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Ministry question, financial

Are you any of familiar with a ministry that opted to become an LLC instead of a non profit organization? I would love to hear more. I personally feel like it would be best to look into that option if one were going to consider starting a ministry, simply because of the constraints the government would like to put on non profits.

Thoughts????

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Replies

  • You need to take that idea, put in on a stump, and blow it bits with a shotgun.  There are magnitudes more restrictions on an LLC than a non-profit.  And, that's just the top if the iceberg of what's wrong with your idea.

  • I do not know of any works God gave to anyone in the bible that God did not also provide for directly or indirectly thru others, amen. Gods will always will be done. With us; without us; or simply in spite of us, amen.

  • I did some homework hoping the information would be helpful. I have a paralegal degree.  :-)  If I'm reading the information correctly, there's a filing fee in the State of Maine.  The website gives fax numbers that kind of thing.

    http://www.limitedliabilitycompanycenter.com/what_is_an_llc.html

    God bless,

    Mary

    • Thank you Mary. Very kind of you to look. I knew about filing fee. Would you happen to know if having a ministry be an LLC would limit that ministry in anyway?

      • Hi Annette, I'm not so sure the fee is a one time fee. I shouldn't be so suspicious of the IRS. I'm sorry.  Once you have their attention, you really have their attention for a while. They can flag your file and watch for years. Before anyone says oh no they don't, oh yes they do. This is just something you don't want to mess up on. Not saying you're going to mess up. That's why I was saying maybe you want to talk to an attorney. Do you know any attorneys? I work around judges, so I just walk across the  cube farm or aisle. If the judge is available, he or she will answer a question. If I'd ask any one of the judges, staff attorneys or legal assistants here in the office, they're going to say you should talk to an attorney at least once. You have to look at it from the IRS' view, it's really easy to go after a person or small entity than it is a larger entity. Our state office is in the revenue building so I see this kind of tax drama all the time. They even have a revenue recapture program. Entities can go after your tax refunds. I can't say for certain if you need a federal tax ID number, but that has a filing fee too. I don't know if that's one-time or not.??? We used to have a dial LAWYERS in our state. You get a discount fee for 1 hour's consultation. I've also saw the legalzoom.com website. I'd still do my homework before trusting them and paying their fees.

        If we examine the definition on the website:

        The simple definition of a limited liability company (LLC) is that it is a form of business entity that limits the liability of its owners while allowing flexibility in operation and management and passing through its income to its members with no tax at the entity level.

        Personal opinion, it left a bad taste in my mouth. It turned a ministry into a business entity. It limits the liability of its owners.

        I was looking at the rest of the information on the website:

        The LLC is probably most like a limited partnership, but without the requirement that there be at least one general partner liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.

        An LLC is a statutory creation. That is, unlike general partnerships which developed under common law, an LLC, like a corporation, is created by filing a document (usually called Articles of Organization) with an officer designated by state law. As the LLC is a statutory entity, the laws governing the LLC set up a particular framework of rules for the operation and management of the LLC. Generally, most of the statutory rules are considered to be fallback provisions which take effect only if the LLC's operating agreement doesn't provide for guidance on a particular point.

        I felt it sets up a ministry like a company, but see what you think.???

        God bless you!

        Mary

        • I appreciate your thoughtful input very much. In Maine you can simply be a DBA... Doing Business As. I did that with my Mainely Grains business that I had for five years. It was a very small business. I liked that set up but that income was also small. I don't want to go with the non-profit because frankly... I've seen the government dictate things with that non profit status and I don't want that. This ministry would be my sole source of income since the homegoing of my husband last April so having it attached to my home and such makes me very uneasy which a DBA could do if there were every financial problems.  I will try to find a lawyer who handles such things but honestly we live in such a small community I'm not sure I'll find one.

          • Nancy (friend at work and also paralegal) had a discussion whether some of the fees are one-time or not.  :-)  It was lively and friendly.  She's a Christian too. She agreed it's always good to talk to an attorney. Attached to your home is a good reason to feel uneasy. Nancy felt you should seek an accountant as well, but I felt that was a little overboard at first. Once you know what you want to do, maybe a good tax accountant.??? I like your idea.

            You're too far away right now, but if I could hug, I would. God, send an angel to hug Annette for me.  :-)

            God bless,

            Mary

            • Thanks for the hug, encouragement and counsel. I very much appreciate it.

  • This move requires a specialized attorney, someone who knows what they are doing. I know an LLC has to do with limiting liability (LL).

    God bless!

    Mary

    • In Maine you can register an LLC without much difficulty. 

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