Resources for Constitution, Bylaws, Incorporation and Taxes
Though not always necessary, especially for simpler forms of church, most churches will want to create basic documents to govern their actions and give them status with the government and banks.
Below are resources for creating a constitution and bylaws for a new church plant:
- BGCT’s “Developing a Constitution & By-Laws for the Local Church”
- SBTC’s “Simple Church Constitution”
- North American Mission Board’s “The Church Constitution Guide” and “Sample Constitution & Bylaws“
Information about Incorporation and 501(c)3 status:
- BGCT’s “Steps to Incorporation for a Church in Texas” Includes a link to the current government form and simple guidance in filling it out. (There is one error. On page 2, the instructions say to check a box on page 6 of the state form. The box is actually on page 7.) This document also has info on “What about 501(c)3 status?”
- SBTC’s “Help on Church Incorporation”. The first two pages contain helpful background on a church’s status as either an “unincorporated nonprofit association” or a “nonprofit corportation.” Pages 3-4 contained an outdated guide for filling out the form for incorporation. But pages 5-9 contains helpful sample Bylaws with some explanation.
- Texas Application for Tax Exemption for Religious Organizations – Needed to prevent paying sales tax when you buy items for the church.
- Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number Online – This number will be assigned to your church immediately after filling out the form. You will need it to open a bank account.