Information For New Churches

It is important that you do not skip any of these steps.

STEP ONE: Assemble Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Click Here for a downloadable shell (in rich-text format). Once you download the file, simply open it with your word processing software, change all the blanks to your church's information, and save it. Your church must pass these by-laws and articles of incorporation in your board meeting, and the passage of these documents must be recorded in the minutes.

It is crucial that the dissolution statement in your articles of incorporation state what happens to your church's assets should the congregation ever dissolve. This is commonly known as the "reversionary clause." For membership in ABC/GRR, you need to show your assets as going to GRR. If the dissolution statement portion of this document is skipped, the IRS will return your nonprofit application to you as denied.

STEP TWO: Assemble Founding Documents and Appendix (for Professional Church Leadership).Click Here for a downloadable shell (in rich-text format). Once you download the file, simply open it with your word processing software, change all the blanks to your church's information, and save it. Your church must pass these documents in your board meeting, and the passage of these documents must be recorded in the minutes.

STEP THREE: Obtain and complete Form SS-4, Application for Federal Employer Identification Number. This will be the tax-identifying number for your congregation, and it will be used to record payroll taxes attached to your church. Click Here for a downloadable copy of this form.) Click Here to download the form. Click Hereto download the form en español.)

STEP FOUR: Obtain and complete IRS Package 1023, Application for 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Status. This is a rather lengthy item to complete. Click Here for a downloadable copy of this form. Click Here to download the form.

STEP FIVE: Contact your state's Secretary of State's office to request forms to complete for your nonprofit corporation's annual report. This is a report that must be completed annually, and the report names the officers of your nonprofit corporation.

In Illinois, call (217) 782-7808.

In Missouri, call (573) 751-4153.>

STEP SIX: Contact your state's Secretary of State's office to request an application for sales tax exemption in your state.

In Illinois, call (217) 782-8881.

In Missouri, call (573) 751-2836. For TDD, call 1-800-735-2966.