Have Faith Ministries, Inc.

"Touching Others Through His Word"

How to Start a Ministry

Starting a nonprofit ministry entails following established rules of incorporation for nonprofit entities. Nonprofit ministry organization includes filing for and obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

You may have been told  to apply for tax-exempt status, you D NOT need to fill out a 501(c) (3) application. If you don’t have a specific determination of tax-exempt status. See "Non Profit Status".

Step 1

Create a ministry mission statement. Make your mission statement brief and concise. Urban Ministry states that a mission statement keeps you focused, an important factor in moving forward and for decision making, including deciding on a name, crafting published ministry materials and fund raising. All of these activities relate to your nonprofit status. Let your mission statement reflect every aspect of your ministry's mission.

Step 2

Establish a board of directors. The required number of board members varies by state. Designate at least three board members if you are forming a ministry in Texas. A basic board may consist of the President/Pastor, a Coordinator of Spiritual Guidance and a Financial Director. Create descriptions for each board member and collect dated signatures by all parties.

Step 3

File Articles of Incorporation. Articles of Incorporation protect your ministry and its officers from "legal liabilities incurred by the organization," states Urban Ministry. Requirements vary by state. To file for a Houston-based ministry, contact the Texas Secretary of State's office.

Step 4

Create your ministry bylaws. Bylaws established how you will govern your ministry. Urban Ministry recommends hiring an attorney for this step. Present the bylaws to the board for approval.

Step 5

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You may do this online with the IRS website You must provide a ministry name to obtain an EIN. Use your EIN to identify yourself when filing tax documents and to open a bank account. The IRS will provide your EIN at the end of an online interview and will send the official papers within a few weeks.

Step 6

File with the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, which designates your ministry as a public charity. The IRS provides full instructions, related publications and forms necessary to file for tax-exempt status. Download application Form 1023 and Publication 557 from the IRS website or request the form and publication by phone.

Step 7

Register with the state for tax-exempt status. In Texas, the Secretary of State processes state income tax exemptions for nonprofit organizations. If you are not located in Texas, contact your state Department of Revenue.

Step 8

Open a bank account in the name of your incorporated ministry. Contact the bank to determine what documents you must provide for a new, nonprofit bank account. You may need to bring the EIN, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Mission Statement to the bank meeting.

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About the Author

Alyson Paige has a master's degree in canon law and began writing professionally in 1998. Her articles specialize in culture, business and home and garden, among many other topics.

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