You can find answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) below with our short, informational videos. Check back soon for more videos, please feel free to contact us with any questions.
FORMATION, CHOICE OF ENTITY AND CORPORATE STRUCTURE
What constitutes a "church" under federal law?
Should churches incorporate?
What formation documents are required for churches?
Should a church have bylaws and what should the bylaws include?
IRS RECOGNITION OF TAX EXEMPT STATUS
Should a church formally apply to the internal revenue service for tax exempt recognition?
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND BOARDS
What are the duties of a church's board of directors?
Why is it important that a church's board or elders be designated as the "highest ecclesiastical...
Who can make the decision to sell a church?
How are the proceeds from the sale of a church divided?
Should a church include the traditional definition of marriage as well as a marriage policy in...
Can a meeting of church members be called without the pastors consent?
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL OPERATIONS
Who controls a church's finances?
Do churches have financial reporting requirements?
What is unrelated business income?
Do churches have to pay taxes on unrelated business income?
What legal issues should a church be aware of when it invests donated funds?
What different types of insurance are available to churches?
What types of additional insurance should churches typically consider purchasing?
What kind of things should churches consider when purchasing insurance?
Why is it important that a church's insurance policy allow the church to select its own legal...
VOLUNTEERS AND HUMANITARIANS
What should a church do to screen and supervise volunteers?
What is the Federal Volunteer Protection Act?
What are the benefits of using volunteer counselors as part of a church's ministry outreach?
Are there potential liabilities when a church uses volunteer counselors...
How often should a church perform background checks on workers and volunteers who work with children
Should a church allow a registered sex offender to volunteer for the church?
How does a church distinguish volunteers from employees?
Do wage and hour laws apply to church volunteers?
REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION
Can a church be built on any lot of land?
What legal issues are important to churches involved in land acquisition?
What legal issues are important to churches involved in building construction?
What pitfalls do churches commonly experience when constructing new facilities?
What is "retainage" and why is it important in church construction?
What are performance bonds?
Should churches purchase performance bonds when constructing new projects?
What is the importance of involving licensed professionals, such as architects and engineers, on...
What should a church consider when choosing a general contractor to construct new church...
What are the legal differences between a general contractor and subcontractors or material...
What is a facilities use policy?
What is a facilities use agreement?
What is necessary to ensure a church's facilities are used only by persons of similar faith as...
Are churches exempt from ad valorem property taxes?
What activities can result in a church losing its property tax exemption?
EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYEES
Should churches use employment agreements?
Which church employees should churches use employment agreements with?
What terms are important for a church to include in employment agreements?
What is an executive employment agreement?
Why should churches use executive employment agreements for their senior or lead pastors?
What should be included in a church's executive employment agreement?
What is a severance agreement?
What are the benefits of a church using severance agreements?
Should churches have employees who have been terminated sign separation or severance agreements?
What terms are important for a church to include in a separation or severance agreement?
How does a church terminate its senior or lead pastor?
What is Title VII and how does it apply to churches?
Should churches include standard of living requirements in their employment handbooks?
What standard of living requirements should churches include in their employment handbooks?
Do wage and hour laws apply to churches?
What church employees are entitled to overtime pay?
What are the consequences of not paying overtime to employees?
What are the potential damages in a wage and hour lawsuit?
How can a church defend against a wage and hour lawsuit?
What should a church do to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace?
How should a church respond to allegations of sexual harassment by an employee?
How can a church defend against an employees sexual harassment claim?
Should a church employ a registered sex offender?
LITIGATION AND PEACEMAKING
What is faith-based arbitration?
Is faith-based arbitration preferable for churches as opposed to civil litigation in the courts?
Why is it important to insert faith-based arbitration requirements into a church's governing...
What benefits does the Church Law Group provide to its Client's Members?
How can a church effectively use the Church Law Group's Client/Member program?
What is an independent compensation committee?
Should a church use an independent compensation committee to set executive compensation?
What is a compensation survey or study?
What is comparability data as it relates to nonprofit executive compensation and why is it important
Can nonprofits use comparability data from for profit companies in determining and setting...
Are there any reasons why a church shouldn't just use common compensation...
What are the IRS requirements or limitations on executive compensation for nonprofits?
How does the IRS define "reasonable", as it relates to nonprofit executive compensation
How can a church effectively use a Rabbi Trust?
CLERGY AND ECCLESIASTICS
What is a clergy housing allowance?
What is the difference between a parsonage allowance and a housing allowance?
What are the allowable components of tax-free clergy housing allowance payments?
What does the IRS require in order for a clergy housing allowance to be claimed as tax free by...
What is the maximum clergy housing allowance permitted by the IRS?
Who is responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the housing allowance applied for?
CHILDREN AND CHILDCARE
What screening and training should a church provide for child care workers?
What should a church do to ensure the safety of children in its care?
Are church workers and volunteers required to report suspected child abuse of...
Why are music publishing agreements important to churches?
What is a Works Made for Hire?
Is work created by a church employee considered a works made for hire?
Does a church own the intellectual property created by its pastors?
Can a church profit from the intellectual property of its pastors?
What is a music publishing agreement?
Can a pastor copyright a sermon he writes?
Should a pastor copyright his sermons?
Should a church trademark its logo?
Can a church trademark its name?