 2, 2014

Start a Legally Sound Church This Year

Our new step-by-step infographic does the legwork for you.

By our count, starting a new church requires at least seven significant steps to ensure it has proper legal and tax standing. And within those seven steps, numerous smaller steps abound.

For instance, did you know that incorporating with a state corporation commission alone involves five critical pieces that need to be in place first? That includes the identification of board responsibilities and the incorporation of provisions required by the IRS. Did you know that you can't move forward with a church plant, at all, until you've found an available church name to incorporate with? Or that you can't file for a 501(c )(3) until you have a Federal Employer Identification Number? Do you have any idea what kinds of church bylaws are required of you before you can set up a church bank account?

Well, we do. So rest easy.

For churches, denominations, or individuals committed to planting churches, navigating this maze of legal and tax regulations can be daunting. That's why our new infographic, "Starting a New Church," will be a powerful tool to guide your next steps.

To download an interactive PDF version of this infographic, with clickable links to articles and resources, click here.


Editor's note: We'd love to hear your feedback. What do you want to see us feature as our next infographic? What would help you? Put your response in the comments section below, or send us your thoughts on Twitter: @churchlawandtax.

Related Tags: banks, church finances, church law, church tax


What are the legal ramifications is a church takes in more money from renting their property than they do from donations? Is there a cap for renting the church facility out?

Cool. Anyone thinking of starting their own church can use the infographic as a guide. Great tool for beginners.

What about a "Free Church"; Not a 501(c)3 ? Our church is incorporated with the state jurisdiction but we have not filed for the 501c3 status with the federal jurisdiction. We are tax-exempt by nature of being a church.

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